Heart-Related Conditions Top Claims on Critical Illness Policies

Heart and vascular conditions account for more than half of all claims paid on critical illness insurance policies in the United States. 

Critical illness insurance pays a set amount to insured people when they’re diagnosed with or suffer heart attacks, cancer, strokes, coronary artery bypass surgery, major organ failure, transplants or other specified major medical conditions.           

According to recent statistics, heart attacks, stroke and coronary artery bypass surgery together made up 58% of critical illness claims in 2010.  Cancer accounted for another 35%.  Other condition, including kidney failure and transplants, were responsible for the remaining claims. 

Not only can these illnesses be extremely expensive to treat, there are often significant nonmedical expenses, so even employees with good major medical coverage may be left with large bills unpaid. Voluntary critical illness plans pay benefits directly to the insured individuals, unless they specify otherwise. They can then use the money for nonmedical expenses – such as mortgages, groceries, electric bills, child care, or travel to and from a treatment center – or for uncovered medical expenses, including deductibles, treatment bills, rehabilitation or home health care expenses.           

Without adequate protection, people who suffer a heart attack or stroke, or undergo coronary artery bypass surgery, might have to use their savings or rely on the financial aid of family members to cover their expenses.  In fact, nearly a third of Americans report their family had had problems paying medical bills, with 18% reporting bills in excess of $1,000.  (Kaiser Tracking Poll, 2008) 

A critical illness plan is for survivors. Some people may never be able to return to their old lifestyle, go back to the same jobs or return to work at all.  Instead, they’ll face a new way of life focused on recuperation, recovery and rehabilitation.  Benefits from a critical illness plan can help ease financial worries so they can focus on getting well instead of paying the bills.