Critical Illness Protection
Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered a critical illness and physically survived. Medical conditions that were once considered fatal are now treatable due to advancements in modern medicine. Survival rates are definitely up, as advanced medical technology increases an individual’s chance of recovering from a critical illness. For example, cancer survival rates have increased from 53% in the mid 1980′s to 65% in the period of 1999-2007 thanks to early detection and improved treatment methods. These enhancements, however, carry a high price tag.
Here are the facts:
- According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the possibility of surviving a critical illness before age 65 is almost twice as great as dying.
- In 2007, illness and healthcare expenses contributed to 62% of personal bankruptcies. Of these individuals, 60% had some form of medical insurance.
If a medical crisis or serious illness happened to you or someone in your family, how long could your family survive without an income? Critical illness protection is supplemental insurance specifically designed to protect individuals and families from the major financial challenges that are often associated with the survival of a critical illness.
Common types of critical illnesses include:
- Coronary Bypass Surgery
- Heart Valve Replacement/ Repair Surgery
- Aortic Surgery, Angioplasty and Heart Attack
- End Stage Renal Failure
- Major Organ Transplant
- Terminal Illness
- Advanced Alzheimer’s Disease
- Loss of Independent Living
- Loss of Limbs and Major Burns
Although medical insurance plans cover healthcare expenses relating to a critical illness, such as medical services and supplies, hospitalization and surgery, there are many other expenses that are not covered, such as:
- Medical insurance copayments, deductible and prescription drugs
- Out-of-network treatments
- Non-covered “experimental” treatments
- Home health care
- Cost of caregivers
- Travel to treatment centers
- Lost income or wages
- Mortgage or rent payments
- Utility payments and other household bills
- Dependent care expenses
A critical illness insurance plan pays a “living benefit” upon the first diagnosis of a covered condition. This living benefit is based on the face amount of the critical illness insurance plan.
Since critical illness protection compliments your medical insurance plan, it is sometimes referred to as gap medical insurance, cancer insurance or heart attack insurance. Critical illness protection is most frequently used in conjunction with a high deductible medical insurance plan. The premium savings associated with a higher deductible is typically used to purchase a critical illness protection. nsurance ness insurance plan. Generally, only one living benefit is paid for each insured person. The cash benefit paid by the critical illness policy can then used to help pay for the out-of-pocket medical expenses associated with the higher deductible. It is not intended to replace major medical insurance.
High Deductible Medical Insurance Plans and Critical Illness Protection
- High Deductible Medical Insurance
Major medical insurance is expensive today because Americans expect the majority of healthcare expenses to be paid by their medical insurance plan. We have grown accustomed to paying small copayments for physician office visits and other medical services, yet the actual cost of these healthcare is significantly greater. Can you imagine how expensive automobile insurance would cost if it covered car washes, oil changes and tune-ups?
If you want to reduce your medical insurance premium and have more low cost coverage, then consider an individual medical insurance plan with a higher deductible. When you assume more financial responsibility by selecting a higher deductible, your medical premium can be reduced significantly. For example, the premium for a $5,000 high deductible medical insurance plan can be 40% to 50% less than a traditional medical insurance plan with a $1,000 deductible! That is why high deductible medical insurance plans are very popular today.
While a $5,000 high deductible medical insurance plan may seem more “risky” on the surface, the $1,000 deductible traditional medical plan may actually end up costing you more. Why? After you satisfy the deductible, medical insurance plans pay a percentage (called coinsurance) of covered healthcare expenses until you satisfy the maximum out-of-pocket expense. If the $1,000 deductible medical plan, pays 80% until you pay an additional $5,000 out-of-pocket, your total financial exposure is actually $6,000. However, if the $5,000 high deductible medical insurance plan paid 100% of covered healthcare expenses after you satisfy the deductible, then your total financial exposure is only $5,000. That means your total financial risk is reduced by $1,000, plus the premium savings between the two medical plans.
Tip: if you choose a high deductible health plan, set aside the premium savings to help cover the higher deductible should you have healthcare expenses.
Since the passage of the new healthcare law, high deductible medical insurance plans are even more attractive because new policies issued on or after March 23, 2010 are required to pay 100% of preventive screening services. That means you have greater peace of mind knowing that your preventive care is free. You do not have to put off seeing a physician for routine care just because you have a higher deductible.
Tip: a Health Savings Account (HSA) is an excellent choice for individuals and self employed business owners who want a low cost high deductible medical insurance plan and tax savings.
For help with selecting the right individual medical insurance plan and evaluating your financial exposure between medical plans, use our Buyer’s Guide and Checklist.
Whichever type of individual medical insurance plan you choose, it pays to shop and compare the rates and coverage levels of a few companies because health insurers often use different statistics and formulas to calculate rates. Our online medical insurance quotes allow you to compare rates and benefit levels from leading health insurers in your area so you are assured of getting the best deal.
The medical insurance premium you pay is the same as buying direct because health insurance rates are regulated. You have total peace of mind knowing that you are paying the best possible price for high deductible medical insurance through healthinsuranceadvisory.org.