Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum of tax-free money 30 days after diagnosis of any one of the major illnesses listed in the policy, such as heart attack, stroke, or life-threatening cancer. Since heart disease and cancer are diseases of aging, these illnesses are more likely to appear after age 65. Critical illness insurance can go to age 100.
The incidence of these illnesses is rising, but survival rates are also increasing. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada reports that 92% of patients hospitalized for a heart attack survive. Critical illness benefits will allow you to pay for whatever extras you choose, such as private nursing care, housing modifications, alternative treatments or even a trip around the world.
Two out of five will develop cancer during their lifetime
- Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, surpassing cardiovascular disease.
- Two out of five people will develop cancer during their lifetimes.
- On average, more than 500 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every day.
- In recent years, the survival rate has increased and 62% of people are now expected to survive more than five years.
(Source: Canadian Cancer Society ~ Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2012).
Cancer can strike anytime. It can affect anyone, whether young or old, male, female or child, and regardless of their social or medical condition. Although you cannot escape that reality, you can limit the financial consequences for your family. With a cancer insurance policy, you can meet your obligations head on and focus on your recovery without having to worry about the financial consequences of your illness.
Myths and truths about critical illness
The risk of suffering from a critical illness is real, and most people don’t even see it coming. When it does, many Canadians are forced to deplete their retirement savings or take on additional debt to cover treatment costs and the day-to-day expenses associated with living with a critical illness.
When you’re healthy, you may be thinking “I won’t get sick, and if I do, the government will pay for my care.” Think again…
Critical Illness Myth #1: I won’t get sick
40% of women and 45% of men will develop cancer during their lifetime.
The leading cause of hospitalization in Canada (16.9%) continues to be heart disease and stroke.
Today, half a million Canadians have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Approximately 71,000 of them are under age 65.
Canadians have one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. Its effects are physical, emotional, financial, and last a lifetime. There is no cure.
Critical Illness Myth #2: The government will pay for my care
One survey noted that 44% depleted their savings and retirement funds and 27% took on debt to cover treatment costs.
To protect you from financial risk, it goes without saying that you have insurance for many things.
For example, you have insurance in the event that your car is damaged in an accident. But do you have insurance in the event that you suffer a heart attack? You have insurance to cover you if your apartment floods. But will insurance cover you if you’re diagnosed with life threatening cancer?
Insurance reduces the financial impact if the shingles blow off your house. But do you have insurance that will lessen the impact if you suffer a stroke.
Know the truth. Know your options.
Critical Illness insurance provides funds when it’s critical. Following diagnosis of a covered condition, and a survival period of usually 30 days, you’ll receive a lump sum to spend any way you wish:
· pay off your mortgage,
· seek timely treatment outside of Canada,
· or, afford specialized in-home care on top of your regular day-to-day expenses.