Critical Illness Insurance: An Alternative to Long Term Disability Insurance

Are you past the optimum age to be approved for Disability insurance coverage, but you plan to continue working until age 70? I recently learned from Low Load Insurance Services of a viable alternative to long term disability coverage for critical conditions such as cancer, heart attack, organ transplant, kidney failure, paralysis, loss of sight, speech, or hearing, advanced Alzheimer’s, coronary artery bypass, and stroke.

Critical Illness plans fill a niche for people:

  • in their mid-50s for whom Disability insurance coverage may be cost prohibitive
  • who have a medical condition that would constitute either an exclusion or a rating on a traditional disability policy
  • in occupations that are difficult or costly to insure
  • in their younger years who discover a family history of a covered condition
  • These plans are offered to individuals through age 65 and provide 100% coverage to age 70. The benefit amounts can vary from $10,000 to $500,000 and the benefit periods can be 10, 15, 20, 30 years, and lifetime.  These cash benefits can be used for:
  • Choosing the best hospital and physician
  • Treatment or specialist services not covered by traditional health insurance plans
  • Paying mortgage, debts, or outstanding bills
  • Income replacement
  • Modifying their home or auto for special needs
  • Experimental drugs or therapies

In addition, Critical Illness plans can be designed to cover spouses and children and can offer a return of premium rider (both at additional cost).  Here are some statistics that validate the importance of Critical Illness insurance:

  • More than 60% of U.S. bankruptcies in 2007 were attributed to medical bills. More than 75% of these families had health insurance. (Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of national Study; American Journal of Medicine, August 2009)
  • About 6.4 million stroke survivors were alive in 2006, many of them with permanent stroke-related disabilities (American Heart Association, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2010 Update)
  • In 2011, about 1.6 million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer (this figure does not include carcinoma in situ of any site except urinary bladder, and does not include basal and squamous cell skin cancers); 68% are expected to survive at least five years (American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures, 2011)
  • In 2010, cardiovascular disease was estimated to cost Americans $503.2 billion – the equivalent of $1,620 for every man, woman and child in the country (American Heart Association, Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2010 Update & U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Population Estimates 2000 to 2006)