Introduction to Critical Illness Insurance
Critical illness protection in form of insurance coverage has wide range of benefits. Insurance providers began selling this kind of a policy in the 1990s and today it is huge market with an estimated $12 billion worth of coverage in effect. Good critical illness insurance can help families to avoid financial devastation that is often the result of treatment costs.
What is it?
Critical illness insurance coverage is a special type of policy that financially assists the policyholder if he or she becomes ill with either a serious or terminal illness. The coverage will usually provide a lump sum payment to the insured individual so that household bills, the medical expenses, and the general living costs one normally has in the event of chronic illness can be compensated. These financial challenges are often compounded by the effect of the illness rendering an individual unable to work and draw a regular salary; this is how good critical illness insurance protection can help. This type of a policy is for anyone who seeks to have extra added protection to existing standard coverage.
A person with no insurance can buy a critical illness policy too, though with the Affordable Care Act in effect, this is becoming increasingly uncommon. Most of those who obtain such coverage have dependents and, consequently, wish to feel the peace of mind that is inherent in knowing that their children are well protected should something unexpected happen to them. Some purchase these kinds of policies to ensure that they will be able to continue to pay their mortgages if serious illness strikes and puts them out of commission for a while.
How to qualify
Being qualified for a critical illness coverage (CIC) policy can be challenging and this is especially so if an individual has a lifestyle that puts him or her in a position in which certain illnesses are more likely to be realized. For example, a cigarette smoker will be mandated to pay higher premium payments than a non-smoker as smoking is directly causative for cancer. Many policies are quite easily issued while others first require comprehensive health checks of the potential policyholder.
The premiums of these kinds of policies can either be fixed or made renewable. Fixed premiums do not change over time, while renewable policies have adjustable premiums that are determined by the market.
The standard CIC policy protects the policyholder for a myriad of disorders and illnesses, including heart attacks, cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, emphysema and more. Each insurance issuer will likely have a different litany of illnesses that are covered, so be sure to ask. Most of these policies mandate a waiting period that the individual must endure before the company releases a payment for the illness that the policyholder has contracted. The waiting period can be anywhere from eight days to two weeks and, in some cases, more. The policyholder must stay alive during the waiting period in order to receive the benefits of coverage. After the period expires, the insurance company releases the payments if the patient is approved and has provided the necessary documentation for approval.