Critical Illness Insurance in Edmonton

Medical advances preserve the lives of millions of Canadians with conditions that would have been fatal only a few decades ago. While medical miracles save lives, they can also leave individuals with unpaid bills and an inability to work. In Canada, 11.3% of bankruptcies result from medical problems.

That’s where critical illness coverage comes into play. These policies provide payments for individuals diagnosed with life-changing illnesses. Unlike some specialized policies, beneficiaries of critical illness insurance payments can use them for anything they need to.

It can be hard to know if you need extended coverage like disability and critical illness. After all, you can’t predict how your health will change. To help you determine whether or not you need critical illness coverage, we’ve compiled several questions below. Your answers will give you a starting place for a discussion with your insurance broker or agent.

Do You Have Valid Alberta Health Care?

Health insurance can absorb some of the costs generated by hospitalization and treatment of serious illnesses. If you don’t have valid health care, you’ll have to cover the costs yourself.

Just to give you an idea of how big that expense could be, here are the average costs for medical care in Canada:

  • Emergency room visits: $385
  • Admittance to a daily ward: $1,259
  • Intensive care: $4,286

These calculations do not include any specific treatments, which can substantially increase the cost.

Are You at Risk for Common Critical Illnesses?

Critical illness coverage typically covers heart attack, and some forms of cancer. You might be at an increased risk for these illnesses if you fall into the following categories:

  • Cancer. Your family has a history of cancer, you are between the ages of 50 and 79, or you drink four or more alcoholic beverages a day. You smoke or you spend a significant amount of time in the sun.
  • Heart attack. Your family has a history of heart disease or you have high blood pressure or cholesterol. You are overweight or physically inactive, or you have diabetes.
  • Stroke. Your family has a history of stroke, you have atrial fibrillation, or you are over 65. You are overweight or you experience high levels of stress.

While risk factors don’t predict the occurrence of an illness, it does increase the chance that you will need critical illness coverage.

Do You Have Young Dependents?

As a parent, your kids influence many of your decisions. If you have life insurance, you probably invested in the policy to benefit your children. The problem with life insurance is it only pays out after you pass away or are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

If you contract a major health condition, you will still need to pay for everyday expenses. Critical illness insurance can give you peace of mind that you will be able to care for them even if you have to spend some time in the hospital.

Do You Make Large Regular Payments?

You probably know that life insurance can cover outstanding debts like your mortgage or car payment. But, as in the section above, life insurance doesn’t pay out while you’re in the hospital. In fact, you will still have to make payments toward your life insurance policy while you’re in the hospital receiving treatment for a serious illness.

Critical illness insurance may be necessary if you make large payments on a regular basis, including in any of the following categories:

  • Car payment
  • Childcare
  • Co-insurance
  • Mortgage or rent
  • Utilities

The payment can also help cover travel expenses if you need to go to an out-of-province hospital for treatment.

Would You Have Trouble Paying Your Bills for Six Months Without Your Job?

The average Albertan has low savings and a high debt load. Even if you don’t  live pay cheque to pay cheque, a period of hospitalization could cripple you financially. Financial advisers recommend critical illness insurance for any individual who could not provide for themselves for sixth months without a source of income.

Look at your monthly expenses. If an extended convalescence would put you deeply in debt, critical illness insurance is a strong investment choice. Most policies cost less than $100 a month and some cost as little as $20 for a policy which would pay out at least $150,000 after a diagnosis.

If you answered yes to one or more questions, it’s time to talk to your insurer about extending your coverage. While it’s true that you may not ever use your policy, it’s better to protect yourself.

There are many different types and amounts of critical illness insurance, including policies based on the severity of the illness. And some insurers even offer return of premium plans, which guarantee that your premiums paid will be refunded to you if you don’t use your critical illness coverage by age 75.

Talk to your insurer today to find out more about your critical illness insurance options.

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