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How to Compare
Like any other type of insurance, the terms, rates, and payments can vary greatly from plan to plan. Prior to purchasing any critical illness coverage, it is important that you understand the plan features so you can know what to expect. Most critical illness plans will cover a wide variety of ailments, but it is important that you get a plan that covers as many as possible. Avoid those small plans that only cover in case of a coma, paralysis, heart attack, stroke, or any other combination of only a few illnesses and spend a little extra on the premiums to get a plan that covers as much as possible.
Of course, the key benefit to critical care insurance is the cash benefits portion, which will cover any expenses that you might incur after being diagnosed with your critical illness.
Cash benefits are what really separate critical illness coverage from other insurance options. What do we mean by “Cash Benefits”? What this means is you’ll receive your full benefit amount regardless of any expenses you have or have not incurred. This is different than other types of health insurance that only reimburse you for actual expenses you have incurred. When you receive your cash benefits, you use the money to pay for anything you choose. This can be related or unrelated to your illness. If your health insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of your diagnosis, your critical illness benefits can be used to fill the gaps.
Instead of just using your benefits to pay for medical bills, you can use them to cover lost wages, pay off other debts, or whatever you need to stay afloat financially. Basically, this part of the policy was designed so that individuals suffering with a critical illness would be able to survive financially and not have to worry about what might happen to those who care
Other Plan Options
Beyond the cash benefits offered by critical illness insurance, most plans feature a variety of other options to help you stay afloat when an emergency strikes. For starters, nearly every plan will pay out the full benefit, even if you end up recovering, or if you die. Next, many plans return the premium upon death, which can be extremely helpful to your loved ones left behind. Additionally, some plans include increased benefits should a critical illness leave you in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Of course, like health or life insurance, there are a plethora of other options you can look at including on your critical illness insurance, so it is important to check with your broker to see what else may be made available to you. As far as policy limits, critical care insurance is available from as little as $10,000 to as much as $1,000,000.
What Does it Cost?
Once again, the cost of critical illness insurance can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. Most companies will consider three important factors: age, gender, and whether or not you use tobacco. Though these are not the only factors that go into consideration, they are the most universal. Since females are lower risk for critical illness, they sometimes have lower premiums, as do people who don’t use tobacco. Some plans have the same premium rates for males and females. Understandably, younger individuals also enjoy lower premiums for critical coverage.
To get an idea of costs, a 40 year old, non-smoker male will pay maybe $15-$25 per month for $10,000 in coverage. On the other hand, a 60+ year old male who smokes can expect to pay anywhere upwards of $55 per month for the same $10,000 of coverage.
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