Know Your Risk ... and Insurance Coverage ... for Heart Attacks and Strokes
The American Heart Association estimates 785,000 Americans will experience their first heart attack in 2009 and, on average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States will have a stroke. American Heart Month is a good time to consider not just your risk for heart attack and stroke but also your insurance coverage for critical illness.
"With the high incidence of heart attacks and strokes and the health care costs associated with treatment, it is important to consider whether your primary insurance coverage is sufficient to meet your needs in the unfortunate event of a heart attack, stroke or other heart-related illness," says Brian Moore, vice president and actuary at Combined Insurance, a leading provider of supplemental insurance.
"Many people don't realize that primary health insurance plans don't cover all expenses related to critical illnesses, like heart attacks and strokes. There are out of pocket costs including deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance and other cost-sharing responsibilities. Additionally, long-term recovery can include many unexpected expenses."
Lifetime Heart Disease Treatment Costs Can Approach $1 Million
According to the 2006 Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study, the lifetime bill for treating a woman's heart disease-linked angina (chest pain that occurs when your heart doesn't receive enough oxygen-rich blood) could total $1 million. That figure includes medical care as well as an estimate of indirect costs such as lost work hours, transportation costs and out-of-pocket expenses for drugs and other therapies.
"The good news is that people are living longer, in part, by surviving critical illnesses such as heart attack and stroke for longer periods of time," adds Moore. "According to current research, more than half of those who suffer first-time heart attacks now live five years or longer." For this reason, Moore recommends considering supplemental insurance for income and asset protection in the event of a critical illness.
Supplemental Insurance Policies Focused on Critical Illness
Supplemental insurance is a separate insurance policy which provides benefits that can be used to add to or 'supplement' life and accident and health coverage and can provide additional benefits to help offset uncovered expenses and out-of-pocket costs. Supplemental insurance policies are available specifically for critical illness protection.
"The cost of a supplemental critical care policy varies depending on the level of coverage selected, but these plans are generally affordable," says Moore. "A typical premium for a 30 or 40 year old might be as low as $8 to $14 per month, with rates based on age at time of purchase."
About Combined Insurance
Combined Insurance (www.combinedinsurance.com) is a leading provider of supplemental accident, health and life insurance products and is a member of the ACE Group of Companies. With a field sales force and corporate staff in excess of 10,000 people worldwide, Combined Insurance meets the growing coverage needs of policyholders around the globe. For more information, call 1-800-490-1322 or visit combinedinsurance.com.
ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 54 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at acegroup.com.
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