Critical Illness Insurance:
What You Need to Know

Allison Walsh, Social Media Strategist
Critical Illness Insurance:

Most people are familiar with life insurance and why it is so crucial, but they may not realize that critical illness insurance could be equally important.

In the event of a health emergency such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke, critical illness insurance may help with unexpected financial burdens. When it comes down to numbers, many Americans fall ill every day:

  •  47% of US adults are estimated to have hypertension[1]
  • One person dies every 36 seconds in the US from cardiovascular disease[2]
  • 39.5% of men and women will develop cancer at some point in their lives[3]

Thanks to modern medicine, more people than ever survive critical conditions like these. In fact, the overall cancer death rates in the United States dropped continuously from 1991 to 2018 for a total decrease of 31%, including a 2.4% decline from 2017 to 2018[4].

This is fantastic news! However, there are often high costs associated with treatment that put a strain on a family’s budget, including co-pays, treatments not covered by insurance and non-medical costs associated with treating a critical illness.

What if it happens to me?

Critical illnesses can negatively impact the financial health of individuals and families—even those with health insurance. That’s what makes critical illness insurance a popular form of supplemental coverage.

Read on to learn the basics.

Critical illness insurance provides benefits for a number of critical illnesses, including:

·       Heart attacks

·       Stroke

·       Cancer

These “big three” illnesses are covered by critical illness plans and many policies also cover more illnesses including a wide range of other serious conditions such as:

·       Kidney failure

·       Multiple sclerosis

·       Alzheimers

Depending on the type of policy, critical illness insurance provides a lump-sum cash benefit which can be used however the insured desires. If diagnosed and treated for a covered condition, the benefit could be used to help cover medical costs not covered by major medical insurance.

A critical illness can greatly affect livelihood

Developing a critical condition can result in sudden, unexpected out-of-pocket medical and non-medical expenses that may often include:

  • Deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments
  • Out-of-network specialists
  • Treatments not covered by medical insurance
  • Nursing care
  • Prescriptions
  • Rehabilitation
  • Transportation to and from the care facility
  • Childcare and pet care
  • Lost income due to time off work to recover or care for a family member

In addition to managing these costs, people still have to pay their regular household bills, like mortgage or rent, health insurance premiums, car payments, school tuition and utilities. It can all add up to a significant drain on the budget, not to mention any savings set aside for emergencies.

It’s for this reason people consider critical illness insurance to help them meet their obligations and get the care they need — so they can focus on recovery instead of worrying about bills.

Are you at risk?

There’s no simple way to assess risk because many factors go into the equation, including lifestyle, family history, and the presence of certain health conditions. Take advantage of your health screenings to talk to your doctors and nurses about reducing your risk of developing a critical illness. 

It’s a great idea to talk with your insurance agent for help determining your “fit” for a critical illness plan and answering all of your questions. Find an agent today!

Policy contains exclusions and limitations. See policy for complete details for policy features, benefits, options, rates, definitions, & limitations and exclusions.

Critical Illness policies underwritten by Combined Insurance Company of America (Chicago, IL) in all states, except New York. In New York, Critical Illness policies underwritten by Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (Latham, NY). Combined Insurance Company of America is not licensed and does not solicit business in New York.



1- Facts about hypertension. (2021, September 27). Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.html

2- Heart disease facts. (2022, February 07). Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.html

3- Cancer statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics

4- Staff, T. (n.d.). Record drop in cancer mortality for second straight year due to improved lung cancer treatment reported in 'cancer statistics, 2021'. Retrieved March 17, 2022, from https://ascopost.com/issues/january-25-2021/record-drop-in-cancer-mortality-for-second-straight-year-due-to-improved-lung-cancer-treatment-reported-in-cancer-statistics-2021