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Critical Care Insurance: What You Need to Know

Most of us say, “It will never happen to me,” but the numbers show that many  Americans will suffer a critical illness some time in their lives: 

  •  46% of US adults are estimated to have hypertension1
  • just over 2000 people die of cardiovascular disease every day 
  • 39% of men and women will develop cancer at some point in their lives2

Thanks to modern medicine, more people than ever survive critical conditions like these.  In fact, the American Cancer Society just reported the biggest single-year drop in cancer deaths from 2016-2017 ever recorded (a 2.2% drop). 3 In fact, 66.5% of bankruptcies in the U.S. were due in part to medical expenses.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 care insurance provides benefits for a number of critical illnesses

The “big three” illnesses covered by critical care plans are heart attacks, strokes and cancer. Many policies cover a wide range of other serious illnesses such as kidney failure, multiple sclerosis and even blindness. 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 your 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
  • Child care 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 care 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.  Stay up to date on current health research.  You can start with 5 Considerations to Reduce your Cancer Risk.

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-Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2019 Update. (n.d.). Retrieved from opens in a new windowlink opens in a new window

2-Lifetime Risk of Developing or Dying From Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved from opens in a new windowlink opens in a new window

3 Facts & Figures 2020 Reports Largest One-year Drop in Cancer Mortality. (n.d.). Retrieved from opens in a new window