According to findings published by the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance (AACII),cancer was last year (2011)the leading cause for critical illness insurance claims.Nearly half of all claims were for patients between ages 35 and 54. Stroke was the second leading cause followed by heart attack.

“Every year millions of Americans hear the dreaded words from a doctor, you have cancer or had a heart attack,” notes Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance “Today, they are likely to survive but the same can’t be said for their finances. The majority of U.S. personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills and uncovered expenses.”

Lumpsum after a covered diagnosis
Critical illness insurance is designed to pay a lump-sum cash payment after a covered diagnosis. “A critical illness brings many worries,” Slome explains, “paying bills should not be one of them.” Nearly two-thirds (61%) of new claims resulted from a diagnosis of cancer according to the 2012 Critical Illness Insurance Buyer & Claimant Study published by the Association and General Re Life Corporation (AAGRLC)

“Individual health insurance policies today have large deductibles, typically require co-payments and don’t cover all costs especially for a critical illness,” explains David A. Gerrish, Senior Vice President, Sales for Dearborn National Worksite & Individual Solutions, a leading provider of policies. “Critical illness insurance can be quite affordable and the benefits can be used to pay medical expenses or even your rent or mortgage while you undergo treatment.”

According to the study, stroke accounted for 18% of new claims opened last year by individuals with this insurance coverage. Heart attack accounted for 11%. Conceived of by a South African physician, Marius Barnard M.D., part of the team performing the world’s first heart transplant, critical illness insurance is sold in 54 countries. The first policies became available in the United States around 1996 and over one million individuals now have this protection.

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For more information:
– Critical Illness Insurance Learning Center ((CIILC)
– American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI)

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