What is critical illness insurance?
Critical illness insurance plans are also called critical care insurance or critical illness coverage. These plans provide a lump- sum cash benefit to help cover expenses related to a qualifying serious illness.
Why would I need a critical illness insurance plan?
A critical illness can happen to anyone — and at any time, without warning. Whether it’s happened to a family member or a friend, most of us are probably familiar with the hardships a serious illness can bring.
Unfortunately, a serious illness can also cause financial strain. A person may be unable to work for a time. Plus, medical bills and other unexpected expenses can add up. A medical health insurance plan may cover some health care costs. But often, it won’t cover it all. That’s where a critical illness plan can help.
See how critical illness insurance helps cover your costs
With a critical illness insurance plan, you can use your cash-benefit funds as you see fit. This includes paying everyday living expenses while out of work and more, including:
Mortgage or rent payments, groceries, childcare and more
Out-of-pocket medical costs
Prescriptions and other medications
Treatment by a specialist or rehabilitation
Transportation to and from treatment
What does a critical illness plan cover?
With critical illness insurance, a lump sum is paid by your Golden Rule Insurance Company critical illness plan, up to the maximum lifetime benefit. This cash benefit payment is paid directly to you for expenses related to:1
Loss of hearing, speech, or vision
Loss of independent living2
Advanced Alzheimer’s disease
Major organ transplant
Carcinoma in situ
Coronary artery bypass graft
Critical conditions covered will vary by plan — and plan design and availability vary by state. As you're shopping for a plan, review the details carefully to understand what may be covered by the plan you choose.
Frequently asked questions about critical illness insurance
Explore these common questions to learn how critical illness insurance may give you some of the financial protection you need if a serious illness happens.
You may want to consider your situation to decide what’s best for you. Often, you may find that you’d benefit from a critical illness plan if you:
- Are the primary financial provider of the household
- Have a high-deductible health insurance plan
- Have limited savings for an unexpected illness
A critical illness plan provides an emergency fund to help cover financial needs when a serious illness happens. For example, if a person chooses a critical illness policy with a $30,000 Maximum Lifetime Benefit, here’s how it would work. (The person and event depicted here is fictional and does not represent an actual case.)
- A covered person receives a first diagnosis of a stroke. (The policy must be in place for 30 days or more.)
- Critical illness insurance pays $30,000 to the person with the policy.
- The person can use the $30,000 any way they choose.
Most American households are savings limited. That means they can replace less than one month of their income through liquid savings. Critical illness coverage can give families financial help in hard times.
To decide on the amount, think about your specific needs and situation. As a guide, in 2021, according to a General Re Life Corporation market research survey, the average benefit amount for each new critical illness insurance policy was just over $28,000.5
No. Critical illness coverage is not the same as catastrophic coverage.
Critical illness plans offer a lump sum payment in the event you have a specific covered illness or condition. Critical illness plans do not include coverage for an injury like an accident insurance plan or catastrophic health insurance would. Critical illness plans cover a specific amount for a specific illness or condition based on the plan you choose.
Yes, there is a 30-day waiting period on critical illness benefits in most states. The first diagnosis must be made at least 30 days after the effective date for your plan.
Explore more supplemental plans
View more plans, like dental, vision and other cash-benefit plans, that offer coverage for expenses not covered by a medical plan.
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