Critical Illness Insurance

There is almost a 1 in 2 chance of developing a Critical Illness in Canada during your lifetime. According to Statistics, 40% of Canadian women and 45% of Canadian men will develop Cancer during their lifetimes! This is a very real & scary thought which Canadians must be well prepared for. The good news is that Critical Illness Insurance pays a lump-sum tax-free CASH benefit to the insured 30 days after the occurrence of an illness specified in the policy to help them with their recovery. This is not a monthly payment but will be a full lump-sum payment based on the Dollar amount purchased. The medical conditions covered and the extent to which they are covered vary by policy but are fairly standard for ‘Enhanced’ plans. The complete list of covered conditions will usually include:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Aplastic Anaemia
  • Aortic Surgery
  • Bacterial Meningitis
  • Benign Brain Tumour
  • Blindness
  • Cancer(Life Threatening)
  • Coma
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
  • Deafness
  • Early Discovery Benefit
  • Heart attack
  • Heart Valve Replacement
  • Kidney Failure
  • Loss of Independent Existence
  • Loss of Limbs
  • Loss of Speech
  • Major Organ Failure on Waiting List
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Motor Neuron Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Occupational HIV Infection
  • Paralysis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Severe Burns
  • Stroke

Understanding Critical Illness Insurance & the impacts of not being insured
Being diagnosed with a critical illness can be devastating for you, your spouse, your family, your business partners and your finances. Even though your world may seem to have come to a sudden halt – the reality is that life goes on. Your bills will still arrive and your mortgage will have to be paid. You may also face additional costs that accompany a critical illness like specialized equipment, renovations to your home, or have to buy medication not covered by government health plans. If you have to leave your job to focus on getting well, how will you be able to afford all this?

You might be wondering, right now, if you’re really at risk. Is this a risk worth insuring? The fact is that Canadians are more likely to experience a critical illness or life-altering condition than they are to die prematurely. Critical Illness Insurance provides a tax-free lump sum cash benefit upon diagnosis of a covered condition that allows you to use the money any way you wish. It can help you to realize your dreams for the future, or to continue doing the things you’ve always done. Critical Illness Insurance is about recovery and the quality of life you want during & after your recovery period. With Proper Financial Planning, Critical Illness Insurance can play a major role in meeting your estate & retirement planning objectives.

Some of the types of costs to consider:

  • Costs of Cancer drugs
    -Quick Facts: The average cost per course of treatment with newer cancer drugs is approx. $65,000.
    -11 of the 21 cancer drugs introduced since 2000 are administered at home and are the patient’s responsibility
    -75% of the cancer drugs approved by Health Canada since 2000 and taken at home cost more than $20,000 annually
  • Hospital upgrades (Standard ward room to private $250/day)
  • Home care expenses include: Nursing, housekeeping rehab & other. A Registered Practical Nurse can cost you $45-$50/hour and a Personal support worker can cost approx. $22-$28/hour.
  • Out of country care: Here is an estimate provided by the Canadian Cancer Society and Best Doctors Inc. of some of the costs for surgery & first year care in the United states: Bone Marrow Transplant $553,000, Chemotherapy with acute Leukemia as a secondary diagnosis $62,000, Cancer $154,000, Kidney transplant $226,000, Coronary artery bypass surgery, Aorta valve replacement or other cardiothoracic procedures $164,000, heart transplant $507,000. Cost estimates provided may vary significantly from those shown and are not guaranteed to be current.
  • Equipment & home renovations include: Wheel chairs, scooters, ramps, kitchen renovation, bathroom refits, vehicle medication (wheelchair access) etc.
  • Out of town transportation/Parking/Lodging: This can cost $100-$300/day and can easily add up.

Self Employed Individuals looking to insure their business
Your business is your life and is a reflection of your commitment, leadership, responsibility and ultimately your success. Your involvement is crucial to the future of your business. If you become critically ill, what will happen to your business? How would you ensure the future success of your business if you couldn’t be there to manage it? Any self-employed person faces serious financial problems if a critical illness results in lost time at work. Critical Illness Insurance provides a lump sum of cash to cover business overhead, bring in additional help if needed, or otherwise arrange the handling of business affairs. If a key person is incapacitated by a serious illness, Critical Illness Insurance can provide funding to cover the business income shortfall while that individual is replaced. The lump sum can also help the business if it is forced to operate with the key person returning to work on a part-time basis after illness. In certain circumstances premiums paid by the employer could be tax deductible as a business expense, and benefits paid to the employees tax-free. As with a key person, a business may find itself with what is effectively the loss of a partner or key shareholder after a critical illness. The lump sum benefit received can provide cash to give the other partners or shareholders’ a buyout option.

Protecting your premiums
If you own a Critical Illness Insurance policy, and you do not become ill, you could receive all or part of your premiums back by choosing to take advantage of the Return of Premium option. This will be an additional option/rider selected when purchasing the policy. Ask us about the different types of Critical Illness Insurance plans available, and learn how you can live comfortably after you survive a critical Illness.

Non-Life-Threatening Illness Benefit
Illnesses like Ductal Carcinoma in situ of the breast, Early (Stage T1a or T1b) Prostate Cancer, Angioplasty and HIV-related Cancer are not a fatal as they once were. Empire Life’s Vital Link product offers a non-life-threatening Illness Benefit which pays 25% of the policy face amount up to $25,000. This benefit will help you deal with the financial strain of living with a critical illness. This benefit is in addition to the face amount and the sum insured is not reduced by this payout. The benefit covers the following:

  • Ductal Carcinoma in situ of the breast
  • Early (Stage T1a or T1b) Prostate Cancer
  • Angioplasty to cover one occurrence to a maximum benefit of $10,000.
  • HIV-related Cancer

Best Doctors
Best Doctors is a service that will guide the insured through the critical process of finding the best and most up-to-date medical care in the world. They will provide a personalized evaluation of the medical condition, find a specialist who can treat that condition, provide access to top medical facilities, and administer the claims processing of each medical case from beginning to end.

Children’s Critical Illness Rider
Covers the following 15 illnesses:
Autism, Kidney Failure, Benign Brain Tumour, Life-Threatening Cancer, Blindness, Major Organ Failure On A Waiting List, Cerebral Palsy, Major Organ Transplant, Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Deafness, Paralysis, Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, Specific Congenital Defects and Down’s Syndrome (Chromosome 21).

  • Family rider covers all eligible children to a maximum of $50,000 per child.
  • Eligible children include natural born children, adopted children and stepchildren.
  • Issue Ages: 15 days to age 17
  • Coverage expires at age 21

Critical Illness Plans Available
If you qualify for one of our Critical Illness Insurance plans, you can choose from a Term 10, Term 20, Term 75 (till age 75) or a Permanent Term 100 (till age 100). Some of these plans may be paid up over a certain period of time. Canada Life offers Permanent Critical Illness Insurance paid up over 15 years. These plans can be added on as a rider to your Life Insurance policy or separately as a stand-alone Critical Illness Insurance policy. Plans can be combined with a spouse or separately on an individual basis. There are various options and riders available that include: Return of premium on death, Return of premiums upon surrender, disability waiver of premium, second event & loss of independent existence. Options will vary from one Insurance company to another & not all companies offer the same types of products/features or benefits. Most of the Illnesses mentioned above will be covered under a Critical Illness Insurance Plan, however this all depends on the plan and the Provider offering coverage. This is why it is extremely important to deal with an experienced Insurance Broker who is familiar with the various products & features available to you.

One of our qualified Insurance brokers will help you assess you Insurance Needs and complete an Insurance Needs analysis with you at no cost. We cannot provide you with any recommendations without properly assessing your insurance needs and finding out more about your circumstances.