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Is Major Medical Coverage Enough When Critical Illness Strikes?

Critical Illness Insurance

When someone receives a critical illness diagnosis, it makes sense to expect major medical insurance to step in and cover the expenses. However, medical coverage too often falls short, leaving the insured to pay for at least a portion of treatment out of pocket. These costs, along with monthly bills and day-to-day living expenses, add a burden to insureds at the worst possible time.

This is where critical Illness insurance comes in.

Critical illness insurance is voluntary coverage that provides financial support when someone is diagnosed with a covered condition, like a heart attack, stroke or specific type of cancer. Depending on the insurance provider, a bevy of other serious ailments and procedures may also fall under the critical illness definition such as organ transplants, pulmonary embolism, coma and so on. Coverage may also include chronic conditions like Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease and HIV.

Costs to treat these illnesses can be staggering and once major medical insurance drops off, people are left to foot the bill themselves. A look at the costs of a heart attack shows how critical illness insurance provides relief when it's needed most.

Critical illness infographic.

A typical hospital bill for a three-day stay after a heart attack runs about $26,000 (source: Healthcare Bluebook). Insureds are responsible for deductibles and co-insurance (out-of-pocket costs charged after the deductible is met), which can run in the thousands. Once major medical coverage runs out, more than 60% of that hospital bill may remain outstanding.

If they don't have enough in personal savings, many people are left with years of medical bills to pay. Even for people with sufficient savings, this is a lot to pay out of pocket all at once.

With critical illness insurance, cash benefits are paid directly to insureds, not to hospitals or doctors. The cash can be used however it's needed, whether to help cover medical expenses or costs of day-to-day living. In some cases, the critical illness insurance benefit may even exceed the insured's out-of-pocket medical expenses, providing extra funds they can use to pay down other bills or boost savings.

Other Features to Look for in Critical Illness Insurance

Beyond coverage features, insurance providers may offer wellness benefits designed to encourage insureds to take preventive health measures. For example, wellness benefits may pay for tests and screenings to detect certain critical illnesses. Tests can include skin biopsy, blood tests for various cancers, chest x-ray, colonoscopy, pap smear and others.

Also, with group supplemental insurance, this coverage is typically Guaranteed Issue (no required medical exam)* and can often be portable so insureds can keep their critical illness insurance even after they leave the employer that offered the coverage.

Allstate Benefits offers each of the coverage benefits and features above. Our Critical Illness customers can rest easier knowing these illnesses and many others are still covered when major medical insurance runs out. Our insureds also love the extra features like wellness benefits that help them to stay healthy, Guaranteed Issue coverage, policy portability and, perhaps best of all, benefits paid in cash so they can protect their finances and get the treatment they need.

Allstate Benefits & Michael J. Fox Foundation

Allstate Benefits has joined forces with Michael J. Fox Foundation to offer tools, resources and encouragement to everyone whose life has been affected by Parkinson's disease (PD). Whether you are a person living with PD, a loved one or caregiver, Michael J. Fox Foundation offers resources to help.

Not only was Allstate Benefits the first carrier to offer PD coverage under our Critical Illness insurance, we remain one of the only companies to cover Advanced Parkinson's disease.

As encouragement to our customers, Allstate Benefits sends a personal letter from our CEO to customers who were recently diagnosed with PD, along with a copy of "Always Looking Up" by Michael J. Fox.

Disclaimers and notes

*Subject to exclusions and limitations

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