Critical Ilness Insurance Overview

Critical Illness insurance is designed to alleviate financial stress when a person becomes severely ill and unable to continue working. Recuperating from a critical illness is stressful enough, without having to worry about paying the bills.

Canadian citizens should be cognizant of the fact that government health plans and employee benefit plans are limited. These plans only cover medical and hospital care. Disability insurance, while also an important plan, only pays a monthly benefit when a person is unable to work. Critical Illness insurance differs in that it pays out a lump sum even if you are able to go back to work. For most critical illness benefits, you must survive your illness for a set period of time (usually 30 days) in order to receive benefits.

Your critical illness benefits are flexible in what you choose to spend the money on. During your time of need, you will receive a lump sum of money in order to spend as you see fit. With critical illness benefits, you no longer have to worry about paying the mortgage, credit cards, and monthly household expenses. You can budget for how long you will be unable to work, and spend your money accordingly.

Critical Illness insurance often covers the following conditions (this depends on the carrier and plan):

  • Cancer.
  • Heart Attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Kidney Failure.
  • Major Organ Transplant.
  • Dismemberment.
  • Blindness.
  • Deafness.
  • Loss Of Speech.
  • Major Burns.
  • HIV.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Parkinson’s Disease.

However, there are two important points to note about “traditional” Critical Illness insurance:

  1. It is only available to healthy Canadians, who do not have a family history of any of the listed illnesses. For a “virtual” guaranteed issue product see below.
  2. CI insurance can have high premiums (for an affordable alternative you might consider Manulife Financial’s Flexcare plan that has a Catastrophic option, described below).

As an alternative for people who need guaranteed issue critical illness insurance we offer Ontario citizens the Ontario Blue Cross Critical Illness Assistance benefit, which is part of the Blue Vision Express Plan.payday loans This benefit has the following features:

  • Amount of coverage varies, from $5,000 to $15,000.
  • Covers adaptation costs to your vehicles, principal residences, etc.
  • Covers travel expenses incurred when receiving care or follow-up.
  • Costs for household help and/or childcare.

As an affordable alternative there is the Manulife Flexcare plan has a Catastrophic option, which is offered as an Add-On or as a Stand-Alone product. This coverage provides the following benefits:

  • Unlimited, complete coverage for name brand and generic prescription drugs.
  • Additional coverage for Homecare, Durable Medical Equipment (wheelchairs, syringes for diabetics, etc.) as well as Prosthetic Appliances.
  • There is a maximum of $100,000 (lifetime).
  • Unlimited Chiropractor/Physiotherapist coverage for one year following an accident that required a hospital stay of a minimum of 24 hours.

Note that the Flexcare Catastrophic option does require a medical questionnaire be filled out.