People live longer now than ever before, with the global average life expectancy at 72 years old in 2019. Critical illnesses are also more survivable these days with modern medicine. Combined, getting one or multiple critical illnesses within a lifetime is very high.
In a 2017 Global Mortality report, 73 percent of global deaths were caused by non-communicable diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and diabetes. Heart disease and cancer alone accounted for 49 percent of all global deaths. Next was non-communicable diseases at 19 percent and then injuries at 8 percent.
Four questions to ask yourself in the event of a critical illness:
- What are the immediate effects on me and my family?
There are immediate medical bills, which your health insurance should cover. There are also ongoing care, therapy, and many other ancillary expenses that arise following a critical illness.
You may be entitled to full or partial salary for a period of time. Your contract will have an incapacity clause that outlines what would happen if you’re unable to work.
How would you replace that lost income if it was 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, or, worst case, indefinitely?
- What happens to my health insurance?
If you have insurance through your employer, if you lose your job, then so too goes your health insurance.
You usually cannot keep your policy if you leave a company. If you apply with a new provider, they will exclude any pre-existing severe conditions. You’re now on the hook for the medical expenses that were previously covered. If you have personal health insurance, then your policy will continue.
- How is my financial future affected?
Do you need to dip into your retirement? What about your retirement prospects now? How is your family negatively financially affected? Do you have to downsize your lifestyle? Will there be a legacy to leave?
With something likely to occur, it’s time to make critical illness insurance part of your wealth management strategy. Unlike life insurance, this directly affects you, not just your dependents