Critical Illness, or CI, is a health condition for the most prevalent serious conditions which strike a person unexpectedly. They are commonly known as cancer, stroke, and heart attack. These conditions specifically include cancer-in-situ, different forms of melanoma, coronary artery blockage, and transient ischemic attack or TSI which is also called a mini-stroke or warning stroke. CI additionally includes Alzheimer’s disease, kidney failure, major organ failure, paralysis, and a coma.
All of these illnesses do not discriminate based on how healthy a person is or their age. They can inflict young people who are in great health and in excellent physical condition. We hear examples of this every day - from sports stars, to actresses and actors, to celebrities, to business moguls and public figures. No one is immune from having a critical illness.
CI insurance was not invented by insurance companies. It was developed in South Africa by heart surgeon Dr. Marius Bernard. He was part of the team that performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant in 1967. He saw first hand the financial impact of the expenses for CI care that are not covered by health insurance. He said he could repair a patient physically but that only insurers could repair a patient’s finances.
Critical Illness insurance addresses the economic loss and expenses the insured person experiences from suffering or surviving a critical illness that is not addressed by other insurance. Economic loss or expenses primarily consist of lost income, unexpected expenses, and lack of savings. What CI does is pay lump sum cash upon diagnosis of a CI to help the insured pay for unexpected expenses and income loss not otherwise covered, such as a mortgage, household expenses, travel expenses, personal debts, personal care costs, or the treatment and care expenses health insurance does not cover. CI insurance is the only insurance that provides this type of benefit. More importantly, it provides the benefit based on diagnosis of a Critical Illness, whether or not that illness is treated.