Critical Illness Insurance: Who needs it?

Work Wisdom

Critical Illness Insurance: Who needs it?

Every year, about 805,000 Americans have a heart attack. If a serious medical event strikes, your health insurance may help with the bills, but there are still out-of-pocket costs. While disability insurance will generally replace around 60% of your income, that still leaves a significant portion of lost income that needs to be filled. That makes supplemental insurance like Critical Illness coverage worth considering, particularly if you:

  • Have a family history of heart disease or stroke
  • Are concerned about the impacts of a serious health condition on your finances
  • Are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan with a widening gap between what you’re financially responsible for and what health insurance covers
  • Are age 50-59, an age bracket that accounts for 45% of heart-related Critical Illness claims1

In 2020, Colonial Life paid more than $25 million in Critical Illness insurance benefits, and heart attack and stroke were behind only cancer in the top causes for claims2. If you have a heart attack or stroke, returning to your normal routine could take up to 3 months, and that could mean time without a paycheck.

America’s workforce is financially fragile. According to Unum research, among full-time U.S. workers, 40% have less than $1,000 in their checking or savings accounts. It’s even higher among women (49%), Millennials (43%) and Gen Z’ers (61%). These groups may be most at risk should they experience an unexpected health event that requires medical attention or being away from work to receive treatment.

Only 15% of U.S. working adults said their employer offers critical illness insurance, and of that group, only 45% are enrolled. Depending on the plan, critical illness insurance can provide a lump-sum benefit and the payout can be used for anything you want, from treatment and recovery services to your mortgage or car payment.

For more information about Critical Illness insurance and other employee benefits that can help you focus on getting better, visit Colonial Life.

  1. Unum internal claims data, 2019
  2. Colonial Life internal claims data, 2020
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