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What is Critical Illness Cover?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Also known as critical illness insurance, critical illness cover is a type of insurance coverage that protects insured parties in the event of some type of catastrophic health issue. The idea behind this type of coverage is to provide a lump sum payment to the policy holder should he or she be diagnosed with an ailment that is identified in the terms and conditions of the insurance contract. These types of insurance are often carried along with various forms of health insurance that aid in covering the expenses involved with long-term care for conditions like cancer, permanent disability resulting from a stroke or heart attack, multiple sclerosis and other extremely debilitating health conditions.

It is important to note that critical illness cover is not generally classified as health insurance. In most nations, this type of insurance is usually considered a form of life insurance. This is because the health conditions that are covered in the terms and conditions of the coverage are considered critical, meaning that the potential for healing or recovering from any of the health issues covered is extremely unlikely. Most policies of this type are very specific in regard to the conditions that are covered. For example, the provisions will often specifically mention certain types of cancer rather than simply referring to cancer in general.

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Payment terms on critical illness cover are normally structured to make a single lump sum payment. That payment is tendered as soon as a qualified health professional as confirmed the diagnosis of at least one of the health issues identified in the policy provisions. In some instances, the insurance provider may require that a specialist other than the usual healthcare team of the policyholder be allowed to examine the patient and provide a thirty-party diagnosis before approving the claim.

Critical illness cover is not intended to serve as a long-term source of covering medical expenses. Typically, the insured party will also hold some type of health insurance coverage that helps with those ongoing expenses. Critical illness cover can be very effective in providing a source of financial resources that helps to cover expenses not covered by health insurance, such as deductibles for hospital stays, operations, and medication. The money received from a critical illness cover plan can also help to offset losses of income that often occur when an individual must remain out of work for an extended period of time in order to undergo treatments for whatever health issue has been discovered.

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