Contributed by: Mendy Garcia
I remember having one of those conversations I’ve recently had with a family breadwinner, and how she expressed one of her deepest remorse when she failed to realize how the complement products of life insurance would save her family from being financially hard-pressed when her husband, whom she thought was exceptionally fit and healthy all these years because he never got ill even for once, suddenly got diagnosed with stroke last year.
This incident gave her a kick in the teeth, realizing that sometimes, it’s not the actual disease, or the unheeded warning signs that will kill us. Complacency is also a disease, one of which will lead us to struggling stories and direful attempts of polishing the impossible. Had she not assumed that his husband was invincible as his age might have portrayed, she could have readied the sails earlier and not wreck the ship. Fortunately, the ship hasn’t sunk, got back to the shore, and her husband somehow recovered. Thanks to bank savings and emergency funds.
But what’s the worse that can happen? How many times would you willingly put yourself and your family’s lives at stake because of unsupported assumptions? How much longer can your savings account and emergency fund withstand before everything’s, well, a little too late? This entry will help us understand the essence of health insurance and critical illness riders, and how we can stop ourselves from undervaluing their roles whenever we face health shortcomings.
Immediate Medical Care and Trimmed Expenses
Employed people with entitled health cards are able to alleviate financial strain whenever they need medical services. Some of these products and/or services are medical consultation, diagnostic and laboratory exams, drug prescriptions, or pre-inpatient/outpatient care. Hospitalization can also be financially devastating due to incurred hospital charges, professional fees from doctors and health care specialist, medicine prescriptions, treatments and whatnot, which more often than not, conjures high cost of bills and absurdly puts you in an obligation to question your savings.
In the event that the reimbursement of medical expenses from your health card can no longer shoulder a chronic or terminal illness, a critical illness rider comes in handy by supplementing what your health card might primarily lack: the capability of covering further medical expenses on a longer period of time. A critical illness rider “allows a client to accelerate a portion of the death benefit he would realize on the life insurance policy” (Byrnes & Bloink, 2012) . This is applied, given that the insurer is diagnosed with a terminal disease, be it cardiovascular illness, cancer, stroke, diabetes, or kidney failure. The insurer will give a lump sum to policyholders and allows them to use a portion of covering the living expenses, such as recovering from a chronic illness.
Adversely, uninsured people who experience initial symptoms, will deliberately neglect their health conditions until it becomes intolerable, worrying that medical bills will cause a financial plight, or even bankruptcy. This will instill more fear of going to hospitals and cause them to delay the treatment, thus worsening health problems.
Family-oriented and holistic
While standalone health insurance individually focuses on trimming medical expenses of the insurer and the beneficiaries, critical illness rider has the same, primitive purpose, except that it also delivers a holistic approach to the insurer and his/her family. In what way? Once the individual is diagnosed, the insurance agency will automatically disburse a tax-free critical illness rider amount to the insurer and will leave it to his/her discretion on how to spend the lump sum,whether or not it is singly meant for medical treatment.
This will save the insurer’s family, mostly breadwinners to adjust regular expenses (credit card payments, school tuition fees, loans) and keep them from enduring further financial loss amidst braving a major medical emergency.
Preventive Services and Encouragement Towards a Healthy Lifestyle
People who take advantage of health insurance have a set of privileges associated with early diagnosis and preventive measures to decrease health risks. Regular screening or counseling may be done with specific types of patients with diversified sets of ages and conditions, be it prenatal checkups, immunization vaccines for babies or adults.
To sum up the breadwinner’s story that we have witnessed a while ago, she made a lifetime oath to not make the same fiasco and make better choices this time. In fact, she got her daughter, young adult, a critical illness rider, albeit how the universe labels her as young invincible. Let’s not wait for the time that our health will imminently deteriorate at some point. Always choose to protect your wellness. Be fit. Get indulged in a healthy lifestyle. And when the storm starts to hit the fan, have these health insurances and rider benefits that will, without a doubt, aid you and make the future less daunting. Rewrite your future now. Seek advice from your financial advisor.
 William H. Byrnes, and Robert Bloink (5 October 2012). “Critical Illness Riders: Life Insurance Protection for the Living” Think Advisor. Retrieved 19 June 2016.