Most people believe that their health insurance policy is enough for anything that life may throw their way. As a matter of fact, most may have never even heard of critical illness insurance. But when something major comes up – like a heart attack, a stroke, or cancer, the bills associated with its treatment and future prevention can stack up so high that a run-of-the-mill health insurance policy will not be able to cover it.

This is where critical illness insurance comes in to save the day. These policies stack with your regular health insurance and can cover both medical expenses your policy will not cover (like treatment options your providers denies) and non-medical costs such as transportation and child care.

What is Covered by Critical Illness Insurance?

What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance is exactly what it sounds like: a second layer of coverage for a particularly expensive medical emergency. These include both things that your insurance does not cover at all, as well as things your insurance will not cover the full balance for.

Depending on the policy, your coverage can be anywhere from a few thousand to up to one hundred thousand dollars. Typically, the payout will be done in a lump sum that will come shortly after the claim is approved. Your payments on this plan will vary based on a number of things, such as: age, extent and monetary amount of coverage, and the medical history of the insured’s family.


There are some exceptions to this type of policy. Critical illness insurance plans generally do not cover certain types of cancer and almost always do not cover chronic conditions. They may also not cover the same condition twice – so if you have two heart attacks, the second one might not be covered by your policy.

There are also stipulations to this plan. For instance, if you receive a cancer diagnosis but it is not life-threatening, the provider may not accept your claim because it is not a “critical” or “emergency” illness. Additionally, there may be clauses that mean you must survive the illness beyond a certain amount of days or the damage associated with the condition must persist for a certain length of time (often thirty days).

Your critical illness insurance may also no longer be valid once you reach a certain age, or you might see a diminished payout based on your age. These types of clauses may affect the payout you receive based solely on your birthday.

Why It’s Important?

These plans are important for people who are at risk of major medical emergencies. They are also often lower cost than you might expect – often less than one hundred dollars a month – which means that it will not be a major drain on your wallet to add this on. These plans will ease your financial worries in the event you have a medical emergency that they cover.

As always, do thorough research to find out what kind of plan is right for you. There are stipulations and exceptions to this type of insurance plan, just like any other. But if something befalls you that you can not afford on your own, you will most likely be glad you chose to pay for this type of insurance.

Further reading: What is the Difference Between Critical Illness Insurance and Health Insurance?