December 18, 2014 – By Dave Serena, Insurance Agent Wisconsin Medical Society Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.
Chronic diseases are among the most common and costly of all health problems in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic illness and many have one or more “activities of daily living” limitations.1
But, thanks to the tremendous improvements in medicine and medical technology, people are living longer with conditions and illnesses like heart disease, stroke and cancer.
As a result, some life insurers are crafting new “living” benefits that allow for cash distributions for portions of the death benefit while a person is living with a critical, chronic or terminal illness. All of these conditions typically result in costs for care or treatment that often go far beyond one’s health insurance plans, including in-home or facility-based care. These benefits can provide for a replacement of income as a result of one’s illness, creating more security than ever before.
The contracts have very specific and detailed definitions. Critical illnesses include heart attack, stroke, cancer, end-stage renal failure, major organ transplant, ALS, blindness or paralysis. A chronic illness is one that requires substantial assistance with at least two of the six “activities of daily living,” or tasks that individuals normally do unassisted on a daily basis (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring) or severe cognitive impairment. A terminal illness is the expectation that the person will die within 12 months of such diagnosis.
There’s an old expression “Life happens while you’re making other plans,” but you can be prepared if the unexpected occurs.
For more information on the living benefits of life insurance, e-mail Dave Serena or call him at 866.442.3810.
1Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Chronic Diseases and Health promotion; http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm. Accessed Dec. 18, 2014.
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