A cancer and heart health insurance policy is commonly known as a Critical Illness supplement. Plans pay the policy holder a predetermined lump sum cash payment upon diagnosis of stroke, heart attack, or life threatening cancer. The lump sum cash payment and approval process (underwriting) is different depending on the insurance company selling the Critical Illness plan. This compensation style plan is called Indemnity insurance. Indemnity’s “compensate” people for a financial loss. Financial loss being doctor or hospital bills.
A cancer and heart health insurance policy can be used to compliment an existing HDHP (high deductible health plan) or used as a personal critical illness plan. A typical emergency room visit bill either comes from an accidental bodily injury or a stroke / heart attack. Many people in the United States have a family deductible of $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000. The fundamental concern with high deductible catastrophic plans is the exposure to paying that deductible when it’s time for the emergency room. Major medical PPO plans with high deductibles work great for paying large bills like Organ transplants, cancer, and that’s what they are designed for. However, plans are exposed to that initial emergency room visit which is where a lot of health insurance plans max out the deductible.
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To summarize some general tips on critical illness plans and ways to insure cancer and heart related expenses:
1. Get a HDHP with the highest possible deductible to keep the monthly cost affordable. To get some quick quotes on the major health insurance PPO carriers in your state jump online and use insurance company websites that allow you to see all competing company prices at a glance. Plug in your zip code and all the competing medical insurance companies available in your state are clearly listed in one screen shot. Kind of like buying plane tickets online. Plus you can get quotes without an aggressive insurance agent in your face. Higher the deductible, lower the monthly premium. When selecting a medical insurance broker, look for someone who’s not a “captive agent.” If a commission salesperson only works for one company of course they will be biased.
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