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Critical Illness Insurance

Some of us will experience serious illness and the cost of recovering from a condition like cancer can take its toll. Not just emotionally, but financially, too. How would you afford the cost of medical treatment? How would you cover your debts including your mortgage, or be able to cope financially as you ease back in to work? Critical illness insurance pays an agreed lump sum benefit in the event of a listed serious illness. This money can help you survive financially while you focus on recovering and getting back to your everyday life.

THE RISKS

· An estimated 114,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in Australia per year

· More than 60% of cancer patients will survive more than five years after diagnosis

· Two out of every three people that suffer a first time stroke will be alive one year later

· About 88% of stroke survivors live at home. Most them live with a disability


THE REALITY

Australians are suffering an increasing incidence of cancer. In addition to this, we’re continuing to experience high levels of heart disease and stroke. Advances in medical science mean we now have a greater chance of surviving these conditions. But treatment can be drawn out and expensive forcing patients to take months or even years off work. Yet many Australians don’t take out insurance protection because of some common misconceptions.

My private health insurance will cover me the average household cost of cancer is $47,000 and while health insurance helps with medical treatments and hospital expenses, it does not cover some specialist therapies, ongoing treatment needs or the immediate care that is often required.

I’m not the main income earner Child care and home help can be worth more than $75,000 per year. In recognition of this, you don’t have to be employed to take out critical illness insurance.


WHAT WILL THE PAYMENTS PROTECT?

Medical expenses The cost of ongoing treatment, including prescriptions and alternative therapies can add up quickly. Debt repayment Following a serious illness, the last thing you want to think about is mounting debts. Additional care and rehabilitation Rehab equipment or specialized therapies may also be required to assist with recovery. Lifestyle modifications You may need a permanent lifestyle change like reducing the hours you work. A lump sum payment can help offset the lower levels of income. Or additionally, use your payment to create a cash reserve, which could later help boost your retirement savings or fund a family holiday.

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS

Some of the features you can expect with life insurance:

· Inside or outside super You may be able to hold life insurance inside super and pay premiums using pre-tax dollars. There are often restrictions however, so it’s important you talk to your financial adviser.

· Choice of premium options Stepped premiums increase each year in line with your age, while Level premiums remain constant until an age specified by your insurance provider .

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