Would your financial plan survive a serious illness?

July 4, 2017 - 1:06pm

Chances are pretty good that you or someone you know has been affected by a serious illness or cancer. The 2014 Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ revealed that 45% of the study’s respondents personally suffered at least one serious health event or accident. Almost half of all Canadians – 41% of females and 46% of males – will develop cancer in their lifetime.1  And it’s estimated someone dies from heart disease or stroke every seven minutes in Canada.2 The good news is that more people are surviving serious illnesses. 

Are you prepared for the cost of getting better?

Recovering takes time and may also require a substantial amount of money. While the healthcare system takes care of basic hospital and medical costs, there can be other incidental expenses which aren’t covered – everything from transportation and parking, to alternative medical treatments and drugs.

The 2014 Sun Life Canadian Health Index report also shows that many Canadians are unprepared for a major health event.

42% of those who suffered a serious health event experienced financial hardship

Only 12% of Canadians surveyed own critical illness insurance.

Only 27% have a written financial plan. Among those Canadians, 33% report that their plan includes health insurance.

Without a plan for healthcare expenses, Canadians had to find other ways to deal with expenses related to a major health event:

27% turned to credit cards or personal lines of credit.

33% tapped into personal savings including RRSPs.

12% borrowed from family or friends.

7% were forced to remortgage or sell their home.

Planning for the possibility of a serious health event can make it easier for you to manage health care expenses so you don’t have to worry about depleting your savings or adding debt.

Focus on recovery

Could you manage your expenses for one to two years while you focus on getting better? In addition to your everyday living expenses, you may also have mortgage payments, house and car insurance, a vacation fund, retirement savings plan, education plans, and children’s activities. If you’re unable to work and trying to focus on getting better, what would you be willing to give up? At first glance, it might seem easy to say you’d give up one or more items to relieve financial pressure.

But it could be a difficult decision to make, because they’re all important and giving up any of them can have a negative impact on your family.

Dealing with a critical illness at any age brings enough challenges and stress without adding financial difficulties to the mix. Being prepared for a serious health event can make it easier for you to focus on getting better instead of worrying about money. If there was a way to protect your financial plans, would you consider it?

What does critical illness insurance do?

Critical illness insurance is designed to help meet the immediate financial needs associated with a serious illness. If you become sick with an illness covered by your policy and survive the waiting period, you receive a lump sum cash payment – you decide how to spend the money.

Having coverage can make it easier for you to manage and maintain your everyday expenses. Your spouse could also take time off work more easily to help provide care. Being prepared to cover these expenses can help keep your family’s life as normal as possible.

A review of your overall financial plan should include a discussion about critical illness insurance. There are options available that include a return of premiums paid if the insurance isn’t needed. Call me to discuss the choices available to help ensure your family and financial future are secure.

1Canadian Cancer Society’s Advisory, Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2013. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2013.

2Statistics Canada. (2011c, October). Mortality, summary list of causes 2008.

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