Critical illnesses can be costly to treat. Critical illness insurance can help with covering hospital stays, the cost of medicine, and other daily living expenses. It’s important to know how critical illness insurance works and what factors to consider when choosing a policy so you can find an option that works for your preferences and needs:

How critical illness insurance works

If you’re diagnosed with a critical illness that’s covered under a critical illness insurance policy, you’ll receive a lump-sum benefit. The covered individual submits a claim for the benefits, and if approved, the benefit is paid directly to you. There are no restrictions on how you can use the money. It can be used to help pay for medical expenses, a mortgage, or grocery bills. You might also consider using it to help cover any travel expenses or help pay for an experimental treatment.

Consider your coverage needs

Some critical illnesses, such as certain types of cancer, may be excluded from different critical illness insurance policies. If you have a family history of a specific disease, it’s important to make sure the policy you choose covers it. After a certain age, some policy providers will no longer allow you to renew your critical illness insurance. Look for providers that offer lifetime renewability if you’re older or plan to have a policy on a long-term basis. Evaluate the average cost of treating the illness you want covered, and look for a policy that offers the coverage amount you’ll be needing.

Compare providers

Affordability is the first thing most people consider when comparing different providers. Get a quote from multiple critical illness insurance providers to find ones offered in the price range you desire. Compare the amount of coverage that each provider offers for the specific illness that you need coverage for. Look into how many illnesses each provider’s policies cover. Be mindful that the more illnesses your policy covers, the higher the premium will likely be.

Review the waiting period of each provider’s plan, as some will have a longer waiting period before you’re allowed to make a claim. You should also read each provider’s specific requirements you need to meet before you can receive your benefit. Some providers may stipulate that you need to survive a certain number of days following a diagnosis before you can receive your benefit. Other providers may pay the full benefit after a diagnosis.

Consider your financial circumstances

Everyone’s needs for coverage will vary based on their financial circumstances. Know how much you have available in your savings and emergency fund. Evaluate how much current debt you have to pay off. A good rule of thumb is to have a policy coverage amount that’s enough to help cover your out-of-pocket costs. You should also consider all the other expenses you’ll need to continue paying in the event you’re out of work for a period of time. Use all these factors to determine which critical illness insurance policy is right for you.

This is a brief product overview only. Coverage may not be available in all states including but not limited to ID, NJ, NM, NY, or VA. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on plan selected. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies and riders have limitations and exclusions that may affect benefits payable. For costs and complete details of the coverage, please contact your local Aflac agent. In Idaho, Policies A74100ID, A74200ID, A74300ID. In Oklahoma, Policies A74100OK, A74200OK, A74300OK. In Virginia, Policies A74100VA, A74200VA, A74300VA.

Aflac insurance coverage is underwritten by Aflac. In New York, coverage underwritten by Aflac New York.

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