October is Critical Illness awareness month … But are we really aware?
The story always begins the same way: “I have a friend/family member who had … (insert catastrophic illness) …” The next thing you typically hear is how that debilitating illness has left the friend or family member in dire straits. It’s heartbreaking, but unfortunately, the same scenarios keep playing over and over again.
These events cause more than emotional and physical pain; they can also cause financial pain. If you couldn’t work due to a major medical crisis, you’d potentially be left with a mortgage, car payment, credit card bills, utilities and medical bills … and no way to pay for them. With critical illness insurance, however, you could have cash to cover those expenses so you could focus on your health and recovery.
My family’s story starts the same way: My grandmother was a healthy, 50-something-year-old woman who never had anything majorly wrong with her … then one day, she dropped. She had a hemorrhagic stroke, brought on by a burst brain aneurysm. After several surgeries, and a lot of close calls, she survived, but had multiple complications that impeded her ability to work again. She basically lost her ability to function as an adult. We had to teach her to feed and dress herself, write her name, even to speak. It was a very hard, very frustrating phase in her life.
Before my grandmother’s stroke, she was an incredibly independent woman, living life and enjoying her grandchildren. After the stroke, she was reduced to an adult trapped in a toddler’s body. She couldn’t do anything for herself. Aside from the emotionally crippling incident, my grandfather was taxed with paying for her medical bills. They piled up quite quickly with weeks in the hospital, several surgeries, a few ICU stays and then months in rehabilitation. Once she was home, there were multiple weekly visits to physical therapy.
Unfortunately, my grandparents did not have critical illness insurance. They were of the mindset that they would just pay cash whenever anything major happened. Thankfully, they were great savers, but not having extra protection was a tremendous burden to them.
Information is powerful. Had my grandparents known this was going to happen, they could have properly insured my grandmother. Of course, we can never predict the future. That’s why it’s extremely important for us to get the word out about critical Illness insurance, and how critical it can be, not just in October, but every day.
Meghan Cormany’s focus within the Disability Marketing team is to find available coverage for tricky medical cases. She has worked exclusively with Ash’s Disability Marketing Team for more than seven years, so she brings experience and knowledge of individual and business-related disability products and case design, along with medical underwriting with our carriers.
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