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While medical insurance is something you know you need, you may not realize there’s another type of insurance that can provide additional financial coverage if you get sick. It's called critical illness insurance. This voluntary benefit pays you a lump sum that you can use to help cover bills related to the care and treatment of a covered illness. You can also use it to pay for additional daily expenses—like rent or mortgage, groceries, and childcare—that can pile up as you recover.
Having this supplemental coverage can be helpful, considering the financial hardship associated with medical debt. Research shows that 32 percent of working Americans have outstanding medical debt, and 54 percent of them have defaulted on it, according to a report by Salary Finance.
Read on to find out more about how critical illness insurance can help protect your finances.
Critical illness insurance is a voluntary, employer-sponsored benefit that can help pay for unexpected expenses, if you're diagnosed with a serious illness. There are more than 20 covered illnesses on MetLife’s plan, including, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease, and (in some cases) COVID-19.
In addition, because critical illness insurance is paid in a lump sum directly to the certificate holder, you can use the funds however you see fit, such as paying off credit card debt and household bills to name a few.
MetLife’s plan guarantees coverage for you and eligible family members. You don’t even need to undergo a medical exam, and coverage starts immediately, as long as you are actively working.1
Even if you have medical insurance, a critical illness can leave you with unexpected and uncovered costs, such as deductibles, copays, and bills for out-of-network care, as well as non-medical costs like food and childcare. The financial toll can be difficult.
A Kaiser Family Foundation study reports a wide range of sacrifices that people made to pay their medical bills: 70 percent cut back on basic household expenses, like food and clothing, and nearly 60 percent said they used up all their savings.
Critical illness insurance could offer financial protection at a cost that may be more affordable than you think. Plan premiums vary depending on your employer's demographics, as well as your own, such as age, smoking status, and whether it's a single or family plan. To give you an idea of how cost-effective this benefit can be, a 40-year-old female nurse could pay between $25-$30 per month for a single plan benefit of $30,000.
That benefit is paid to you in a lump sum that you can use however you wish, and premiums are deducted from your paycheck. That's an added convenience.
Interested in learning more about critical illness insurance? Ask your employer about the details of your plan. And take our quiz to see if this product—and other benefits—could help you save money in the long run.
1 Coverage is guaranteed provided (1) the employee is actively at work and (2) dependents to be covered are not subject to medical restrictions as set forth on the enrollment form and in the Certificate. Some states require the insured to have medical coverage. Additional
METLIFE CRITICAL ILLNESS INSURANCE (CII) IS A LIMITED BENEFIT GROUP INSURANCE POLICY. Like most group accident and health insurance policies, MetLife’s CII policies contain certain exclusions, limitations and terms for keeping them in force. Product features and availability may vary by state. In most plans, there is a pre-existing condition exclusion. After a covered condition occurs, there is a benefit suspension period during which most plans do not pay recurrence benefits, except in the case of insureds covered under a New York certificate. MetLife offers CII on both an Attained Age and an Issue Age basis. Attained Age rates are based on 5-year age bands and will increase when a Covered Person reaches a new age band. MetLife’s Issue Age CII is guaranteed renewable, and may be subject to benefit reductions that begin at age 65. Premium rates for MetLife’s Issue Age CII are based on age at the time of the initial coverage effective date and will not increase due to age; premium rates for increases in coverage, including the addition of dependents’ coverage, if applicable, will be based on the covered person’s age at the time of the initial coverage effective date. Rates are subject to change for MetLife’s Issue Age CII on a class-wide basis. A more detailed description of the benefits, limitations, and exclusions applicable to both Attained Age and Issue Age CII can be found in the applicable Disclosure Statement or Outline of Coverage/Disclosure Document available at time of enrollment. For complete details of coverage and availability, please refer to the group policy form GPNP07-CI, GPNP09-CI or GPNP14-CI, or contact MetLife for more information. Benefits are underwritten by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, New York
MetLife's Critical Illness Insurance is not intended to be a substitute for Medical Coverage providing benefits for medical treatment, including hospital, surgical and medical expenses. MetLife's Critical Illness Insurance does not provide reimbursement for such expenses
Nothing in these materials is intended to be advice for a particular situation or individual. These materials are for general information purposes only.