Living benefit health insurance products can help meet the financial
challenges you and your family may encounter because of critical
illness, disability, or to provide for your long-term care. Living
benefits programs protect your ability to earn an income or maintain
an income in the event of a serious health event. They protect your
retirement plan by providing either a lump sum benefit or monthly
income to help you achieve your long-term dreams and goals.
Critical Illness Insurance
A critical illness is defined as a life-altering illness – such as
cancer or heart disease. With increasing Canadian life expectancy,
Critical Illness insurance can provide an extra measure of protection
to ensure you can afford the expenses that can arise from treatment,
care, and life alterations, which are not covered by your provincial
health care, including prescriptions, medical accessories, and even
alternative or out of country treatment. Critical Illness insurance is
paid out in a one-time lump-sum payment of the value of the policy.
Some workplaces may offer Critical Illness as part of their employee
benefits plan. However, the amounts offered through the group are
often lower than the amount that may be needed to offer sufficient
protection. As a result, having supplemental Critical Illness
insurance will help you to replace your salary, afford modifications
to your home, and provide for your treatment and care.
For business owners, Critical Illness insurance can be a valuable
tool to support ongoing business activities as well as provide support
for the owner and their family, or for key employees and their family.
Some level of disability insurance is offered in employer group
benefits plans, which provides income replacement of between 50% and
70% of your regular income, to a maximum amount for a specified time
if you temporarily cannot work or are permanently disabled due to an
injury or illness.
As an employee, you can purchase additional individual disability
insurance to complement your group benefits. If you are self-employed,
or a business owner, disability insurance benefits can be purchased as
part of your overall insurance coverage, and provides payments to
support you, your business, and those reliant on you.
A non-cancellable disability insurance policy can only be changed by
the insured person. The insurance company cannot lower the benefit,
raise premiums, or cancel the insurance as long as you are paying
premiums for the coverage. If you currently hold a non-cancellable
disability insurance policy, it is recommended you continue to pay the
premiums and hold on to it, as some insurance companies are
discontinuing these types of policies.
Long-term Care policies provide a monthly income benefit to help pay
for facility care or home care to a maximum of the value of benefits
selected. It is a valuable living benefit to have when you consider
that 70% of people turning 65 today will need some form of long-term
care in their lives. This type of coverage can be purchased as a
standalone policy, or as an add-on to Critical Illness contracts.
These types of living benefits insurance, like life insurance, are
part of your larger, overall financial plan. It is recommended that
you discuss these coverage types with your financial advisor and, if
you have group insurance, with your group plan administrator, to
ensure you have the coverage you and your family may need.