Top facts regarding illness that will want to make you take control of your physical and financial health.

March 15, 2018

 

Yes. There is the overwhelming politicization of our health care and financial protection options.  In times of uncertainty, however, the only thing you can count on are two things:  research-based facts to make the right decision about your physical and financial health, and an expert on insurance issues.  Neglecting the amount of information regarding protection can equate to financial downturn very, very quickly.  

 

So, as to the facts:

  • It is estimated that 26% of Americans have had problems paying their medical bills in the past 12 months.  Furthermore, it is estimated that 62% of bankruptcies in the US are due to medical expenses.

  • Every month, 14 million people receive a disability check from the government that doesn’t cover all their expenses

  • 29% of the U.S. population provides care for a chronically ill, disabled, aged family member or friend; spending an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one.

  • Family caregivers are the foundation of long-term care nationwide, exceeding MediCal long-term care spending in all states.

  • Even though research shows that longevity in the US is rising, 10% of the population will not see their daughter get married

  • The average amount of time to get a cure to the market (bench to bed) is 10 years.  Can you wait? 

  • 1 in 3 women will die of heart disease.  Women are more likely to die from their first heart attack than men are (38 % vs. 25 %). In the US women have a 63% chance of living at least five years after a cancer diagnosis (for men it's 66%).

  • About 90% of people who suffer a heart attack survive if they arrive at the hospital on time. Of those who survive, 46% of women and 22% of men will become disabled with heart failure within six years, and 25% of women and 18% of men will have another heart attack within six years.

  • Every 67 seconds someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s disease.  It is the only cause of death in the top 10 diseases that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.

  • More than 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year.  About 63,000 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed.  Over 40,000 women will die from breast cancer after a long battle with the disease.

  • Individuals in the US have a stroke every 40 seconds. After a stroke, women have greater disability than men: 34% of women were disabled for 6 months after a stroke, vs.15% men in the same time period.

  • 40% of people will file for disability by the age of 50.

 

The truth is that you can find facts like this all over, depending on your personal circumstances.  The question then becomes: now that you know (some of) the facts, how well are you prepared? What happens if you face any of these scenarios? How will you keep on providing for your family in the face of unexpected events?  Are your finances protected and most importantly, is your family protected?

 

 

Health is expensive!  Don’t take it for granted. And make sure you protect it!

 

“Knowing how your insurance covers and protects you is part of a health and financial strategy that I strongly recommend”, comments Susana Leon Krieger, health advocate and insurance professional with 25 years of experience in the insurance industry.  “The key areas that you need to consider to secure and protect your physical and financial health are related to insurance, and include critical illness, long term care insurance, disability, health and life insurance.”  You work very hard to provide for your loved ones to create financial stability.  Why lose everything you have achieved in a second?  

 

You have probably heard stories where families literally lose everything due to the lack of proper health insurance.   Maintaining our health with a health insurance policy might seem expensive, but not as expensive as not having it! Peace of mind and health go hand in hand.   “A good Health Insurance Program will provide a balance between premiums and deductibles, with an alternative source of coverage in the case of unexpected health conditions –like a heart attack”, comments Krieger.  “The first step towards getting a good health care policy is always researching the information and statistics that match your personal circumstances. If there is, for example, a history of heart disease in your family, you might want to consider getting additional protection through a Critical Illness Policy which would allow you to meet your financial obligations while you get better”.

 

As you probably suspect, a health policy does NOT cover all the expenses derived from medical treatment. You should view a critical illness policy as a complement to your health insurance.  A Critical Illness Policy helps you cover additional expenses, whether it be your typical day to day expenses, or medical bill balances.  If your illness requires that you stay at home and take care of yourself, who is going to step in and take care of your financial obligations?  The benefits of a critical illness policy are best expressed by Carolyn Northrup here.

 

And speaking of coverage, make no mistake.  Medicare will NOT cover all of your medical expenses after 65.  An example of the expenses that will have to come out of pocket include specialized nursing, rehabilitation or needed personal care assistance, alternative health options like chiropractic services, as well as vision, hearing and dental care.  The best thing you can do is understand and take action on a Medicare plan that works for you. 

 

Long Term Care is defined as the assistance provided by a professional when an individual cannot take care of his/her basic needs (getting dressed, eating, bathing, etc.) due to a cognitive impairment, illness or disability.  The array of services that are needed when faced with this situation range from home care and assisted living, to adult day care or nursing home organizations.  A long term care policy is used to protect your assets so you don’t dwindle down what you have saved up.  The policy benefits would pay for your care in the setting that you choose, giving you the freedom to stay in the familiar setting of you home.  When you cannot care for yourself, perhaps the familiarity of ‘home’ will help along the way.   You can read more on the benefits of long term care here.

 

Your ability to keep on providing for your family is intertwined in our DNA. But what happens when an illness or accident prevents you from keeping your financial obligations? Statistics show that, in your professional lifetime, there is a 30% chance of disability that keeps you at home for 90 days or more.  Disability Insurance is designed to cover anywhere from 45-60% of your income should an unforeseen event (illness or accident) prevent you from earning an income.

 

Don’t be a statistic.  Take action! And most importantly, take control and protect your physical and financial health! 

 

When deciding on your health and financial protection options, don't 'go it' alone.  Insurance and financial rules and regulations tend to be VERY complicated and confusing.   Before you turn to the internet and try to figure things out, contact your insurance professional for clarification.  Remember that the years of his or her experience in the field of insurance help best serve YOUR interests when discussing your life in the latter years!

 

Please make sure you contact me if you have any questions!  I can gladly help!

 

                                                        ###

 

Sources: 

 

American Heart Association 

Alzheimer's  Association 

Parkinson's Association 

www.pnhp.org

www.cancer.org

www.census.gov

 

 

 

 

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