Seniors, can we talk?
Good news! Is that medical advances have increased the chances of your surviving a heart attack, cancer, stroke, or other illnesses. Bad news! Is that the cost of survival can really shake your financial life and plans.
I was talking to my friend, Ellen, the other day. She started telling me about her friend, Ruth. Ellen had not talked with Ruth in about a year and they were “catching up”. Ruth started by saying she was absolutely exhausted and worried. Ruth has been taking care of her husband, Bob, for almost a year being his caregiver for one issue then another and another.
Years ago Ruth’s husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – just beginning and a mild
case. In March 2013 he had a heart attack. “Heart attack” is a term that is thrown around a lot but technically it is “an acute myocardial infarction” It kills a portion of the heart muscle due to blockage or one or more coronary arteries. A heart attack results in the loss of normal functions of the heart. His diagnosis was certified by his cardiologist and he should be fine – under the circumstances.
Bob was recovering, taking it easy and doing well. He was following doctor’s orders and Ruth was doing her best to take care of him. In September 2013 he started feeling a little “different” and went to his doctor. After several series of tests and going to many doctors, he was diagnosed with cancer. His cancer was considered “invasive cancer”. They were told that his cancer manifested (started) by the presence of a malignant tumor. It was an uncontrolled growth and spread of malignant cells and invasion of tissue. Unfortunately, this was an accurate diagnosis – he had been diagnosed and confirmed by a certified pathologist.
Ellen asked her if they had made any plans to help them if and when something like this happened. Ruth told Ellen that fortunately they had. A few years ago they bought a critical illness policy and a long term care policy. They almost didn’t buy the critical illness policy but decided to because if either she or Bob died for any reason other than those listed in the policy the policy would return them all of their premiums minus any money (benefits) they had received from the policy. They both wanted to be able to focus on recovering NOT on worrying about money and how they would pay their bills. They wanted peace of mine and thought the critical illness policy might help. They could use the cash for any reason they wanted to – like mortgage payment, car payment or medical expenses.
Bob’s recovery from his heart had gone so well that they didn’t need the long term care policy. Their critical illness policy was a blessing. It would pay a lump sum benefit for the first (ever) diagnosis or procedure of those specified, covered conditions in the policy. After Bob had his heart attack, their policy paid him $10,000 – lump sum.
Then when Bob was diagnosed with invasive cancer the critical illness policy paid another $10,000.
In December 2013 during the time Bob was receiving treatments for his cancer, the doctor gave Ruth more bad news. His Alzheimer’s was quickly advancing. Ruth felt one of the biggest blessings was their critical illness policy which paid another $10,000. The $20,000 they had already received during the last 9 months really helped. And now this $10,000 was going to give her the cash to get help taking care of him until his long term care policy starting reimbursing them for his care.
Life can change in a heartbeat. Be prepared to focus on recovery. A key ingredient for that recovery is peace of mind.
Don’t you think Ruth would tell you to check into a critical illness policy today? Got questions? Just call 870-523-6771 and say “Caroline, can we talk?”
Originally Published February 2014
Caroline Beauchamp specializes in personalized life and health insurance solutions.