Experiencing a critical illness, such as cancer, a heart attack, or stroke, can reduce a familys income by more than $12,000 in the first year alone even with medical coverage in place primarily due to the inability to work, according to newly released studies.
The pair of studies, from MetLife, also found that families experience out-of-pocket medical costs of about $3,000 in the first year after diagnosis. Yet nearly half (46 percent) of full-time working Americans have less than $5,000 in savings available to tap to cover expenses in the event that they, their spouse, or significant other was diagnosed with a major illness and more than one-fourth (28 percent) have less than $500.
A critical illness can have a long-term impact even three to five years after being diagnosed, 60 percent of people experiencing these serious medical situations are still incurring out-of-pocket expenses.
While all patients surveyed had medical coverage, only 7 percent of respondents reported that they had critical illness insurance and 4 percent reported having cancer insurance. This isnt surprising given that the MetLife studies also found that only 28 percent of full-time employees say they have heard of CII. Of these, three in five appeared to be confusing it with health insurance, and one in five confused it with either a government insurance program or disability insurance.
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