What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is a disease that mainly affects children and young people. A usual life expectancy (average) for people with cystic fibrosis is about 37 years. It is considered a critical illness and it affects various parts of the body, mainly the lungs and digestive system. The disease has been described as trying to breathe through nothing but a straw for the rest of your life, with the effort required to breathe increasing as you age.
The disease is the result of a gene mutation. This mutated gene must be passed on to a child from both parents for the disease to appear. According to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, one in 3,600 children born in Canada inherits this disease and it is more common in people of Northern European descent, and least in Africans and Asians.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that the average annual health cost for treating cystic fibrosis is about $10,000 per year for mild cases, $25,000 for moderate cases, and $34,000 for severe cases. The lifetime cost averages about $306,000 – hence the restrictions on getting insurance coverage for that critical illness.
Eligibility and Policy
Not everyone qualifies for a cystic fibrosis life insurance policy — it’s usually younger people or children who could qualify for the coverage. Cystic fibrosis in adults is quite rare and therefore often not covered; According to the insurance experts, it is not an approved illness on any adult critical illness policy available in Canada. However, several companies cover cystic fibrosis through pediatric CI policies up to a maximum age of 18, 21 or 25 – depending on the carrier.
Having a critical illness plan with a caveat for childhood cystic fibrosis insurance means that a parent, as the policyholder, receives one lump sum that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as treating children. Some providers also offer some refund of premiums if children have not been diagnosed with a critical illness.
A broker can help
Not all insurance intermediaries have experience with this type of insurance. If you or your loved ones have this condition and are considering purchasing a life insurance policy, speak with a broker who is knowledgeable about your options.
Advice on insurance policies: Be sure to ask about simplified and guaranteed health policies, as these non-medical options are often used by hard-to-insure individuals. Life insurance significantly eases the financial burden caused by medical bills and end-of-life expenses. Many people who were traditionally ineligible for insurance now have policies designed specifically for those suffering from a critical illness.