If you are healthy and have health insurance, is there any extra insurance I can buy to help protect against long term chronic illness?

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Asked January 9, 2012

1 Answer

Health insurance alone is not sufficient in cases where chronic or long term illnesses are concerned. In that type of situation, a regular health insurance plan is likely to have exclusions or limitations which prevent you from getting the treatment you need. That is why many health insurance companies offer separate policies designed specifically to deal with chronic and long term illnesses as well as disabilities.

A standard health insurance policy is meant to cover many of the costs of regular healthcare, such as regular doctor visits and treatment for short term illnesses and medical needs. But when a condition becomes chronic, you may find out that your standard policy has strict guidelines on what it will cover and how long it will pay for the treatment. Examples of conditions which could push the limits of your health insurance include developing asthma or diabetes which often require frequent medical care. Because these conditions can become long term or even persist throughout the rest of your life, the cash value limits of health insurance can quickly be maxed out, leaving you without coverage for the care you need.

Chronic and long term health insurance policies can sometimes be purchased as a rider policy on your existing health insurance, or purchased separately and used to supplement your existing coverage. Not all health insurance companies offer long term care, and those which do may be written to only cover listed illnesses rather than blanket coverage for all conditions. But getting the coverage while you are healthy and do not need the coverage is a good way to be assured of the necessary coverage being in place when you need it.

Read through your policy, and if it has exclusions for conditions which are known to affect people in your family, ask your insurance agent about picking up supplemental coverage, just to be safe. Because you do not currently display the symptoms of such conditions, you should be able to pick up the additional coverage at relatively low rates. And because you may be paying the premiums for a long time before you need the extra coverage, if you ever need it at all, you will be able to bypass the restrictions that might be present if you wait until you have symptoms to seek long term coverage.

Answered January 9, 2012 by Anonymous

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