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Debbie McNamara


With the prevalence of cancer on the rise and other illnesses such as heart disease and stroke continuing to be one of the leading causes of death and disability in Canada, critical illness insurance is more important than ever.

What is Critical Illness Insurance?

As the name implies, critical illness insurance is a coverage option that is paid out in a tax-free, lump-sum payment if one is diagnosed with a critical illness.  Funds are deposited to be used as the recipient sees fit (mortgage, gas, groceries, medications, etc.) and often aids in alleviating some of the financial stress that comes with fighting a severe illness.

Why is Critical Illness Insurance Important?

As mentioned above, critical illnesses such as cancer are on the rise and other diseases carry risks that have a very real potential of impacting a large majority of the population. Currently, the top 4 critical illnesses are cancer, heart attack, coronary bypass and stroke. You may think that this coverage isn’t for you as you’re healthy, and we sincerely hope that you stay that way, but it’s always good to protect yourself just in case. We’ve included some stats below from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Canadian Cancer Society to relay just how much of an impact these critical illnesses have on our society:

  • Over 8 million working Canadians are at risk of going into debt, delaying retirement or downsizing their home in order to cope with a critical illness
  • Illness and medical problems are one of the top five causes of personal bankruptcy in Canada
  • Heart disease and stroke continue to be the second leading cause of death in Canada and a leading cause of disability.
  • 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • 95% of Canadians who make it to a hospital after a heart attack survive.
  • On average, 539 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day
  • Annual household wage loss from cancer of $17,729 per person
  • Caregivers typically lose 23% of their workable hours
  • Average cancer treatment cost is $65,000
  • Occurrence of cancer to grow by 40% by 2030

Now, these stats aren’t meant to scare you into providing critical illness coverage as part of your benefits plan or into purchasing it as an individual. It’s simply meant to provide you with all the information that you need to make an informed decision for you and your family. We are in a unique time as a society where survival rates for critical illnesses are continuing to increase, but so is the cost of the medications that provide life-saving treatment. With that being said, the average debt to income ratio of many Canadians is sitting at 163%, which means that the burden of a critical illness diagnosis could detrimentally impact their households…making this coverage more important than ever.

Debbie McNamara

Debbie is the perfect fit for business owners and employers, providing a great resource to those looking to retain and engage employees. Employee Benefits Consultant is her official title, but what she really offers is a business administration education, an LLQP certification, 20 years of professional experience in upper management, and an understanding of the needs and challenges facing both employers and employees. Off the clock, Debbie takes great pride in giving back to her community as an active member on a number of volunteer boards. With whatever extra time is left over, she can be found fulfilling a lifetime commitment to health and fitness by participating in individual sports such as running and CrossFit, as well as a variety of team sports including softball, indoor soccer, and volleyball.
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