Look To CI Acceleration Riders As Trigger For Greater CI Sales
Critical illness products have grown slowly in the United States. This is despite the fact that a good deal of press about CI products has been coming out in trade publications such as National Underwriter.
By contrast, in Canada, indications are that sales nearly tripled from 2000 to 2002.
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What can be done to give CI sales in the United States a similar boost? It is said that timing is everything, so perhaps the moment for CI insurance to take center stage has not yet arrived. But several indications suggest the curtain may be about to rise.
Let us acknowledge that there are certain differences in the health care systems of the United States and Canada that would help explain the difference in popularity of CI coverage.
In Canada, the government provides health care and there have been terrible delays in obtaining treatment. Canadians can use the proceeds of a CI policy to pay for private doctors. In some cases, Canadians seek treatment in the United States. Travel costs can be offset by the policy proceeds. Since Canadians do not pay health insurance premiums directly, they may be willing to incur the additional expense.
In the United States, however, most health insurance is employer-based. In many cases, employees are now paying a portion of the insurance costs–not always a welcome change.
Furthermore, the cost of health care insurance keeps going up. This, too, is not a welcome change.
Where critical illnesses are concerned, U.S. citizens expect their health insurance to cover all of the costs of such illnesses. This is so, even though most people here are aware that the ancillary costs still must be addressed.
People here do recognize that, in many instances, the quality of care paid for by medical insurance may not even begin to compare to what is available at major medical centers throughout the country. In life and death circumstances, many of these individuals want access to the admittedly more expensive higher level of care, and they hope they can find some way to make that possible.
In the United States, therefore, consumer views of health insurance reflect a combination of expectations, concerns, frustrations and hopes.
Now, let us turn to considering CI insurance as a solution. We already have noted that sales here are still slow. One approach that has been used to make CI policies more attractive is to add to the list of illnesses covered.