Usually, when employing someone, they’re in good health and are expected to stay that way. However, should they suffer an accident or fall seriously ill during their employment, it’s useful to have group insurance in place to provide some coverage in these crucial areas.
For this article, we look at what sort of critical illness and/or disability coverage an employee might expect when taking a job in a Canadian company that offers a group health plan for staff.
How Worried Should You Be About the Risks?
Most illnesses are minor and seeing the family doctor is probably enough. It’s a rarer case that you get sick with a more serious illness that becomes prolonged or increases in severity. Nevertheless, it does happen to some people and group plans let you access insurance benefits to cover these kinds of eventualities.
The same can be said of disabilities where an accident results in getting a disability, whether that’s losing a finger making it more difficult to continue in your current profession or something more debilitating that could require the use of a wheelchair.
Critical Coverage 101
Critical coverage is often included in a group plan. Like with other coverage areas, it’s necessary to look over the policy to the small print to confirm what is and isn’t provided for – there are all kinds of group policies at different levels of coverage.
With a critical coverage benefit, this looks to provide for you if you become unable to work due to illness. The idea is that certain illnesses qualify and once this is confirmed with the physicians through medical testing, the policy provides usually a lump sum payment. Some of the illnesses covered might include multiple sclerosis, the replacement of a heart valve, or suffering from a loss of hearing.
This type of cover relates to specific diagnosed diseases; not all of them. It’s understood with the ones that are covered under the policy that they would be seriously debilitating, which is usually why they’re included. The lump sum – which varies between policies and must be verified – is to help you (and your family) through tough financial times until you can return to work.
Disability insurance often provides for a disability that occurs due to an illness or an injury that means that you cannot work. The insurance may provide for medical expenses to seek treatment. It likely will also provide some financial compensation too.
This is comprehensive disability protection that could be short-term until you get better or long-term if it’s now a major disability that won’t heal or resolve itself with time.
The employer will decide for their group policy what the disability payments are likely to be relative to an employee’s salary. Usually, there’s a weekly cap on how much can be paid out too.
There’s also the possibility of a long-term disability with often some coverage for this too. Benefits will vary, may last one or more years, and end at a senior age such as aged 65.
Whilst we all hope that we never have a serious accident or fall badly ill, it’s good to know that group policies often considered and cover these unfortunate situations.