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Can you afford to get sick?

There are several financial consequences when you suffer from a critical illness:

  • Absence from work
    Even if you have disability insurance through work, it may not be enough to face a life altering critical illness.
  • Home care costs during a period of illness and recovery
    Your working spouse may need to take a leave of absence to care for you or you may have to pay for private home care. Public spending on home care increased from $1 billion in 1990 to $2.1 billion in 1997.
  • Treatment outside of Canada or other medical costs
    Are you confident that the health care system will continue to provide the same level of treatment and care that we have come to expect as the population ages and medical advances keep individuals living longer? Will you have the funds to obtain treatment outside of Canada or pay for experimental treatment not covered under a health care plan?

    Here are some examples of estimated costs for certain treatments provided at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, United States of America*:
    • Coronary artery bypass; 1-4 vessels, hospital stay 5-7 days: $89,900-114,700
    • Modified radical mastectomy; one breast, hospital stay 2-3 days: $25,100 - 31,000
    • Radical prostatectomy, hospital stay 2-3 days: $39,215 - 46,733
    • Radiation therapy for cancer for 6 weeks: $39,060 - 49,058
    • Kidney transplant (living donor), hospital stay 5-8 days: $147,250 - 178,250
    • Heart transplant, hospital stay 2-4 weeks: $248,000 - 372,000

    * These estimates are subject to change and are only intended to provide you with some idea of the costs that may be experienced. Actual prices for such treatment, services and equipment may vary significantly from those shown above depending upon particular circumstances. 

  • Children’s Education
    Will you be able to continue to fund your children’s education?
  • Early Retirement
    Can you afford early retirement or even a change in careers or reduced number of hours?

How much coverage do I really need?


A simple rule-of-thumb is approximately 2 to 3 times your income plus any outstanding debts or loans, such as your mortgage. Consult a critical illness insurance specialist to help find the plan that is right for you.


> Return to critical illness home page.




Heart disease

  • 1 in 4 will develop heart in disease in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 2 heart attack victims are under age 65.


  • 1 in 3 will develop cancer in their lifetime.
  • 3 out of 4 families will be affected.
  • Weekly, about 2,798 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer.
  • 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer.


  • There are approximately 50,000 strokes in Canada each year.
  • 1 in 20 people are at risk.

Statistics sources: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Statistics 2004.




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Victor Camba

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