A good critical illness insurance definition starts with an understanding that critical illness insurance is designed to complement your medical and disability insurance – not replace it. 

Many employers today who are moving to higher deductible medical plans are wisely asking the question… critical illness insurance do employees need it? Considering the increased responsibility for medical copays and deductibles most employees now face, the answer is clear. 

Many businesses today are finding that critical illness insurance helps provide their employees an affordable protection from the financial hardship that may accompany a critical illness. Covered employees receive a lump-sum benefit upon first or second diagnosis of a covered illness or condition such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, and others. The cash benefit can be used any way the employee wishes – from paying medical copays and deductibles, to covering everyday expenses such as mortgage payments, groceries, and utilities.


Critical illness insurance is an affordable answer


A good critical illness insurance definition also considers that many people who recover from a critical illness can be confronted with significant financial hardship as they recover. As the health insurance market shifts more responsibility to individuals through higher deductibles and copays, your employees may be more vulnerable than ever before.


It’s a complement to your other insurance offerings


Most people are familiar with health and disability insurance policies. Critical illness insurance may be an affordable way to help bridge the gap between these more traditional types of coverage.

Disability insurance pays a monthly income to replace only a portion of lost salary. It often falls short for those who face immediate cash needs when a critical illness strikes. More than 40% of all U.S. households have so little in the way of savings that one financial emergency would be enough to put them below the poverty line.1

Health insurance pays for the medical care that’s needed, but today’s increasing copays and deductibles can leave your employees in debt. In 2014, 1.5 million Americans will declare bankruptcy and 60% were due to medical bills.2


What critical illness insurance can be used for


A good critical illness insurance definition indicates that benefits are paid regardless of any other insurance. Critical illness insurance provides a lump sum benefit that can be used anyway the policyholder chooses…so your employee can focus on recovery, not finances.

Medical expenses:

  • Medical copays and deductibles
  • Private nursing costs
  • Medical equipment or home refitting
  • Travel to and from medical center

Everyday expenses:

  • Mortgage/rent
  • Utilities
  • Household debt
  • Groceries
  • Childcare


What critical illness insurance covers


While most critical illness insurance companies provide coverage for cancer, stroke and heart attacks, they may vary widely as far as the other illnesses they cover, the riders and optional coverage, and the amounts they pay.

With Guardian Critical Illness Insurance you can choose to offer a plan that pays as much as $50,000 in a lump sum benefit should a covered employee suffer any of 30 major illnesses, including:

  • Cancer
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Major organ transplant
  • End stage renal failure
  • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG)
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Parkinson's
  • Alzheimer's
  • MS
  • ALS
  • Severe burns
  • Paralysis


Critical illness insurance, do employees need it? We can help them decide.


Our strategic communications, education and decision support tools help maximize participation. And we provide seamless integration with any existing systems and processes you have in place, or we can create a complete solution for all your enrollment needs.




"Working Poor: Almost Half of U.S. Households Live One Crisis From the Bread Line." www.huffingtonpost.com

American Association for Critical Illness, 2014.

Please note that Critical Illness coverage may be referred to as Specified Disease coverage in your policy or certificate booklet. File #2016-20150

Guardian's Critical Illness Insurance is underwritten and issued by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY. Products are not available in all states. Policy limitations and exclusions apply. Optional riders and/or features may incur additional costs. Plan documents are the final arbiter of coverage. Policy Form number #GC-CI-11 et al.