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Plan For the Unexpected With Benefits You Can Count On

Being prepared in life with critical illness insurance can help make all the difference for your family's financial wellness. 

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Critical Illness Insurance

Every day many Americans face the difficult reality of how to cope with a serious health diagnosis. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1.8 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2020. Critical illness — such as life-threatening cancer, heart attack and stroke — can be one of the greatest threats to your desire to be financially independent. Recovery from a critical illness is often lengthy and expensive — involving the potential loss of your personal wages and your ability to pay for care and treatment.

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What Is Critical Illness Insurance?

Critical illness insurance can help protect you from potential financial hardship when a critical illness happens. The policy pays you a benefit to help protect your quality of life with the freedom to use the money however you choose. When you have a serious illness, life can get expensive fast. And recovery — not financial stress — should be your first priority. A critical illness policy could provide financial help for this difficult stretch, which might make life a little easier.

Why Do I Need Critical Illness Insurance?

If you're wondering whether you should consider critical illness insurance, it is worth taking into account that illness can impact you at any time — even if you don't have a family history of medical issues. Even if you have a disability income insurance policy, critical illness insurance may be valuable because of the lump-sum benefit. With disability income insurance, you only get a portion of your earnings when you're out of work because of an illness or disability — and many policies have up to a 90-day waiting period before you receive any benefits. With a critical illness policy, you get your benefits when you're diagnosed.

Critical illness coverage can be useful when you have high out-of-pocket expenses on your health insurance, such as with a high-deductible health plan. Critical illness insurance can also be helpful if you do not have a large emergency fund. You can make a small monthly payment for coverage and, in exchange, you'll receive financial assistance if you face a serious medical emergency.

Each year, an American will suffer a heart attack about every 40 seconds.1
About 126.9 million Americans have one or more types of heart disease or stroke.1
Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year in the U.S..1

How Does Critical Illness Insurance Work?

If you are diagnosed with a covered medical condition, a critical illness insurance policy would pay you a lump sum. This is not to be confused with a health care plan that would only pay your medical bills. Instead, you receive actual cash you could spend on anything you want — as there are no restrictions on how you spend it.

You can use the money you receive for anything, and cash is typically helpful in the midst of a health care event. Even with a generous health insurance plan in place, you'll likely face additional expenses and a potential loss of income. That's where insurance coverage may help.

Here are just some of the common expenses that a critical illness benefit may help with.

Medical Expenses

Co-pays for doctor visits, coinsurance, deductibles or even costs to travel to doctor appointments

Recovery Time

Time away from work as you rest, a family member's time away from work to care for you or child care while you're at the doctor or recovering


Everyday living expenses such as cleaning, meal preparation or other routine tasks
couple laughing on porch

What Does Critical Illness Insurance Cover?

Our critical illness insurance helps you fill the financial gaps not covered by your traditional health, disability, life and accident insurance. Our policy pays upon first diagnosis 100% of your maximum benefit if you have any of the following critical illnesses as defined in the policy.

  • Heart attack
  • Life-threatening cancer
  • Stroke
  • Major organ transplant
  • End-stage kidney failure

Our Promise to You

If you are not diagnosed with one of the covered critical illness conditions, we'll return 100% of your premium.2

Let's Get Started

A financial representative can discuss your options with you and provide a quote for the coverage you prefer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Critical Illness Insurance Replace Health Insurance?

Critical illness insurance is not a replacement for regular health insurance. While it provides extra money when you have a serious medical issue, you should not rely completely on this type of policy to pay all of your medical costs. It should be regarded as a supplement to your other insurance policies — like health, life and disability.

MORE: What's the Difference Between Critical Illness & Health Insurance?

Do I Need Critical Illness Insurance If I Have Disability Insurance?

Critical illness insurance is typically easier to qualify for than disability or life insurance. If you cannot afford or do not qualify for traditional disability insurance, critical illness insurance can offer an alternative way to help cover your bills during a serious illness.

MORE: What's the Difference Between Critical Illness & Disability Insurance?

Why Choose Western & Southern?

When you’re looking for protection from potential financial hardship in case of critical illness, you want to partner with a company with a history of financial strength. Our financial ratings from the major rating agencies are indicators of our financial strength, offering you stability you can count on. As one of the strongest life insurance groups, we know how to help protect your future.

Financial Strength

established 1888

Longevity & Stability

96 comdex ranking

Financial Ratings

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1 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2020. American Heart Association. 2021
2 As defined in the policy. Excluding Accidental Death Benefit premiums paid, without interest and minus any claims paid, to your beneficiary upon death. If the sum of the benefits paid is equal to or greater than the sum of the premiums paid, there will be no return of premium. Return of Premium is not available in all states. With Critical Illness, your benefit amount will reduce by 50% at age 65. For an insured who is age 60 or older at issue, the 50% reduction of benefits will occur on the fifth anniversary of the policy date. The premium does not reduce.

Critical Illness insurance does not replace the need for health insurance.

Critical Illness and Critical Illness Plus Limited Benefit Policy series 0907-80 and 0907-80-U issued by The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company.

The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, operates in DC and all states except AK, ME, MA, and NY.

Critical Illness coverage is not comprehensive health insurance coverage (often referred to as "Major Medical Coverage"). It does not satisfy the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It does not meet the requirements of minimum essential coverage as defined by federal law.

This policy contains exclusions, limitations, reduction of benefits and terms for keeping them in force. Product availability, benefits, coverage, exclusions and limitations may vary by state.

Life insurance policies contain certain exclusions, limitations, reductions of benefits and terms for keeping them in force. Please contact a financial representative for complete details.