How Lifestyle Diseases Affect Your Life Cover

For years now,  increasingly unhealthy lifestyles people are living today with lifestyle diseases.  And they are a leading cause of health spending. Now there are statistics to back this up. Most claims processed by medical schemes in South Africa in the death, disability and critical illness categories are related with one form of cancer or the other or heart disease.

Hollard Life released their claims numbers for between June and December 2014 and they show that these two maladies were responsible for 62% of claims between them. While heart disease accounted for 42% of the benefits paid out, cancer was second with 20%.

THollardhe age of claimants for treatment of these diseases is lower than it has been in the past. The report showed that most of the beneficiaries seeking treatment for heart disease and stroke were between 41 and 50 years of age.

Lifestyle Diseases on the Rise

Another highlight in the statistics was that these diseases are becoming increasingly common among women. When it comes to cancer,  the life insurance claims from stage 0 patients have increased dramatically. Stage 0 cancer is the initial stage of the disease. At that point cancerous cells are still localised and have not spread to other parts of the body. This statistic, notes Susan Gonnerman, Hollard Life claims manager, means that people are quite proactive in treating cancer. This improves the chances of successful treatment, and less expensively in the long run.

There are more steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting these terminal illnesses. The first is changing your lifestyle in terms of diet and physical activity. On top of a healthier life pattern, it is important to plan your finances to be better able to cater for treatment. Better planning will ensure you spend less on your health in the long term.

Insuring Against Lifestyle Diseases

Lifestyle DiseasesKnowing that the cost of insurance gets higher as you get older, it would be wise to subscribe for life, disability and critical illness cover while in your twenties or thirties. The importance of seeking cover early is highlighted by the fact that lifestyle diseases are being diagnosed in much younger age groups than before.

Applying for cover while in your energetic youth also means you are in a better position to finance the required premiums. If you wait until you are diagnosed with some disease before applying for cover you will either pay more in terms of premiums or have to pay for the condition from your own pocket.

Signing Up

When you do get to signing on for cover, make sure you know exactly what benefits you will be getting. For instance you might assume that a critical illness cover will cater for all your cancer treatment expenses. But this is not the case as most of them do not cover screening and treatment for stage 0 cancer. It is recommended you get an advisor to guide you when selecting a policy. Keep them on board even after you’ve bought your policy to direct you on how best to accommodate your life changes while getting the most out of your cover.


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All info was correct at time of publishing