What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an illness that typically affects children and young people. A usual life expectancy (on average) for people with cystic fibrosis is about 37 years. It is considered a critical illness and it impacts various parts of the body, predominantly the lungs and digestive system. The disease has been described as trying to breathe through nothing more than a drinking straw for the rest of your life, with the effort required to breathe becoming more and more as you age.
The disease is a result of a gene mutation. This mutated gene must be contributed to a child from both parents in order for the disease to appear. According to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, one out of 3,600 children born in Canada inherits this disease and it’s more common among people of Northern European origins, and least common in Africans and Asians.
The US National Library of Medicine states that the mean annual health cost for treating cystic fibrosis is approximately $10K per year for mild cases, $25K for moderate cases and $34K for severe cases. The lifetime costs add up on average to approximately $306K – hence the limitations on getting insurance coverage for that critical illness.
Eligibility & Policies
Not everybody can qualify for cystic fibrosis life insurance coverage – it is mostly younger people or children who would be able to qualify for the coverage. Adult cystic fibrosis is quite rare and thus is often not covered; According to the insurance experts, it is not an approved illness on any adult critical illness policy available in Canada. Several companies, however, cover cystic fibrosis via children’s CI policies to a maximum age of 18, 21, or 25 – depending on the carrier.
Having a critical illness plan that includes a cystic fibrosis insurance caveat for children means that a parent, as a policy holder, would receive one lump sum which can be used for different purposes e.g. for kid’s treatment. Some providers also offer some refund of premiums if children were not diagnosed with a critical illness.