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How to get critical illness insurance with kidney disease
Protect yourself and your family from the financial impact of kidney disease.
If you’re diagnosed with kidney failure, the medical bills and time spent recuperating away from work can be astronomical. Critical illness insurance can make sure you don’t end up buried in debt so that you can focus on getting better.
How does critical illness insurance work?
Critical illness insurance pays out a lump sum in the event that you develop a serious illness that is listed in the policy. This lump sum can be used to cover medical costs, lost income, travel for treatments or anything else.
Many policies will cover kidney failure. Most insurers will recognize kidney failure as:
- End-stage renal failure.
- Chronic irreversible failure of both kidneys to function.
- As a result of the stage of the condition, regular renal dialysis is commenced or a renal transplant is carried out.
How can critical illness insurance help pay for kidney disease?
Critical illness insurance can help with immediate and future expenses, including:
- Immediate medical expenses that may be incurred to cover the costs of a transplant.
- Ongoing consultations and rehabilitation with medical professionals.
- Costs of hiring a professional caregiver.
- Costs to cover household maintenance.
- Costs to cover ongoing living expenses, bills and taxes if the insured is forced to take time off from work.
- Costs to make necessary home modifications, such as renovating a downstairs area if stairs become too difficult.
Will my health insurance cover me?
Many people make the mistake of thinking that they have enough coverage in place from health insurance. While your insurance can help with medical costs, deductibles, copays, missed work and even potentially losing your job can lead to serious financial trouble.
Must read: Questions you could be asked when you apply for insurance
Make sure you’re prepared to answer these types of questions during the application process:
- Have you been had, shown symptoms of or been advised by a doctor that you may have kidney disease?
- Is there a family history of kidney disease and if so have you been tested to assess your risk?
- Has a family member been diagnosed with kidney disease? If so, at what age was the condition diagnosed?
What is kidney failure?
The kidneys filter the blood and remove toxins that poison the body. Kidney failure occurs when nephrons inside the kidney are damaged and are no longer able to filter blood. This can eventually lead to a dangerous buildup of fluids and toxins in the body.
Loss of kidney function over a period of time is known as chronic kidney disease, or CKD. Cases that have progressed to the end stage are known as kidney failure and will result in death unless the patient undergoes a kidney transplant.
How common is kidney failure?
While people with generally unhealthy lifestyles may be more prone to kidney failure, it can affect anyone at any time. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, over 661,000 Americans have kidney failure.
What are the main causes of kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease is often the result of a number of different conditions including:
- Diabetes. Almost half of people with chronic kidney disease also have diabetes.
- High blood pressure. Hypertension can cause kidney damage and eventually lead to chronic kidney disease.
- Blocked urine flow. Obstructed urine flow that may be the result of an enlarged prostate, tumor or kidney stones can cause enormous pressure on kidneys and affect their ability to moderate blood flow.
- Fetal development problem. Babies born with underdeveloped kidneys are at an increased risk of developing kidney disease.
- Drug use. Certain drugs, both illegal and prescription, can lead to kidney disease.
What are the symptoms of chronic kidney disease?
People suffering from chronic kidney disease will generally have the following symptoms:
- Changes in the urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Swollen or numb hands and feet
- Weakness and lethargy
- Darkened skin and muscle cramps
What is the treatment for kidney failure?
While there is no real cure for kidney failure, there are things that can be done to manage the illness. People in end-stage kidney failure can be treated with dialysis for a while, but will eventually need a transplant to survive.
How can chronic kidney disease be prevented?
Certain steps can be taken to lead a healthy lifestyle and prevent chronic kidney disease from occurring:
- Not smoking
- Controlling blood glucose levels
- Regular exercise
- Maintaining a low-cholesterol diet
- Avoiding foods that are high in salt
- Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption
Compare life insurance alternatives to critical illness insurance
If you are diagnosed with kidney failure, you’ll need dialysis and/or a kidney transplant to live, which means high medical bills and a significant amount of time off work. Critical illness insurance can help make sure that you remain financially stable if you get sick.
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