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Basics of Critical Illness Insurance Medical facilities and treatment for most illnesses are available today in most parts of the world. Life expectancy too has improved because of improved medical facilities and advanced treatment methods. However, the cost of treating many illnesses, especially the life-threatening ones can drive many people into severe financial crisis. A critical illness health plan will go a long way in reducing the financial and mental stress in such a situation. Illnesses generally covered under a critical illness policy include serious illnesses, injuries and surgeries, such as Heart Attack, Stroke, Kidney failure, organ transplants, Cancer, Alzheimer disease and severe burns. Critical illness policies are priced with several factors in mind. Your age, weight, gender, health history, family’s health history, personal habits are some of the key factors that determine the cost of a critical illness health insurancepolicy. Important Features Under a critical illness mediclaim policy any sickness or injury that is mentioned under your policy contract will be paid for during a crisis situation. Some common features of these policies are: The amount is generally paid as a lump sum to the policyholder, for specified illnesses. The amount is generally paid following the first diagnosis after a 30 days survival period. Many policies don’t cover illnesses during the first 90 days. Any loss of income due to the declining ability to earn will also be covered. You must also know well the exclusions and limitations. Companies generally don’t provide cover for pre-existing conditions unless you have continuous coverage for at least two years. Most policies are given for duration of maximum 25 years and till the age of 65Some insurers sell critical illness policies only to customers who possess key medical plans. Common Exclusions There are various exclusions that are part of critical illness insurance policies that you must be aware of. These exclusions are generally injuries or illnesses due to: Criminal activities or fights Suicide attempts, self-afflicted injuries Consumption of drugs and alcohol AIDS and HIV related treatment Cosmetic and Dental surgeries Congenital conditions Infertility treatments Complications from pregnancy, miscarriage, C-section etc. Adventure sports such as racing, scuba diving, rock climbing etc. You must not wait for a crisis situation or illness to occur when there is lots of mental, emotional and financial stress in your family. Though you may have the best medical facilities close by, you may not have the necessary finances. Buying a critical illness policy is vital as it helps you cope financially with life-threatening illnesses and get the best medical help possible.