What is it?
Critical illness insurance is optional and provides a lump sum payment if an employee is diagnosed with heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery, or cancer (some exclusions apply to cancer based on the type and severity of the condition and the diagnosis provided by the attending physician).
How will it benefit my employees?
Critical illness insurance can help provide financial support during difficult times, allowing employees to focus on their health.
How does it work?
The non-taxable lump sum is paid following a survival period of 30 days after the diagnosis of a covered critical illness. A period of 90 days applies before the benefit amount is paid for paralysis or loss of independent existence.
If a person is diagnosed with a critical illness while insured, Great-West Life will pay a lump sum benefit to the person after a waiting period of 30 days following the date of diagnosis or at the end of the waiting period, if there is any specified waiting period.
Any of the following conditions is considered a critical illness if it meets the defined criteria outlined in the contract: Heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery, cancer (life-threatening).
No benefit is payable if the person dies or experiences irreversible cessation of all functions of the brain during the waiting period.
No benefits will be paid for a critical illness that is directly or indirectly related to a condition for which the person obtained medical care within 24 months before they became insured.
In addition, no benefits will be paid for a critical illness resulting directly or indirectly from or associated with:
- Intentionally self-inflicted injury or attempt at suicide, whatever the person’s state of mind, and whether or not the person is able to understand the nature and consequences of his or her actions, at that time
- War, insurrection, or voluntary participation in a riot
- Participation in a criminal offence or provoking an assault
- Use of any drug, poisonous substance, intoxicant, or narcotic, unless prescribed for the person by a licensed physician
- An accident occurring while the person was operating a motorized vehicle if their blood alcohol level was higher than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood
Reduction and termination
Employee coverage terminates on the earlier of:
- The date a benefit is paid
- The date the employee reaches the age of 65
- The date the employee retire