Though major medical and catastrophic insurance covers immediate health care treatment and hospital stays for those suffering critical illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer, uncovered medical expenses remain a problem. Expenses such as groceries, mortgages, deductibles, rehabilitation and even travel to and from treatment centers can eat up life savings and credit cards.

According to Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co., this is where voluntary critical illness insurance plans become helpful. The idea behind voluntary critical insurance is that when someone is diagnosed with a critical illness, benefits are paid directly to the insured, and can be used for nonmedical expenses ranging from out-of-pocket deductibles to paying the electric bill.

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