We are living longer, but we are not by any means living our lives disease free, particularly in old age.   

Because of advances in the treatment of heart disease, cancer, and stroke, millions of Americans who would have quickly perished in past decades are either recovering or living longer with the disease.  

But the financial toll of major illnesses can easily bankrupt an individual and his family even if he has health insurance. Indeed, notes Standard Life, another major trend in health care has been the increasing shift in cost sharing to beneficiaries. Co-pays on chemotherapy can be devastating.  

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