We generally don’t plan on being admitted to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), but the reality of it is, it’s always a possibility. Having health insurance is a must, of course, and in the unfortunate event you do spend some time in an ICU, that insurance will help you pay for it. Unfortunately, the cost of an ICU stay can be staggering, and even with medical insurance, you could be left with a sizable bill after your stay, especially since ICU stays typically cost significantly more than non-ICU hospital stays.
According to the Society of Critical Care Medicine, “ICU costs per day in 2010 were estimated to be $4300 per day, a 61% increase since the 2000 cost per day of $2669.”1 And Live Science tells us “critical care in the U.S. accounts for 20 percent of all health care costs.”2
So what can you do to prepare?
One option is purchasing ICU insurance. If you experience a severe illness or injury (which can happen to anyone) and are admitted to an ICU, this type of insurance provides benefits for covered illnesses or accidents. Having a supplemental insurance of this type could help tremendously when the cost of an ICU admission is so substantial.
Plus, an ICU stay comes with more than just a large hospital bill. According to U.S. News & World Report, “for patients and families alike, hospital ICU stays resemble roller coaster rides, with sharp peaks and plunges, bad days and better days.”3 U.S. News & World Report notes that those with severe medical conditions make up the ICU patient population (those with strokes, heart attacks, major respirator problems, surgical complications; and those with trauma from car crashes, gunshot wounds, severe falls, accidents, and fires), and it can be an emotional time for family.3
Having ICU insurance may not help ease the worry that comes with an ICU stay, but it may alleviate any anxiety you may have about the bill that comes with it.
ICU policies vary, and if you purchase one, you should be sure you understand all the benefits and limitations of such a policy.
If you’re interested in purchasing an ICU policy or you’d like to know more, contact a licensed insurance agent.