Can you get life or trauma insurance for chronic kidney disease in Australia?
Each year hundreds of Australian families experience financial hardship following a serious illness or injury. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they have enough cover in place from health insurance, WorkCover or their employer to have to worry about taking out additional cover. While these benefits may help in covering the immediate expenses that may arise following a serious condition, they may not provide the best ongoing support if you are forced out of work for say, six months or are unable to work to your full capacity again. Trauma Insurance can both provide immediate support through the provision of a lump-sum benefit payment in the event the insured suffers a critical condition. One such condition that both of these policies will cover is chronic kidney failure.
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Trauma insurance for chronic kidney disease
Trauma insurance policies from Australian Insurance providers will generally include cover in the event that the insured person suffers chronic disease. Kidney disease will be listed as a specified crisis within the policy and people that suffer from the condition will be provided with a lump sum benefit provided they meet the eligibly requirements.
What is trauma insurance?
Trauma insurance is a form of life insurance that will cover you in the event that you develop a serious illness that is listed in the policy. Policy owners will be provided with a lump sum benefit payment in addition to any other cover benefits that have been included on their policy.
What are the requirements for a trauma insurance benefit to be paid for chronic kidney disease?
Most insurers will recognise kidney failure as:
- End-stage renal failure
- Chronic irreversible failure of both kidneys to function
- As a result of the stage of the condition, regular renal dialysis is commenced or a renal transplant is carried out
If these conditions are met, a full payment of the sum-insured will be provided to the insured. It is worth noting that conditions for a benefit payment may vary greatly between providers.
Questions you could be asked when you apply
Make sure you're prepared to answer these types of questions during the application process:
- Have you been had, shown symptoms or been advised by a doctor that you have kidney disease?
- Is there a family history of kidney disease and if so have you had testing or investigations to assess your risk?
- Has a family member been diagnosed with kidney disease? If so, as what age was the condition diagnosed?
How can a trauma Insurance benefit help?
In the event that the insured reaches end-stage chronic kidney disease the benefit payment from a Trauma Insurance policy can provide critical support to help the insured and their family manage in an extremely difficult time. Immediate and future expenses that may need to be covered include:
- Immediate medical expenses that may be incurred to cover the costs of a transplant
- Ongoing consultations and rehabilitation with medical professionals
- Costs of hiring a professional carer if the insured is no longer capable of carrying out daily acts of living
- Costs incurred following reduction in income of spouse or other family member if they are forced to take time out of work to care for the insured
- Costs to cover household maintenance if they are no longer fit to do so
- Costs to cover ongoing living expenses, debt or rent repayments, bills, and taxes if the insured is forced to take time out from work
- Costs to make necessary modifications to the insured’s home if necessary
These are just some of the expenses that may arise following suffering chronic liver disease. There are no restrictions in place for how the insured may spend their benefit payment.
What is chronic kidney failure?
Chronic kidney failure is an illness that can affect many people and can have a dramatic affect on how you would live your life. While people with generally unhealthy lifestyle may be more prone to kidney failure it can affect anyone at anytime and have significant impacts on their health.
Understanding chronic kidney failure
Kidney failure occurs when nephrons inside the kidney are damaged and are no longer able to filter blood. This can eventually lead to a dangerous build up of fluids inside the body, which if left untreated, can result in kidney failure. Cases that have progressed to the end-stage will result in death unless the patient undergoes a kidney transplant.
Function of kidneys
The kidneys have an essential function in the body. The kidneys will filter the blood and will remove all of the toxins that will poison the body. When the kidneys fail, the bone, muscles and brain will cease to function. Death is a result of these toxins not being filtered.
How common is kidney failure?
Kidney failure will affect many people in Australia. According to kidney.org.au approximately 1.6 million Australians over 18 years of age have indicators of chronic kidney disease. Statistics also show that less than 1% of people with chronic kidney disease are aware that they have this condition.
What are the main causes of kidney failure?
Kidney failure is often the result of a number of different conditions including:
- Diabetes. Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes have been directly linked to chronic kidney disease with statistics showing that 35% of new cases suffer from diabetes.
- High blood pressure. Hypertension can cause damage to the glomeruli and result in chronic kidney disease.
- Blocked urine flow. Obstructed urine flow that may be the result of an enlarged prostate, tumour or kidney stones can cause enormous pressure on kidneys and affect their ability to moderate blood flow.
- Kidney disease. Various forms of kidney disease can result in the development of chronic kidney disease.
- Foetal development problem. Babies that have been born with undeveloped kidneys are at an increased risk of developing kidney disease.
These are just some of the causes of chronic kidney disease with medical professionals also citing malaria, exposure to certain toxins, illegal drug abuse and injury as possible causes.
What are the symptoms of CKD?
People suffering from chronic kidney disease will generally have the following symptoms:
- Changes in the urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Swollen or numb hands and feet
- Weakness and lethargy
- Darkened skin and muscle cramps
What is the treatment for kidney failure?
While there is no real cure for kidney failure, there are things that can be done to manage the illness. People in end-stage kidney failure will require dialysis (kidney transplant) to avoid death.
How can chronic kidney disease be prevented?
Certain steps can be taken to lead a healthy lifestyle and prevent chronic kidney disease from occurring:
- Not smoking
- Control blood glucose levels
- Reduce chances of suffering hypertension through
- Regular exercise
- Maintain a low cholesterol diet
- Avoid foods that are high in salt
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
- Avoid drinks that are high in sugar