Critical illness for spouses

Do you ever wonder what you would do if your spouse was diagnosed with cancer? Who would look after the kids? If you took time off to be with your spouse, could you manage with a lower income? How would your retirement plan hold up if you had to unexpectedly spend $200 000 to cover the costs of treatments, medications, travel, and home modifications?

Critical illness insurance is a unique product that pays a lump sum if the insured is diagnosed with one of the covered illnesses. There are often 24 or 25 conditions covered in a critical illness policy. These conditions can include cancer, heart attack, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and benign brain tumors to name a few. Unlike disability insurance, you may apply for critical illness insurance whether or not you are actively working. For this reason, these policies can be a fantastic way to protect against the risk of a critical illness diagnosis for a spouse who is not actively working outside the home. It is advisable to apply for these policies as early as possible since they can be difficult to qualify for, especially as people age.

By insuring your spouse, you could answer some of the questions raised above—you could hire a caregiver for your children, and afford to take time out of your practice to care for your spouse and take him or her to important appointments. And you would have these funds to rely on so you wouldn’t need to take on debt or rely on your retirement savings to cover costs. If you do not already have critical illness insurance for your spouse, consider it.
—Channelle Sawyer
Insurance Advisor, Doctors of BC

Channelle Sawyer. Critical illness for spouses. BCMJ, Vol. 60, No. 1, January, February, 2018, Page(s) 56-57 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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