Every hour, 5 people in SA suffer a heart attack – what if you’re next?

Every hour, 5 people in SA suffer a heart attack – what if you’re next?

– Chanelle Taylor (Director, Cornerstone Financial Planning)

As uncomfortable as it is to talk about, severe illness and death is an unfortunate part of everyone’s life. When we hear the words “severe illness”, our minds often go directly to cancer or HIV, because it is probably two of the most devastating illnesses around, but what about other, equally devastating illness like heart disease?

September marks Heart Awareness month and at Cornerstone Financial Planning we believe in a holistic approach to your financial goals and aspirations – this means looking further than just financials and prioritising other important aspects of your life like health, wellness, family and legacy.  With this approach in mind, we have put together a quick guide to show you what the impact heart disease and cardiovascular conditions are on South Africans, as well as ways to ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of, if you were to develop heart disease.

How prevalent is heart disease in South Africa?

Heart disease remains a big problem in South Africa with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of SA reporting approximately 210 heart related deaths each day – that’s more than 75 000 deaths each year! What’s more concerning is that these figures seem to be growing each year at an alarming rate. People are becoming being less active and our diets contain more saturated fats and refined sugar, causing our overall wellness and cardiovascular health to deteriorate fast. It is therefore vital that you do everything in our power to lower our risk of developing heart disease or cardiovascular illnesses.

How can lower my risk of developing heart disease?

There are a few lifestyle changes that you can make that may lower your risk of heart disease such as:

  • Regular light exercise
  • Controlling your weight, making sure you are not excessively overweight
  • Limiting intake of high fat and high sugar foods
  • Getting your blood pressure and blood cholesterol measured regularly
  • Quit smoking if you do and avoid any other tobacco products

Will a severe illness policy cover heart disease?

Yes, most severe illness policies cover the most common and severe heart conditions including heart attack, stroke and coronary artery bypass. Some insurers offer specialised severe illness cover that is specially designed for cardiovascular conditions that cover nearly 50 cardiovascular events. If you want to know more about these specialised severe illness policies, contact us today.

How does severe illness cover work?

Severe illness cover is a policy benefit that offers protection against illnesses. With a severe illness policy in place, you will receive a tax-free lump sum benefit to aid in payment of additional expenses due to lifestyle changes, possible post illness rehabilitation expenses, assist with shortfalls on your medical aid and to access advanced medical treatment, which is not always covered by your medical aid.

Can I have life cover and sever illness cover together?

Yes, you can. It is worth noting that severe illness covers, and life cover are separate policies for completely different scenarios. As explained above, severe illness cover offers financial protection against severe illnesses where life cover offers financial assistance in the event of your death.

At Cornerstone Financial Planning, we don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach, which is why we want to urge you to get in touch with us for a bespoke approach to your severe illness cover and life cover. They both form integral parts of financial planning and should be one of your top priorities. For more useful and insightful content, be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn and remember to subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.

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