May 26, 2009
Financial challenges faced by stroke survivors may be just as daunting as physical challenges

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and because stroke is the third-leading cause of death in this country(1), it is important for all Americans to understand stroke’s risk factors and warning signs, and to take action to protect themselves against the disease.

For the 600,000 victims who survive stroke each year(2), it’s just as important to understand and protect themselves from stroke’s financial consequences, according to a white paper report released today by Conseco Insurance Group. Many survivors are left with medical bills that can be overwhelming, and with disabilities or long-term health issues that may leave them unable to work.

The paper, titled Striking Back at Stroke, is available on Conseco’s Web site at www.conseco.com. It has valuable information for Americans who wish to protect themselves - physically and financially - from stroke, including:
• Stroke’s risk factors - Many risk factors are manageable, once recognized.
• Stroke’s warning signs - Using the “FAST” method for detecting and responding to stroke increases the likelihood that a stroke victim will survive without disability.
• Stroke’s costs - In most cases, major medical insurance covers only a portion of treatment and rehabilitation costs associated with stroke. Many major medical plans now require insureds to pay 20% of the costs of their care. Further, according to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 36% of the financial burden of a stroke comes from expenses not covered by major medical insurance, such as lost wages.

“It is critical that Americans learn how to minimize their health risks related to stroke, but that’s really just the first step,” said Steve Stecher, President of Conseco Insurance Company, a life and health insurance company which sells supplemental health insurance policies. “The other part of protecting yourself from stroke is to be financially prepared for such a medical crisis by having proper insurance coverage.”

Supplemental health insurance policies, or critical illness insurance, provide cash benefits to help cover the gap between major medical insurance coverage and actual cost. Benefits are paid directly to the policy owner instead of to a doctor or medical facility. This allows the benefit to be used in whatever way it is needed.

To learn more about supplemental policies, visit www.conseco.com.

Conseco, Inc.’s insurance companies help protect working American families and seniors from financial adversity: Medicare supplement, long-term care, cancer, heart/stroke and accident policies protect people against major unplanned expenses; annuities and life insurance products help people plan for their financial futures.

Policies are subject to state availability. These policies have limitations and exclusions. For costs and complete details of coverage, contact an agent. Conseco Insurance Group consists of Conseco Insurance Company, Conseco Health Insurance Company, and Washington National Insurance Company; administrative offices, Carmel, Ind.

(1)(2) Source: American Heart Association, “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 2009 Update”
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