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Forty Per Cent Of Canadians Facing Financial Hardship After Serious Health Event

Sun Life Canadian Health Index™ reveals Canadians aged 45 to 54 hardest hit by unforeseen healthcare costs

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadians who have had a serious health event or diagnosis are feeling the pinch, with 40 per cent reporting financial hardship as a result. More than half (53 per cent) of 45 to 54 year olds are struggling to make ends meet after a major health incident, according to the fourth annual Sun Life Canadian Health Index™, conducted by Ipsos Reid.

Of those impacted by a personal health crisis, some highlights from the survey include:
  • 22 per cent turned to credit cards or personal lines of credit;
  • 22 per cent tapped into personal savings;
  • 12 per cent borrowed from a loved one; and
  • 5 per cent were forced to either remortgage or sell their home.

"Coping with a personal health crisis is difficult enough without the addition of financial strain," said Kevin Dougherty, President, Sun Life Financial Canada. "We have seen first-hand the devastating impact that serious health issues can have on an individual and their families. The short-term financial impacts are overwhelming and immediate, but there can also be longer-term negative implications on retirement plans. Having a financial plan can help to deal with the unexpected."

While a majority of Canadians (82 per cent) realize that a serious health event could impact their personal finances, few (13 per cent) have money set aside for uncovered healthcare costs. These health events are dire and include heart attack, stroke, cancer, coronary bypass, chronic diseases, degenerative disorders, terminal illnesses and serious accidents. A fifth of Canadians (20 per cent) have no group insurance, personal insurance or health expense savings to help absorb the shock.

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