KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty years ago, the family of a victim of a heart attack or stroke was more likely to have to contend with the loss of a loved one. 1 Now, advances in medicine, prevention, improvement in early detection and other health care innovations have led to higher survival rates of these and other critical illnesses. To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/53684-assurant-surviving-the-high-cost-of-recovering-from-catastrophic-illness With the improved survival rate from catastrophic illnesses often comes the necessity of continuing medical care and related expenses. Today, the average cost of survival for a heart attack or stroke patient is $100,500. 2 Unfortunately, many of these costs are not covered by standard medical insurance. "Despite having good insurance, I am many, many thousands of dollars in debt. It is not going to be easy to get out of," said Steve, a heart attack survivor. "Until you're older, you think you're bullet proof. You are 42-years-old. You don't expect to get a pacemaker. You don't expect your heart to stop. You don't expect to be in an emergency room with your wife thinking you are going to die." Critical illness insurance and other voluntary insurance can help. These benefits cover out-of-pocket medical and non-medical expenses. "A serious illness or injury is stressful enough to go through without the additional pressure caused by expensive medical bills," says Dr. Polly Galbraith, vice president and chief medical director at Assurant Employee Benefits, an employee benefits and services insurance provider. "Higher survival rates should be celebrated, not the cause of added anxiety." Learn more about Steve's story and the benefits of critical illness and other voluntary insurance benefits through a series of videos highlighting the impact of a serious illness or injury and the importance of ensuring that your income is protected on Assurant Employee Benefits' YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/aebnews. 1 NCHS Compressed mortality file: underlying cause of death, 1979 to 2006; http://wonder.cdc.gov/mortSQL.html2 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics — 2010 Update, American Heart Association About Assurant Employee BenefitsAssurant Employee Benefits specializes in quality employee benefits and services, including long-term and short-term disability, life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, dental coverage, and disability reinsurance management services. Assurant Employee Benefits is the brand name for insurance products underwritten by Union Security Insurance Company and for prepaid dental products provided by affiliated prepaid dental companies. In New York, insurance products are underwritten and prepaid products are provided by Union Security Life Insurance Company of New York, which is licensed in New York and has its principal place of business in Syracuse, New York. Plans contain limitations, exclusions, restrictions and reductions. Assurant Employee Benefits is part of Assurant, a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AIZ. www.assurant.com SOURCE Assurant, Inc.