Critical Illness policies pay lump sum cash benefits, for example $10,000 or $15,000, when covered members are diagnosed with certain medical conditions such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, renal failure, etc. They are often offered along-side medical and disability plans and are commonly paired with high deductible health plans to help offset significant expenses associated with these conditions. These plans are ideal for people who have not set aside money in their HSA for unexpected medical expenses. Employees can choose how to spend the benefits. For example, they could use the cash payment to cover their medical expenses or pay for daily living expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, etc. Employers can opt to include wellness riders to encourage preventive office visits. It is important to note that critical illness policies often have pre-existing condition limitations.