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Dr. Marius Barnard: Founder

The Founder of Critical Illness Insurance

Dr. Marius Barnard

On the 3rd of December, 1967, he and his brother Christian performed the first successful human-to-human heart transplant.

“As a doctor, I diagnose and treat patients and as I went through medicine over the years,  I saw tremendous changes. Not only the medical need but also in the financial needs of our patients. ”

“The case that really triggered my ideas was a young divorcee, 34, with two young children. The X-rays and biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of lung cancer and we removed a lump. She went home five days later and three weeks later she was back at work. Two years approximately after the operation, she came to me at my consulting rooms, basically dying on her feet. Pale, exhausted, loss of weight, skin and bone, gasping for breath, and I examined her and it was pretty obvious that she was now in the terminal stages of cancer. ”

“Why should she come to my rooms? She can hardly walk, I can see her. She said ‘Doctor, I’ve come from work’. Now why was she at work? She needed the money. She needed money to provide for her children and herself, rent food, education.  She died a few weeks later and when she was buried the life insurance policy paid out. “Wouldn’t it have been better for her to have the money when we diagnosed cancer? That poor little girl had to work until basically she was dead.”

There was a huge need for a new type of insurance. One that would pay out on the diagnosis of illness such as cancer, heart attack and stroke. He shared this vision with an insurance company which then went on to develop the first critical illness policy.

“You see it’s really a marriage between medicine and insurance. I always say we, as doctors, are the ‘physical doctors’, the protection insurance is the ‘financial doctors’. ”

“If you are ill, the first person you’ll go to, if you have a heart attack, will be your ‘physical doctor’ but I hope at that stage you’ve already made provisions so that your financial health is in place.  So when your physical goes you have financial protection to provide you with that money which is the promise of insurance and the definition of insurance to give you money when you need it most.”

Harvard report stated over half of all bankruptcies were due to medical. Of which most of those had health insurance. How worse off would we be if we didn’t even have health insurance, let alone not having a critical illness policy? Critical illness policies are the only true insurance that covers what health insurance does not when it comes to a critical illness such as cancer heart attack stroke and more.

A person diagnosed gets paid a lump sum, up front and not spread out over time or payments and money can be used for anything they need when they need it most such as;

Replacing income while out of work perhaps 3-6 months

Covering the cost of a high deductible

Auto payments, mortgage payments

Experimental treatments/ Clinical Trials


Maintaining a business while recuperating

Covering day to day or monthly expenses

Maintaining lifestyle and focusing on recuperating without the financial worry about how, or if can.

If these are not a concern, they should be, for it will be when it is often times to late to get coverage or do anything about it. Don’t wait as most cant afford to wait until its too late.