While cancer survival rates have dramatically increased because of modern medical treatment, these treatments are expensive, and together with other related costs, can create a serious financial burden on the family. Will you be able to afford the best care available if cancer touches someone in your family?
Cancer insurance is a relatively new type of insurance policy and it is one that you need to think about and evaluate against your current needs and health insurance carrier. You should know that cancer insurance is not a substitute for a comprehensive health insurance plan. Also, be aware that many of these policies have significant limitations and may not necessarily provide the coverage you anticipate. Once again you must be educated and do your research prior to making a cancer insurance purchase.
Cancer insurance provides a benefit only if you get cancer. You can not purchase this insurance after you have been diagnosed with the disease. Cancer treatment account for almost 10% of the U.S. healthcare expense and continues to grow. It is very important that you and your family are covered for catastrophic medical cost. Almost 50% of the bankruptcy cases in the U.S. are in part attributed to medical bills and the burden these bills place on the family's financial resources. Major medical plans will cover you for any accident or sickness, including cancer. Health insurance is more expensive than cancer insurance because it covers more conditions. If you have Medicare and need additional coverage you should consider looking into a Medicare supplemental policy. If you are currently covered by Medicaid then you do not need additional coverage.
Questions to ask when considering cancer coverage:
Does the cancer policy pay for hospital care or home care for cancer?
Today many modalities of treatment allow the patient to stay at home when being treated for cancer. If you are considering a policy that covers only in hospital stays for cancer treatments then that policy may have limited value to you.
Does the policy you are considering promise to increase benefits after a period of time in the hospital?
You should be aware that the average length of stay for a cancer patient in the hospital is 13 days. If your policy states that the company will increase benefits after 60 days of hospital stay then that policy has a very limited value to most people.
Does the cancer insurance policy you are considering have a limited dollar amount that the company will pay?
Some policies only cover $1,500 for surgery costs or $1,000 for radiation therapy charges. What is the total benefit that the insurance carrier will pay?
Does the policy you are considering also cover cancer related illnesses?
Cancer and the treatment for cancer may lead to other physical problems such as infection or pneumonia. Does the policy you are considering cover these types of events?
Does the policy you are considering contain any time limits on the coverage?
Some policies make you wait for as long as 2 months before coverage starts. Are there any time limits on your policy, either for payment or coverage?
Remember that cancer policies provide limited benefits. Read your entire policy.