Should I Get Cancer Insurance?
Cancer insurance is a supplementary health insurance policy that can cover many of the costs associated with this disease. While your regular health insurance may cover some procedures, people often find out at a critical juncture that some of the most expensive costs involved in their cancer recovery are not covered by a health plan. A serious disease can be a strain not only on your health but on your savings as well.
If you aren’t sure whether cancer insurance is right for you, find an agent in the Nationwide Life Plans network today. A local member agent can help you compare cancer insurance policies and quotes from multiple companies and customize the best plan for your unique situation.
The Cost of Cancer
- Cancer in the U.S. costs an average of $228 billion per year
- $93.2 billion is spent in direct medical costs
- The average cost is rising by 15% each year
- Prescriptions alone can cost over $50,000 per year; for example, Provenge, a prostate cancer treatment costs $93,000
What Does Cancer Insurance Cover?
Ultimately, coverage depends on the plan you buy and company you buy it from, but many cancer insurance policies cover basic medical and non-medical expenses. Certain medical expenses can include things like radiation therapy, long hospital stays, co-pays, deductibles, and even experimental procedures. Cancer treatments easily cost thousands of dollars, and while your 20/80 coinsurance rates may seem reasonable on a $100 bill, a $300,000 charge can bankrupt the average person.
An attractive feature of a cancer insurance policy is the ability to assist with certain costs that otherwise would come straight out of your pocket. Things like transportation, meals, home health care, loss of income and extra child care can strain your finances and aren’t covered by regular health insurance.
Cancer insurance will pay benefits to you directly. You may receive a lump sum upon diagnosis, but anything above and beyond the limit may require reimbursement receipts. In the long run, hanging on to your receipts might be easier than paying exorbitant out-of-pocket costs.
Who Needs Cancer Insurance?
In the United States, cancer is the second leading cause of death, affecting nearly 1.2 million individuals per year. You likely know someone, either directly or indirectly, who has been diagnosed or affected by this disease. How do you decide if cancer insurance is right for you?
Here are some considerations:
- Ask yourself what kind of risk you face. If your family has a history of breast cancer, purchasing breast cancer insurance might make sense. Just make sure that the supplemental cancer insurance policy includes the specific diagnosis. Some policies only cover certain kinds of cancer.
- Ask yourself if your current health plan has any gaps specifically related to cancer. It could be more advantageous to upgrade your main policy rather than buy supplemental cancer insurance. While cancer insurance companies can offer attractive policies, it’s important to make sure a supplemental policy does not counteract your main policy or pay fewer benefits.
If you’ve ever had cancer or have recently been diagnosed, it’s likely you won’t be eligible for a cancer insurance policy. But if you’ve never had cancer, make sure you understand the ins and outs of your coverage and your personal risks before committing to another insurance payment.
- A Nationwide Life Plans member agent can help you gain control over your insurance choices by exploring all available options to find the best cancer insurance or other critical illness policies.
Benefits of Cancer Insurance
In many cases, this form of coverage will provide many benefits that may not otherwise be covered.
- Treatments: Some comprehensive health insurance plans will limit coverage for certain kinds of treatments, especially those considered less orthodox – which may not be covered at all. In the fight against cancer, some people are more willing to exhaust all resources. When cancer insurance benefits are paid directly to you, you are also in control of your treatment.
- Travel: A cancer diagnosis often comes as a shock, but added travel expenses can be just as shocking to patients. Many patients have to travel long distances for specialized care, or need to make more trips to the doctor than normal. With today’s gas prices holding steady at $3+ per gallon and air and train fare becoming more expensive, being reimbursed for travel can save a lot of money.
- Loss of income: If you can’t work because of your diagnosis, there may be a ripple-effect on your finances. Even if you’ve maintained a healthy savings account, those savings can be seriously impacted by the cost of treatment. Cancer insurance benefits can help cover daily household expenses, including extra child care.
- Options: Some cancer insurance policies give you the ability to add a spouse and/or children to the plan. Cancer doesn’t discriminate; close to 14,000 children per year are diagnosed with the disease. If you get sick with another illness as a result of cancer, cancer insurance will also typically cover the secondary illness while your main health insurance plan may not.
Critical Illness vs. Cancer Insurance Policies
When you begin your search for cancer insurance, you may find another form of supplemental health insurance called “critical illness coverage,” which also includes cancer. Be sure to evaluate your need for critical illness coverage before you buy. If your family disease history consists only of cancer, cancer insurance may be a better investment.
On the other hand, if your family disease history includes a range of major illnesses such as heart disease and kidney failure, a critical illness policy may be a better form of protection. Both will cover medical and non-medical expenses, but cancer insurance policy may have higher payment limits and more provider flexibility. Critical illness policies may be dependent on an employer; when purchased privately, this is exceptionally expensive coverage as compared to cancer insurance.
It might be hard to determine which policy is the best for you, especially if you have limited information about your family history. A local agent in the Nationwide Life Plans network who specializes in health insurance can help to assess your needs, evaluate several different options and make an informed choice.
Contact a member agent for personalized assistance with your cancer insurance needs 800-407-1369.