Considering a supplemental cancer insurance policy?
After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.1 The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 1.9 million new cancer cases and approximately 609,360 deaths from cancer in the United States in 2022.2 With breast cancer being the most common form of cancer in women, and prostate for men, the lifetime risk of developing cancer in the United States is almost 40%, or more than one in three Americans.2
Upon a cancer diagnosis, a patient probably wants to visit the best doctor … but what about a financial advisor? Cancer is expensive. Two questions need to be addressed when dealing with cancer treatment:
- Does the patient have health insurance?
- Does the patient have money in savings for deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses?
Cancer could bring financial hardship. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for cancer patients to drain all their accounts, file for bankruptcy, or even lose their house.
Insurance may not be enough.
The Kaiser Family Foundation's 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey found 72% of employees with individual insurance plans had an out-of-pocket maximum of $3,000 or more in 2021.3
For many insured and uninsured people, the cost of cancer can be catastrophic so much so that they skip or delay treatments. Many patients can’t continue to work, which means no income. Those who have insurance and a job that has paid sick time could still be affected by financial hardship by running out of sick time or having to take unpaid medical leave.
The importance of supplemental cancer insurance.
Supplemental cancer insurance is meant to help bridge the gap between what a patient’s health insurance pays and what the patient must pay out of pocket. These expenses could include:
- extended hospital stays
- lab tests
Additionally, supplemental cancer insurance can help cover non-medical treatments such as:
- home health care
- supplemental income
- child care cost
- travel and lodging expenses for treatment
Types of supplemental cancer
You have a few options when it comes to cancer insurance. Most insurance carriers offer expense-incurred, indemnity, or lump-sum policies, each with different features and coverage.
- Expense-incurred policies mean the policyholder may get back a percentage of expenses for all covered treatments, up to the policy’s maximum amount.
- Indemnity policies cover expenses for all accepted treatments, but they can have a fixed dollar limit on each treatment regardless of the cost.
- Lump-sum policies give you the amount of cash you signed up for upon first diagnoses of accepted cancers. This money can be used however you see fit.
Many families have lost everything just to afford the cost of cancer. As if a diagnosis isn’t hard enough, the financial ruin can cost patients their cars, houses, jobs, savings accounts, and much more. As you can see, supplemental cancer insurance isn’t only helpful, it’s a necessity. With the rates of cancer diagnoses, no one is safe. The best way to help protect yourself from financial adversity is to prepare for it.
Would your major medical plan cover all your expenses if you were diagnosed with cancer?
Cancer insurance can help cover unpaid medical bills, travel expenses, lost income and more.
1. CDC, Leading Causes of Death, 2022
2. American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2022, 2022
3. KFF, 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey, 2021