Cancer plans are insurance policies that supplement your current health insurance plan to help cover the cost of hospital stays, chemotherapy, and other types of cancer treatment.
This is not comprehensive health insurance, just a supplemental plan offered by private health insurance companies (but do not confuse it with Medicare Supplement, because there is no connection).
Statistics show that cancer in the United States is one of the leading causes of death, and in 2022., 1.9 million American people have been diagnosed with it. If you are suffering from this disease or had one in the past, you know that cancer treatment can be costly.
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with a high potential to invade other organs and parts of the body. It affects each sex equally, but the types differ between males and females. The most common cancer types that affect the male population are lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and stomach cancer. As for the female population, the most common types are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and cervical cancer. In the child population, the most common cancer is acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors. The chance of survival depends on the type of cancer diagnosed and the extent of it at the moment of setting diagnosis. But in general, in the United States, the average five-year survival rate is around 66%. After all these statistics, you should really consider taking cancer insurance, because everyone is exposed to the high possibility of getting a cancer diagnosis over the years, and medical expenses produced by cancer treatment can be very high.
What cancer plans cover
Depending on the type of cancer plan you are diagnosed with, your plan might cover copayments, child care, deductibles, lost wages, travel costs, or the excess treatment costs when your regular health care policy benefits are exhausted.
It generally provides some type of benefit for these services:
- Hospital room and board
- Physician treatment
Your plan’s offering may have different benefits, so ask one of our licensed insurance agents to be completely informed.
Your plan may also provide your benefit in a lump sum payment when you receive a cancer diagnosis.
Types of cancer plans
Generally, there are three types of plans:
- Expense incurred policy – This type of cancer insurance policy pays out a percentage of expenses incurred, up to predetermined policy limits. The policy may pay a portion of copayments, coinsurances, and medications or treatments that your traditional health insurance may not cover.
- Indemnity policy – These cancer insurance policies cover expenses for all approved treatments, up to a previously set limit. But have in mind that the maximum payout may be lower than the actual costs of care because cancer treatment can be very unpredictable, and consequently very expensive.
- First diagnosis or first occurrence cancer policy – Pays a lump sum payment upon the first diagnosis of cancer. You are free to use payout money for anything you might need or want, there are no restrictions.
Who is eligible for cancer insurance?
To be eligible for cancer insurance, you can’t have a pre-existing condition that is believed to lead to cancer. Also, people who have previously been diagnosed and treated for cancer are ineligible. All other situations make you eligible for taking cancer insurance.
What are the benefits of purchasing a cancer insurance policy?
Maybe the biggest advantage of having a cancer insurance policy is peace of mind. If you are concerned you could someday be exposed to significant medical expenses associated with cancer, having this cancer insurance could help put you at ease because you won’t have to worry about whether is it possible to pay for care and how to do it — you can simply concentrate on your course of treatment and getting well.
If you do get sick, cancer insurance may enable you to get the care you might not otherwise be able to afford, because of financial problems or limitations based on other health insurance you might have. If you need to travel for specialized treatment, for example, your cancer insurance could potentially help cover travel costs that regular health insurance, like Medicare, probably wouldn’t.
Disadvantages of cancer insurance policy
Because cancer insurance only covers cancer, you won’t be provided with any assistance if you develop other conditions. Cancer insurance also won’t help you if you develop a type of cancer that isn’t covered or if your policy excludes the kind of coverage you need. If your insurer has a poor reputation for paying claims, you may also have to fight for every dollar — so be sure to check ratings for any insurance company from which you’re considering buying a policy.
If you don’t develop cancer, of course, your premiums will have been wasted. Instead of buying cancer coverage, you may decide it makes more sense to pay higher premiums for a more comprehensive health insurance plan that provides broader coverage, like Medicare.