Reality Check: Cancer Not Covered by Most Health Insurance Plans, Cancer Insurance to the Rescue

There are 1.2 million Americans diagnosed with cancer every year.  Most health insurance policies do not cover this “specified disease” or “dreaded disease”.   The cost of cancer diagnostics, operation or removal and cancer treatment are overwhelming to the victim and to their families as well.  I should know, several of my family members have died from cancer over the last 13 years.  Getting cancer insurance can help ease these financial burdens and give peace of mind to you and your family.

What many people don’t realize is most regular health insurance policies do not cover cancer treatment.  Although some policies include a few cancer diagnostic tests or minimal treatment, they not cover the whole gamut of cancer treatment.  Some treatments are very expensive.  Expenses for cost of travel to a cancer treatment facility are not also covered by health insurance policies.

My friend’s wife had cancer and thank God she survived.  During the treatment, they had to coordinate transportation from friends to a get her to her daily treatments.  This caused a lot of stress on my friend.  After that experience about 3 years ago, I bought a cancer insurance policy that covers my family.  I pay about $88 bucks a month.  It would have been cheaper $47  but I got the kind that returns all of my premiums to me after 25 years minus any money that has been paid out on claims.  So, if I don’t have a claim, I get all of my premiums back.  I am still amazed at how robust the plan is.  It has a rider that pays $350 per pay to me if any of us need radiation or chemo therapy.  This would cover me for missed work or transportation costs or to hire friends to help in any way I need.  You shouldn’t have to hire friends but you can’t deposit friendship in the bank either.  My plan is virtually free since it pays for my wife and I to have our annual cancer screenings. It pays the greater of $50 or the actual cost.  Even though I am a member of an HMO, I simply get the itemized statement and send it in with the claim form.  Since it is the insurance is supplemental I get the payment even though I didn’t pay for the screening tests.

Cancer insurance is a supplement to health insurance assuring that treatment and incidental expenses are covered should such illness arise.  The coverage for this type of insurance may comprise of:

  • Treatments while being an in-patient as well as being an out-patient. This includes radiation, chemotherapy, medications, etc.
  • Transportation and living expense if cancer treatment is made out of town. Payment of traveling expenses for specialists may also be part of the coverage.
  • Ambulance or air ambulance service when needed by the victim.
  • Full-time nursing care and facility when treatment is made away from the victim’s residence.
  • Reconstruction and prosthesis may be part of the insurance plan.
  • Special diagnostic tests needed to determine type of cancer may be covered by the plan.

As outlined above, cancer insurance deals with services and treatment that are specific to cancer.   The price of such insurance may surprise you; it is very reasonable. The price depends on what is included in the plan.  Choosing a cancer insurance plan should be made carefully and should not be redundant with what is contained in your regular health insurance.

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