The Basics of Cancer Insurance
Cancer can be a financially devastating illness, since treatment is expensive and can occur over a long period of time. Additionally, it often results in the inability to work. One way to protect you and your family from financial problems due to cancer is to invest in a cancer insurance policy.
1) What is it?
This is a separate insurance policy that covers both medical and non-medical costs that may arise if you develop cancer.
2) Who is it for?
Anyone without a pre-existing cancer diagnosis can apply. People with a strong family history of cancer may benefit especially from this supplemental policy, since their likelihood of developing cancer is increased. However, check your basic health insurance plan first, as some benefits may already be covered. This is not a replacement for a general health insurance policy.
3) How does it work?
If you are diagnosed with cancer, the insurance company will either pay you a lump sum, begin to cover a percentage of your cancer-related costs, or both.
4) What are the different types of coverage?
In a first diagnosis or first occurrence cancer policy, the insurance company will give you a fixed lump sum payment upon diagnosis. This amount could range anywhere from a few thousand to a hundred thousand dollars. In an expense-incurred policy, the company pays a percentage of qualifying expenses up to a maximum dollar amount. In an indemnity policy, a fixed amount will be paid for covered treatments, but this amount is independent of the actual total expense.
5) What are the major benefits?
Most policies cover hospital stays, radiation or chemotherapy treatments, prescription medications, blood transfusions, and surgeries. Often benefits are increased if you are hospitalized for an extended period of time. Coverage for travel and lodging expenses, child care, and living expenses are also extremely helpful.