Considering one in three people will get cancer in the United States1, cancer has proven to be a tragic, deadly, and expensive disease. Fortunately, to help cancer patients with the mental and financial burden of cancer, cancer insurance helps those who may want a little extra financial cushion with their out of pocket expenses. First, let’s briefly review what cancer insurance is, and then we can learn more about what options you have for the type of payouts.
What is Cancer Insurance?
Cancer isn’t just a devastating disease; it can also be devastating to your family’s finances. But if you are diagnosed with cancer, you don’t have to endure the financial strain of cancer alone. Cancer insurance is designed to help patients pay for the burden of cancer. Depending on the policy you choose, if you’re diagnosed with a covered cancer, the cancer insurance can help you pay for:
- Doctor appointments
- Hospital care
- At home care
- Travel expense to treatment
- Or anything you deem necessary
Yes, you could even use your cancer insurance payout to take a post-diagnosis mental health vacation. That is, or course, dependent on the type of cancer insurance policy you choose. Typically, you have a few different options in the type of coverage you’re looking for2
- Ongoing coverage that can cover some part of the medical expenses your primary health insurance won’t cover, like deductibles and co-insurance
- Lump sum coverage that gives you a fixed amount of money if you are diagnosed
What is a Lump-Sum Cancer Insurance Policy?
A lump-sum cancer insurance policy provides a one-time payment made directly to you after you’ve been diagnosed with a covered cancer. You can then choose how to use the funds. Since the payment goes directly to you and not to doctors or hospitals, you get to decide how the payout funds are spent.
It’s important to clarify that a cancer insurance policy shouldn’t be used as your primary form of health insurance. Think about when you use coupons and special offers at your favorite clothes store. You’re combining discounts to lower your overall price. While insurance is no discount, primary health insurance and cancer insurance are best used together, complementing each other’s coverage by helping you pay less money out of pocket if you were diagnosed with a covered cancer.
Should I Get a Cancer Insurance Policy?
If you’ve researched this topic even a little, you probably have seen mixed opinions on the value of cancer insurance. Some people think it’s money well spent, while others think if you have a decent savings account, you shouldn’t spend money on cancer insurance. There are both advantages and disadvantages of cancer insurance, but it’s all based on your needs.
When considering whether you should purchase a cancer insurance policy or not, you may ask yourself a few questions:
- How old am I?
- What’s my current state of health?
- What’s my lifestyle and dietary habits like?
- What’s my family health history?
- What does my insurance cover?
- Do I have enough in savings to pay my bills and the cost of cancer after insurance?
- If I couldn’t work due to cancer treatment, how would I pay the bills?
Because more than 1.8 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 20203, many people question themselves, “What if it happened to me?” Realistically, the follow up question would pose: “Do I have the money to afford it?”
Since everyone has a different reality and a different relationship to cancer, there is never a clear answer – insurance is based on your individual needs. If you’ve decided you need a cancer insurance policy, just remember you have options on the type of coverage the policy can provide you.
- American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures, 2018
- Cancer.org, Types of Health Insurance Plans, 2019
- Cancer.org, Cancer Facts And Statistics, 2020
Categories: Cancer Insurance, Insurance