An American Cancer Society study says that one in two men and one in three women develop cancer in their lifetime. This shows that many people are at risk of getting this disease, and the risk is even higher if you have a family history of cancer. The treatment for cancer can be long and expensive and can include surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Cancer insurance is one way to help financially when diagnosed with cancer. It covers both medical and non-medical expenses, as the National Institutes of Health estimates that two-thirds of cancer-related costs are not medical. Medical expenses include:
- Co-pays and deductibles
- Extended hospital stays
- Medical tests
- Out-of-network specialists
- Experimental cancer treatments
Non-medical expenses include:
- Home health care
- Loss of income benefits
- Child care
- Travel expenses for treatment
- Household help
- Dietary restriction aids
- Living expenses such as car payments, mortgage, and utility bills
Cancer insurance can be used in addition to health insurance. Some cancer insurance covers more serious cancers than a critical illness insurance plan would cover, and some policies provide yearly screenings.
There are a few things to consider before buying cancer insurance.
- Prioritize a comprehensive health program
- Determine if a cancer policy is needed
- Review the terms of a comprehensive program and a cancer program
- Determine the type of cancer policy to buy
- Shop and compare quotes
According to a study done by the American Cancer Society and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 20% of people with health insurance cannot afford cancer therapy. For blood cancers such as leukemia, a year of treatment reached $1 million. This would max out the limits of most health insurance policies demonstrating the need for cancer insurance.