The threat of being diagnosed with cancer may not be subsiding much any time soon. Fortunately, cancer is becoming more easily detected, treated and survivable for most Americans.
In a report on the future of cancer care, the American Society of Clinical Oncologists estimated that new cancer cases in the U.S. will increase 45 percent by 2030. On the other hand, the number of patients surviving cancer will also grow significantly beyond the current figure of 13.7 million. Still, even survivors will require expensive long-term care, and the availability of that high level of treatment remains financially out of reach for many.
While insurance coverage has greatly improved since the passing of the Affordable Care Act, those diagnosed with cancer still face major financial hurdles over the course of their treatment that most insurance simply won’t cover. Instead, some are now opting to enroll in a policy that insures them against cancer specifically. This will protect them against a relatively common disease that threatens to wipe out their savings otherwise.
Since most health insurance policies do not provide the level of coverage that’s needed after a cancer diagnosis, there are several reasons why someone might consider supplementary cancer insurance. Perhaps the most common reason, according to Smart Asset, is a family history of cancer. While there’s no way to know for sure, many cancers are somewhat inheritable, which means you could be at greater risk if a relative had the disease. With this in mind, it may be wise to look into cancer insurance as a means of financial protection.
Even without a family history, cancer insurance could be a wise choice. This is especially true if you aren’t able to set aside enough savings to provide for yourself or a loved one if they are diagnosed with cancer. According to Smart Asset, some plans may offer a simple lump sum payment in the event you are diagnosed, which can be used without any restriction for doctor visits, travel or other basic expenses. Other policies function as indemnity plans, and will reimburse you for specific expenses associated with cancer treatment.
How to sign up
Most cancer insurance policies come as supplemental coverage to a health or life insurance plan in which you are already a member. According to HealthInsurance.org, a licensed insurance agent can help guide you toward a policy that makes sense for your unique situation. Signing up for a policy could be as easy as calling your insurance provider or visiting their website. You can also research plans and costs on a different provider’s own website. It’s important to note that cancer insurance is not available for people who have already been diagnosed with cancer.
If you’re considering cancer insurance, be sure to read through the policy carefully to determine what is and is not covered. Cancer insurance may not be ideal for everyone, so do enough homework to find the plan that works for you.