Is Cancer Insurance Worth It?
Who in your life has been impacted by cancer?
Facing a cancer diagnosis is a daunting experience, physically, emotionally and financially. The costs associated with cancer treatment can quickly add up:
- Medical expenses: These include doctor or hospital bills. Major medical insurance typically covers most of these expenses.
- Non-medical expenses: These are unavoidable expenses caused by the illness that are paid for out of pocket. Deductibles, co-pays, transportation expenses, and the cost of a special diet are all considered non-medical out-of-pocket expenses.
- Long-term financial costs: Depending on the extent of their illness, some people may experience a loss of income for a period of time, or a delay in their income growth. Compounding debt can become an issue in cases where payments for student loans, a mortgage or a car loan still need to be made in additional to medical bills.
Cancer can also present unique financial challenges for those who are self-employed or own their own business. Self-employed individuals often do not have access to the same benefits and support systems as traditional employees. When faced with cancer, they may experience a significant disruption in their work and ability to generate income.
The Case for Cancer Insurance
Many people, especially those with a history of cancer in their family, turn to cancer insurance as a potential safety net.
Cancer insurance is a specialized form of supplemental health insurance designed to provide financial protection for cancer-related expenses. While traditional health insurance policies generally cover medical costs, cancer insurance aims to bridge the gaps by offering coverage for non-medical expenses and providing additional financial support during cancer treatment.
In this blog, we dig into the question: Is cancer insurance worth it? We’ll explore the features and factors to consider in order to help you make an informed decision about whether cancer insurance is the right choice for you.
How Does Cancer Insurance Work?
Cancer policies are designed to complement traditional health insurance coverage by addressing the specific out-of-pocket financial challenges associated with cancer treatment. These policies are typically sold by private insurance companies or insurance agents and brokers similar to Platinum Supplemental Insurance.
One of the key features of cancer insurance is the lump-sum payment provided upon diagnosis, which is often tax-free and can be used at the policyholder’s discretion. This lump-sum payment offers flexibility and can be used to cover a variety of expenses, including:
The Cost of Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, cancer survivor rates have increased thanks to advances in technology, medical care and gains in early detection.
Depending on where you live, some of the first questions following a diagnosis may be, “Where can I go to get the best care?” and “Can I afford it?”
Major medical insurance typically covers the standard and expected treatment for cancer outlined in your policy’s terms. But, traditional insurance can still leave significant out-of-pocket costs, especially if you want some freedom to choose where and how you receive care. This can bring additional stress and anxiety at a critical time.
Research indicates that out-of-pocket cancer expenses have increased more than 15%. For the most common cancers, this now ranges from $4,500 to $6,000 in out-of-pocket costs per patient.
Most Americans can’t afford an emergency expense over $1,000, so a cancer diagnosis—even with health insurance in place—could create significant financial hardship.
Many health insurers today require higher premiums and greater cost-sharing through increased deductibles and co-pays. That means many people in the U.S. who are facing cancer also face worse outcomes from financial hardship or from delaying their care due to costs.
How Cancer Insurance Steps In to Help
In addition to the lump-sum payment for a cancer diagnosis, cancer insurance policies may also offer benefits such as reimbursement for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, hospital stays and other cancer-related treatments. Some policies may even provide benefits for cancer screenings and early detection, which can help in identifying and treating cancer at an earlier stage. By providing financial support beyond what traditional health insurance covers, cancer insurance aims to bring peace of mind during an already challenging time and protection from long-term financial hardship.
At a Glance: Platinum Cancer Policy Benefits
Platinum has conducted tens of thousands of one-on-one consultations with our customers in an effort to provide the best products and services to hard-working individuals and families. Here’s a look at some of the top benefits that are part of our Platinum-marketed cancer lump-sum policy.
Chemotherapy and radiation: Pays for necessary cancer medications and treatments.
Drugs and medicine: Pays for FDA-approved medication received during a covered hospital visit.
Hospital confinement: Pays a daily benefit when you are confined to a hospital for at least 18 hours as a result of cancer.
Experimental treatment: Pays for experimental drugs and chemicals, surgery, or therapy endorsed by either the NCI or ACS for experimental studies in the treatment of cancer.
Egg or sperm harvesting: Pays to harvest and store an egg or sperm prior to beginning cancer treatment that would damage the egg or sperm.
Transportation and lodging: Covers the costs for an insured and adult companion when travel is required for care.
Healthy screening and diagnostic testing: Pays for annual preventative and diagnostic care.
WATCH: Platinum representative Wendy O. shares how a Platinum-marketed cancer policy restored financial hope for her customer.
Make an Informed Decision
When considering whether cancer insurance is the right choice for you, several factors should be taken into account:
- Assess your individual risk factors, such as age, lifestyle choices, environmental factors and any pre-existing conditions that may increase your likelihood of developing cancer.
- Consider your family medical history, as certain genetic predispositions can heighten the risk.
- Review the terms of your medical insurance to understand what cancer-related costs are covered and any limitations.
- Evaluate your personal financial situation. Consider the potential long-term impact of cancer treatment on your finances as well as the cost of any coverage you may choose to fit your needs.
When reviewing and comparing cancer insurance policies, carefully examine the coverage details, benefit amounts, waiting periods and exclusions. Also take note of unique policy advantages. For instance, policies marketed by Platinum:
- Pay cash benefits directly to the policyholder so they can use them toward their greatest need.
- Do not increase in premium because of age.
- Offer return of premium benefits, where available.* This means you can recoup your premiums at the end of your policy’s term (or, in some cases, upon death) less any claim amounts paid to you.
With several different affordable coverage options, a Platinum-marketed cancer policy can help you fill the gaps in your current health insurance coverage with security and peace of mind.
Tell Us How We Can Help
If you would like to discuss a new or existing policy, or have questions about increasing your coverage, our friendly, knowledgeable customer service team is on standby to help.
CBS News. CBS News Poll: Majority of U.S. Families Touched by Cancer. (March, 12, 2017). https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-poll-majority-of-us-families-touched-by-cancer/
National Cancer Institute. Cancer Statistics. (Sept. 25, 2020). https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics
American Cancer Society. New Study Shows Patients Paying More Out-of-Pocket Costs for Cancer Care. (Sept. 13, 2022). https://pressroom.cancer.org/OutofPocketCosts
Fortune Recommends. 57% of American’s Can’t Afford a $1,000 Emergency Expense, Says New Report. (Jan. 25, 2023). https://fortune.com/recommends/banking/57-percent-of-americans-cant-afford-a-1000-emergency-expense/
American Cancer Society. Financial Problems Can Affect Cancer Survivors for Years. (Dec. 5, 2019). https://www.cancer.org/research/acs-research-news/financial-problems-can-affect-cancer-survivors-for-years.html
*Return of premium benefits are not available in all states or at all ages.
Platinum is a marketer of supplemental health insurance products.
Policies have exclusions and limitations. For costs and complete details of coverage, contact Platinum Supplemental Insurance.
This is a solicitation of insurance and an agent may contact you.