While we all hope never to use cancer insurance, everyone wants protection in the event of a serious illness. Unfortunately, major medical insurance like Medicare does not cover costs not directly related to treatment, leaving seniors scrambling to afford additional expenses on a fixed income. Cancer insurance can help offset these costs for cancer patients and their families.
Read on to learn what cancer insurance plans cover and whether one might be a good fit for your client.
What Is Cancer Insurance?
Cancer insurance plans are supplemental plans designed to insure against costs incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. For seniors with Medicare, cancer-related costs not covered under their health insurance include:
- Deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance
- Loss of income
- Transportation to appointments and treatments
- Travel costs for treatment
- Clothes for dramatic weight loss
- Wigs or hairpieces for chemotherapy hair loss
- Participation in medical trials and experimental treatments
For those who do not have a leading cancer hospital in their area, costs for transportation, lodging, and food for the patient and family can quickly become a considerable expense. Everything from airfare to gas and parking fees is the patient’s responsibility and can easily put them under severe financial strain.
Cancer insurance plans are plans that pay out if the insured is diagnosed with cancer. These supplemental policies aim to cover cancer-related costs health insurance does not cover.
Types of Cancer Insurance Plans
There are two types of cancer policies: lump sum plans, and schedule of benefits plans.
Lump sum cancer plans are very straightforward, as the plan pays a face-value lump sum if the insured is diagnosed with cancer. The coverage amounts are flexible, ranging from $10,000 to $50,000. Since there are no requirements for how the money is used, the patient and family are free to use the money however they see fit.
Schedule of benefits cancer plans operate differently. These are indemnity plans that pay fixed dollar amounts for specific instances or situations. The schedule of benefits might include a payment of $0.50 per mile for transportation, $300 per day for receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatments, or $10,000 for a bone marrow transplant. Schedule of benefits plans have a long list of possible events a cancer patient might experience, and benefits can be paid for multiple areas at once.
How Much Does Cancer Insurance Cost?
Even for seniors, cancer insurance plans tend to be surprisingly affordable. Depending on the amount of coverage, plans can be around $20 to $100 per month. While some companies will not issue plans to cancer survivors, a number of them will if you meet specific criteria.
Additional Coverage Riders
Some cancer insurance companies offer riders beneficiaries can add to their policy to extend coverage to other conditions. The most frequently added riders are for heart attacks and strokes, meaning if the plan offers a lump sum benefit, that benefit will also be paid in the event of one of those conditions.
Another rider available for cancer policies is a recurrence benefit. This rider allows the insured to potentially receive an additional lump sum payment if the cancer comes back. Recurrence riders typically have restrictions and may not pay out again if the recurrence happens within two years.
For those interested in both the schedule of benefits and lump sum plan types, some schedule of benefits plans offer a lump sum rider. Under this rider, the insured would receive both a lump sum payment at diagnosis and the payments as specified on the benefit schedule.
The flexibility and affordability of cancer insurance make these plans a good fit for almost any client. By educating your client about the limitations of Medicare and the important yet overlooked costs of cancer diagnosis and treatment, you can create transparency and help them make choices to protect their savings.
How Do I Learn More?
For more information about supplemental cancer insurance, visit American Senior Benefits. Our affiliated agents can help you find the right product lines to build a well-informed and exciting career.