1. Health

Cancer Insurance: Do You Need Insurance Against Cancer

What is Cancer Insurance?

By

Updated April 17, 2014

Cancer insurance is a relatively new fad in the world of health insurance programs. It was created in response to the increasing rate of cancer diagnoses worldwide. Cancer insurance is designed to help reduce the cost of cancer care, but is it worth it?

What is Cancer Insurance?

Cancer insurance is a type of supplemental insurance policy that helps to reduce the cost of cancer treatment. It is not designed to replace a traditional health insurance policy, but to compliment it by covering additional cancer expenses that may not be covered by one's current policy.

To be eligible for cancer insurance, you cannot have a pre-existing cancerous condition. For example, you cannot have been diagnosed with uterine cancer and then apply for a policy. In most cases, people who have previously been diagnosed and treated for cancer are ineligible for coverage, also.

What Does Cancer Insurance Cover?

Coverage varies based on the provider and policy details, but most plans cover both medical and non-medical expenses. Medical expenses can include co-pays, extended hospital stays, medical tests, procedures like stem cell transplants and other disease specific treatments, and more. Non-medical expenses can include home health care, loss of income benefits, child care expenses, and dietary restriction aids.

Before purchasing a cancer insurance plan, it is important that you understand what is covered in the policy. You should also compare the benefits to your current health insurance plan to see if there is any overlap in coverage. There is no sense in buying a cancer insurance policy if your current policy covers the same events.

Do You Need a Cancer Insurance Plan?

There is a lot of debate about disease specific health insurance plans, like cancer insurance. Some people firmly support them, while others believe that these are "junk plans" are rarely needed. Here are some points to consider when thinking about buying a cancer insurance plan:

What is your cancer risk? Do you have a strong, familial history of cancer? If so, cancer insurance may make sense for you. Those with a strong family history of cancer may want to take a look at their current policy and see how cancer insurance may compliment their current policy.

Would upgrading my current basic health insurance plan be a better idea? Choosing to upgrade your current policy may also be an alternative to buying an cancer protection plan, especially for those who are at average risk of developing cancer. It may cost less than adding an additional policy and provide more of a wide range of benefits.

Remember that two policies may not equal to double the coverage. Having a basic comprehensive health insurance plan along with a cancer insurance plan does not necessarily mean that you will get double the benefits. Most major insurance policies have a coordination of benefits clause that states that it won't cover expenses that the other plan does. By purchasing cancer insurance, you may be degrading your basic policy!

Before You Buy

Before you sign your name on the dotted line of cancer insurance policy, shop around. Many plans are available and comparing them is highly recommended. This includes shopping around for other types of plans like disability insurance which may be a better option for you than cancer protection.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.