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Pros and Cons of Cancer Insurance

Thanks to medical advancements, more patients survive cancer each year.1 However, treatment can be costly. The average cost of medical care and drugs to treat cancer is around $42,000 in the year after getting a diagnosis, with the exact cost depending on several factors.2 Cancer insurance could help you prepare financially for a potential cancer diagnosis and treatment, helping to ease the emotional stress of this situation if it occurs. In this article, we’ll discuss what cancer insurance covers, then review some benefits and drawbacks to help you determine if it’s right for you.

How cancer insurance works

Cancer insurance is supplemental insurance that helps cover the costs of diagnosing and treating cancer. There are several types of cancer insurance policies:3

  • Expense-incurred policy: These pay a specific percentage of treatment costs up to a defined limit.
  • Indemnity policy: These pay a fixed sum for each treatment covered by the policy.
  • Lump-sum policy: These pay a defined cash benefit for medical expenses directly and indirectly related to the treatment.

The first two policy types, like health insurance, come with deductibles, copays, and other stipulations. Lump-sum cash benefit policies simply pay you a benefit directly (unless assigned otherwise), letting you use the funds as you need.

Covering the cost of cancer treatment without insurance can be challenging. A cancer insurance policy from Aflac can help you prepare for these circumstances and manage the cost of treatment much more easily.

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What does cancer insurance cover?

Cancer insurance can assist with the costs of treating cancer.

Cancer insurance may also help cover costs not directly related to treatment, such as:

  • Lost income
  • Living expenses
  • Paying off debts

Pros of cancer insurance

Buying a cancer insurance policy offers many benefits, such as:

Affordable premiums

Cancer insurance premiums are generally affordable. Many plans cost $10 to $50 per month, although your premiums can vary based on many factors.3 Regardless, these premiums can be well worth the cost of cancer and other expenses you must cover during treatment.

Use the payout for any expenses

Many use cancer insurance payouts to help cover treatment and medication costs. However, you can use the payout for nearly anything.3 For example, your benefit can help replace lost wages, pay for travel to cancer facilities, and cover some of your living expenses.

Be prepared for anything

Cancer insurance helps you prepare for the unexpected. Even if you are never diagnosed with cancer, having a cancer insurance policy can help give you peace of mind throughout your life. It also ensures your loved ones are not financially strained when helping you pay for treatment if you do get a diagnosis.

Cons of cancer insurance

Cancer insurance offers plenty of benefits, but there are a few downsides to consider:

Premiums are higher for older individuals

The risk of cancer increases as we age.4 This can cause premiums to be higher for older individuals when getting a policy. Luckily, getting a policy while younger can help you lock in lower premiums. That way, you can keep paying affordable premiums for the rest of your life.

Many policies don’t cover non-melanoma skin cancer

Cancer insurance typically doesn’t cover costs associated with non-melanoma skin cancer.5 As a result, you may pay premiums for a cancer insurance policy that can’t help you cover treatment costs if you get this type of diagnosis.

Is cancer insurance right for me?

Consider the following factors when deciding if cancer insurance is worth getting:

  • Family and personal health history: Investing in a cancer insurance policy can help provide peace of mind and prepare you if you have a family history of cancer.
  • Financial situation: You must weigh the cost of premiums against the costs of cancer treatment. Individuals with more financial resources may skip cancer insurance, whereas those who may need financial help should consider getting a policy.
  • Future financial goals and obligations: Cancer insurance may be worth buying if you have future financial goals or responsibilities, such as buying a home or paying for your children’s college education.
  • Healthcare access: The cancer insurance payout can help cover the cost of specialized cancer centers or health providers if you get cancer and need to visit one of these.
  • Lifestyle and occupation: Certain lifestyle choices, like smoking, could increase the risk of getting cancer. Similarly, some occupations, such as those that expose workers to chemicals and toxins, may increase cancer risks. Getting a policy could help protect you in these and similar situations.

Get a cancer insurance quote

Nobody knows what the future holds, but you can take steps to be prepared. Cancer insurance can provide you and your loved ones with significant peace of mind throughout life and offer substantial financial relief if you receive a diagnosis.

Consider your age, personal and family health history, financial situation and goals, lifestyle, and job before getting a policy. This can help you determine if you need cancer insurance and, if so, what kind of coverage to pursue. If you’d like the financial safety net that comes with cancer insurance, speak with an Aflac agent about your options today.

Still have questions?

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