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What is Cancer Insurance?

Bookmark and Share Treatment for cancer can cost over $1 million. With most insurance plans, cancer patients max out their policy limits and face financial hardship as they get treatment. Cancer insurance reduces the financial burden and allows you to receive the treatment you need and want.

What Cancer Insurance Covers

With cancer insurance, you receive supplemental coverage that bridges the gap between the cost of your treatment and the amount your primary health insurance covers. It reduces your out-of-pocket expenses and allows you to receive the lifesaving treatment you need, and it can cover non-medical expenses. Consider this list of expenses cancer insurance can pay.  

  • Co-pays and deductibles
  • Extended hospital stays
  • Medical tests
  • Procedures such as stem cell transplants
  • Other disease-specific treatments
  • Home health care
  • Wage replacement
  • Child care
  • Dietary restriction aids
  • Transportation to medical appointments
  • Family vacation
As with any insurance, read your specific policy carefully to find exactly what it covers.

Types of Cancer Insurance

Primary health insurance often covers cancer treatments, including diagnostic tests, doctor visits and medicine. However, cancer insurance serves as an important supplement. There are two main types.

  1. The most popular cancer insurance policies pay benefits in a lump sum when the policy holder is diagnosed with cancer. You have the freedom to use the money to pay whatever expenses you wish.

  2. Less common cancer insurance policies pay for cancer-related expenses not covered by the primary health insurance policy. Coverage with this type of policy varies and may exclude the same expenses traditional health insurance excludes, so you must read the policy carefully to be sure your needs is met.
Six Important Considerations

Before you purchase cancer insurance, understand six important considerations.
  1. No matter which type of policy you choose, you may not have a pre-existing cancerous condition, including cancer treatment, to qualify for coverage.

  2. There is a waiting period after you purchase the policy and before benefits are paid. If you are diagnosed with cancer during that time, you will not receive a payout.

  3. Compare your primary health insurance and cancer insurance policies to ensure benefits do not overlap.

  4. Non-melanoma skin cancer is not covered by cancer insurance.

  5. You may receive a reduced benefit if you have an early cancer rather than an invasive cancer.

  6. Be prepared to provide documentation of your cancer diagnosis from your health care provider before you will receive the policy benefits.
When you're diagnosed with cancer, you need all your energy to fight the disease and take care of yourself, not worry about how to pay for treatment. Cancer insurance gives you peace of mind as it relieves your financial burden and allows you to focus on your battle.
 

Health Insurance for the Self-Employed

Bookmark and Share The self-employed tackle challenges that those employed by others rarely face: doing budgets, growing their business - and, of course, Health insurance.

The cost of individual Health coverage has skyrocketed during the past decade, with average monthly premiums growing more than 500%. What's more, co-pays and deductibles keep going up, while covered services are shrinking.

However, there are options that can help the self-employed enjoy significant savings on Health insurance:
    The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

    COBRA is a federal law that guarantees workers who lose their jobs - and thus the Group Health benefits provided by their employers,- he opportunity to retain coverage on themselves and their families for up to 18 months, as long as they pay the policy premium (plus a surcharge of up to 2%). COBRA gives the self-employed a short-term 'time cushion" during which they can make other health care choices.

    Online Providers

    The Internet has given rise to a number of smaller, increasingly flexible, more price-conscious, and highly competitive companies that offer the self-employed a variety of options for affordable Health insurance.

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA)

    Everything that we know about Health insurance for the self-employed (as well as employees in small and medium -sized businesses) is in a state of flux as more provisions of the ACA take effect over the next few months. The government, in partnership with Health insurance providers, will offer a variety of options - and require every adult to carry some type of coverage, or face a tax penalty.
For more information on how to get the best value on your Health insurance, at an affordable price, feel free to get in touch with our agency at any time.
 

Understand Critical Illness Insurance

Bookmark and Share Medical advances keep us healthier. However, debilitating illnesses still affect thousands of people, and the costs of treating those illnesses cause many medical bankruptcies. With critical illness insurance, you may get the treatment you need, keep your home and other assets, and spend time with your family.

Critical Illness Insurance Coverage

Dozens of medical conditions, including injuries, disease and surgeries, are covered under critical illness insurance. Several examples include:
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Cancers
  • Coma
  • Heart attack
  • Heart valve surgery
  • Kidney failure
  • Loss of sight/speech/hearing
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Organ transplant
  • Paraplegia
  • Severe burns
  • Stroke
Many critical illness insurance companies offer critical illness categories such as cancer and related conditions, organ transplants and heart-related conditions. You may purchase coverage for one category or may more to purchase a policy that covers all the categories.

Policies usually range from $10,000 to $1 million. When you do file a claim, the insurance company will pay it in a lump sum. You may then use the money for any expense you wish, including:
  • Medical bills, deductibles, co-payments or diagnostic testing
  • Experimental treatment
  • Out-of-network doctors and hospitals
  • Transportation to treatment
  • Wheelchair or other medical equipment and supplies
  • Home health care
  • Home improvements or retrofitting
  • Household living expenses
  • Income replacement
  • Family vacation
  • Childcare
Keep in mind that critical illness insurance typically provides coverage for two to 25 years. While the insurance remains in effect as long as you pay the premiums, critical illness insurance policies include a waiting period, also known as an elimination period, during which you cannot receive benefits.  

Critical Illness Insurance Costs

Your age, height, weight, family health history, nicotine use and current medical conditions affect the cost of your critical illness insurance policy. Premiums may increase when these factors change.

Also, your costs depend on the amount of coverage you buy. Choose the right amount of coverage for you when you add two years worth of mortgage or rent payments and the amount of your outstanding credit card debt.

How to Purchase Critical Illness Insurance

When you decide critical illness insurance is right for you, purchase it in several ways.
  1. Purchase an individual policy, which includes a medical exam.

  2. Add the benefit through your employee benefits package and pay the premiums through payroll deduction. You'll either receive a certificate under your employer's group plan or an individual workplace policy.

  3. Add as a supplement to your major medical health insurance policy.

  4. Purchase as a supplement to your life insurance policy.
With critical illness insurance, you can afford medical treatment and provide for your family. It gives you peace of mind and may be a wise investment.
 

Conversion Options for Term Life Insurance

Bookmark and Share Term life insurance is temporary, but it doesn't have to stay that way. Most term life policies sold today can be converted to permanent whole life or universal life which will provide coverage until you die and can offer significant advantages.

When you convert from term life to permanent, you won't have to answer questions about your health or undergo a medical exam. If you bought a policy when you were in excellent health but then later got sick, you’ll maintain the health rating you had when you purchased coverage.

If you're relatively young, the conversion feature also allows you to build your life insurance investment gradually as money becomes available. More and more people are using this strategy to accumulate a life insurance nest egg for their beneficiary(ies). For instance, you might convert $100,000 of a $1 million term life policy to permanent life every few years.

When shopping for convertible term life coverage, ask yourself:
    Is there a deadline for converting?

    Although some policies let you convert at any time until the end of the term, others only allow conversion during a specific period.

    What are your conversion options?

    This will depend on the insurance company and the quality of its portfolio.

    What are your options if you don't convert?

    Once your policy reaches the end of its term, the premium spikes and is no longer guaranteed. To keep coverage in force, you’ll either have to either pay a far higher rate or shop for a new policy, which might be difficult if your health has declined.
We’d be happy to review your financial situation and offer our recommendations. Just give us a call.