Types of Health Insurance for Cancer Patients
Cancer is quite possibly one of the most severe diseases a person can be diagnosed with. In many instances, there is no way to predict or prevent its onset. Furthermore, it can strike anyone at any age. How prepared are you to deal with a cancer diagnosis? Do you have health insurance with cancer cover?
Health Insurance with Cancer Cover
A recent report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are on average 1.5 million cancer patients in Bangladesh with about 150,000 dying of it each year. With that in mind, it has become more crucial than ever to invest in health insurance that covers cancer treatment.
Since the risk of developing cancer is a concern everyone lives with, it’s imperative to invest in cancer insurance. Choosing comprehensive medical insurance, such as Critical Care, is the best way to ensure that you and your family are covered in the eventuality of a cancer diagnosis.
Why We Need Health Insurance With Cancer Coverage
Medical experts estimate that there are currently more than 200 different types of cancer. Of these, lung, cervical and breast cancers makeup at least 38% of cancer cases in Bangladesh. Types, diagnosis and treatments vary for each patient, making each case almost unique.
With the extensive requirements of cancer treatment, the eventual costs can be astronomical! Without the right coverage, the financial implications can be devastating.
Understanding The Costs of Cancer Care
The entire scenario may seem complicated if you don’t know the basic components. Hence, let’s break it down step by step.
What Contributes to The Cost of Cancer Care?
Since cancer is a critical illness it means there will be an extensive, long-term treatment that supplements the initial primary care. The most prominent factors that make up the cost of treating cancer care are discussed below.
The Type of Cancer Treatment You Receive
Not all cancers are the same which means that not all treatments are similar. Some cancers such as lung cancer is listed as the worst and most difficult version to treat. This means the treatment will be more progressive (and costly) than a less invasive cancer such as breast cancer.
The Length of Treatment
Another factor that determines your eventual cost is the length of the treatment required. Cancer treatments are usually divided into cycles For instance, a person with lung cancer will require between 4 to 6 cycles of treatment. This can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months. In some instances, the severity of the cancer can require additional treatments over a longer period.
The Location of the Treatment
It’s important to note that not all treatments can be done at the hospital or clinic in your area. In many instances, cancer treatments are done in Dhaka. Patients not living near this area will have the added expense of travel and accommodation if they are being treated as an outpatient.
Your Specific Health Insurance Coverage
Regrettably, not all cancer patients have a critical illness coverage. In this instance, the coverage they do have might not cover the full extent of the treatment. When this happens, the patient is left with a hefty treatment bill.
Whether You Have Supplemental Insurance
While many people do have an insurance policy, some of these policies don’t have supplemental insurance. For the most part, a supplemental insurance plan will assist with paying costs that aren’t covered by the regular insurance plan. That means a supplemental insurance is an “extra” insurance policy that you take out to provide additional funding in the event of a medical emergency or illness.
Hidden Costs of Cancer Care
There are some hidden costs of cancer care that may add more burden on the financial strain. Costs of daily living will increase in several ways. For example, if you need to travel regularly for the cancer care cost of transportation, car fuel, parking, meals will build up over time. Aside from the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis, many patients become stressed over the anticipated costs associated with cancer treatment. Let’s further break it down into medical and non-medical costs for cancer care.
Medical Costs for Cancer Care
The medical costs for cancer care depend extensively on the type of cancer the patient has. The most significant costs are mentioned below.
The most significant costs to consider are doctor’s appointments. Depending on the type and stage of the cancer, it might be necessary to have more than one doctor or specialist. As the treatment progresses, there will also be medical check-ups to ensure that care is on track.
The type of treatment is also determined by the type and progression of the cancer. This treatment can vary from being noninvasive to surgeries, blood transfusions and chemotherapy and may include long-term care.
Aside from the treatment, a patient may receive at the hospital, there will be a variety of medications and supplements added as part of the treatment plan.
Caregiving - At Home Care, Long-Term Care
Once a patient’s treatment program begins, there might be extensive caregiving required as they progress through the different stages of treatment. While some of this care happens in the hospital, there may also be instances where home care is required. Patients who experience invasive surgeries and medications may require long-term care.
Non-medical Costs for Cancer Care
As a cancer patient, you will not only have to deal with the cost of medical treatment. In some instances, there will be costs that impact your daily living as well as taking care of your family.
Transportation and Travel
A common cost experienced by patients is the transport and travel to the treatment facility. This can be quite extensive if the patient does not live in the area of treatment.
Family and Living Expenses
The stage of cancer treatment a person is at will determine whether or not they can continue working and providing for their family. In most instances, they may require hospitalization which makes it impossible to provide for their family.
Employment, Legal and Financial Issues
Since cancer is such a severe illness and the treatment is quite extensive, many patients exceed their allocated sick days offered by their companies. This can lead to financial issues and in some cases, termination of employment.
Categories of Health Insurance with Cancer Coverage
1. Private Health Insurance
There are several Private Health Insurances on offer. Each one has its own criteria and levels of coverage. We will discuss these options in more extensive detail later in the article.
2. Savings Account
Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Flexible Savings Account (FSA) is a pre-determined arrangement, usually, through an employer, which lets the policyholder pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Essentially, a Health Savings Account (HSA) enables the policyholder to set aside funds on a pre-tax basis to cover any potential medical expenses.
3. Other types of health insurance
A supplementary insurance refers to an additional insurance plan that covers healthcare costs not covered by the patient’s usual health insurance.
If your cancer results in you becoming disabled, disability insurance will pay part of your income. This type of insurance can also cover any income when a patient is unable to work as a result of undergoing treatment.
Hospital Indemnity Insurance
For the most part, a hospital indemnity insurance plan supplements an existing insurance policy by assisting with the costs of hospital stays. Some plans even offer cash payments to assist with other costs.
Long-term Care Insurance
This type of insurance coverage provides home healthcare, nursing-home care as well as personal or adult daycare. Taking this type of insurance together with a cancer policy will ensure that you’re covered in the event of long-term care requirements.
Types of Health Insurance Plans with Cancer Coverage at MetLife
1. Critical Illness Insurance Protection Plan (CIIPP)
The Critical Illness Insurance Protection Plan (CIIPP) protects the patient against 52 critical illnesses which includes cancer, first heart attack and stroke.
Features of CIIPP
- Long-term coverage until the insured reaches the age of 80
- 18 Minor critical illnesses covered
- 34 Major illnesses covered (including cancer)
- Death coverage due to any cause
- Tax advantages
2. Critical Illness Insurance with Return of Premium Super (CI ROP Super)
The Critical Illness Insurance with Return of Premium Super (CI ROP Super) offers protection associated with the return of Premium. This offers the insured a win-win scenario no matter what the diagnosis.
Features of CIROP Super
- Diagnosis/Surgery benefits ranging from BDT 200,000 to BDT 2,000,000
- 100% premium back if the insured doesn’t use the protection element of the policy
- Coverage amount to the beneficiary ranges from BDT 200,000-2,000,000 for death due to critical illness including cancer.
- One-tenth coverage amount for non-covered critical illnesses and death
3. Critical Care
Critical Care is a special Rider designed to provide you and your family with the necessary financial protection that can easily be added to life insurance. This offers financial help to combat the 25 listed critical illnesses including cancer.
Features of Critical Care
The most significant features of the Critical Care Rider include:
- Minimum benefit of BDT 2,00,000 to maximum BDT of 40,00,000
- Critical Illness Lump Sum Payment made once under this Rider if the patient is diagnosed or has undergone surgery for the 25 Critical Illnesses (of which cancer is one)
Other Health Insurances That Provide Financial Support
MediCare is a type of health insurance rider that covers medical costs during hospitalization. You can get minimum BDT 1,000 to a maximum of BDT 20,000 per day of your stay at a hospital. Impressively, this insurance plan cover provides in-hospitalization for up to 30 consecutive days and a total of 360 days during the entire policy cover period. As with hospital care, this type of insurance can also be availed for family members.
The Hospital Care rider pays the cash amount selected for the insured family members in the event of hospitalizations. This applies to all expenses and also if the patient goes to a free hospital. Payments in this case aren’t limited by any other insurance policy the patient may have. Payments can be used to cover lost income, transport costs or even family expenses.
The hospital care also offers the following benefits:
· Daily cash income: The cash payments start from the very first day of hospitalization and continue for up to 52 weeks.
· Weekly benefits: The rider offers minimum benefit of BDT 1,750 to maximum benefit of BDT 10,500 based on the policy chosen.
· Double benefit for 09 dread diseases (including cancer): This rider also offers minimum benefit of BDT 3,500 to a maximum benefit of BDT 21, 000 depending on the policy.
· No deductible amount or waiting period.
Tax Exclusions of Health Insurance
For the most part, health insurance offers several tax benefits on the premium paid. As per the Income-tax Ordinance Act 1984, an insured person will receive up to 15% income tax rebate with insurance benefits (it is treated as an investment). It is always advisable to consult with a professional income tax practitioner to know the exact rebate amount you may avail with your existing insurance plan.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Who can help me estimate the total cost of the recommended treatment plan?
Your insurance company will assist you with what is referred to as the “prevalence cost” of your cancer treatment. This will be made up of the average cost of similar treatments for the same type of cancer.
2. Does my health insurance company need to approve any or all of the treatment plan before I begin treatment?
Yes. Reviewing and approving the treatment plan is often referred to as pre-authorization. This process is necessary so that the health insurance company can determine if the treatment is covered.
3. What expenses does my health insurance cover if I need to be admitted to the hospital?
Essentially this depends on the type of coverage you have. Review this with your insurance consultant when taking out the initial policy.
4. What expenses does my health insurance cover if I receive treatment as an outpatient?
For the most part, these expenses include doctor consultations, basic medications and certain procedures. Again, this will depend on the type of insurance cover.
No one can accurately determine the chances of getting cancer. However, by reviewing the top types of insurance for cancer patients, you can prepare yourself and your family for the possibility.