Analyze the Coverage: Cancer Insurance
Cancer can sack you faster than a pro linebacker. Health insurance doesn’t always cover all the costs of treatment, it can be valuable to have cancer insurance. Just ask Patricia Fox, a young breast cancer survivor and the author of Declarations: Statements of Healing for Women Braving Dis-ease.
“I actually had cancer insurance … and I canceled the policy,” says the insurance agent-turned-beauty-and-fashion expert. “I canceled the cancer insurance because I’m just like, ‘Oh, yeah, you know, everybody’s right. I don’t need it. I’m so young.’ And then, cancer.”
After finding a lump in her breast, Fox was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after her 26th birthday. And with the high cost of cancer treatments, her physical battle soon turned into a financial one, leading her to make tough choices, like doing a voluntary repo on her car. Years later, she still regrets not keeping her cancer insurance, especially given how affordable it is (some weekly rates can cost less than a gallon of milk).1
“Still to this day, I’m like, ‘Damn. You know what 25 racks coulda did for me to avert all of this?’” Fox says.
The exact amount of money you can claim from your cancer insurance policy will vary depending on your situation. But one thing’s for sure: Cancer insurance isn’t just a nice-to-have.
Here are three ways that cancer insurance can help you:
1. Cancer insurance can help you detect cancer early.
Nobody wants to find out they have cancer. But finding out early is far better than finding out late—it allows you to tackle the disease from the jump before it becomes more aggressive.
Cancer screenings are the best way to detect the disease. These tests are used to find cancer even before a person has symptoms,2 and cancer insurance can help pay for them.
2. Cancer insurance can help you pay for chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
If you get cancer, there’s a good chance you’ll need chemotherapy. Or surgery. Or maybe something else, like radiation therapy. You might even need a combination of them. Either way, it’s going to be a high bill. You can use the cash benefits from your cancer insurance policy to help pay for any of these treatments.
3. Cancer insurance can help you pay for non-treatment expenses.
Life doesn’t stop with a cancer diagnosis. You’ll still need to pay for your rent, groceries, and gas to get to and from treatment. If anything, you might find it necessary to dig deeper into your wallet to take advantage of things like therapy (the non-cancer kind), something Fox pursued after a switch in treatment didn’t do what it was supposed to do.
“After [that], I cried,” Fox says. “It was as if somebody literally ripped my heart out of my chest, and I just saw it on the floor, and they were just stepping on it. The anguish that I felt in that cry? I was like, ‘I need some support. I need somebody to talk to.’”
When your cancer insurance carrier sends you your policy’s cash benefit, you can use that money to help as you see fit. The roof over your head? Check. Food in your stomach? No problem. Gas in your car? Not an issue. Therapy? Most definitely.
At the end of the day, cancer insurance helps protect your financial health—so you can focus on your physical health. Because that’s all that should matter.
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