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Home | Health Insurance

Insuring Cancer Patients

Cancer is a frightful disease and when it is diagnosed the patient is helpless and frightened. The round of diagnosis, tests and treatments begin. Hospitalization, medicines, doctor’s fees can be very high and if the patient cannot get a suitable insurance cover, it is very difficult. Health insurance can be a tough battle for cancer patients. They have to fight their disease and also fight for insurance.

The process of treating cancer is long and tedious. Radiation and chemotherapy are expensive and leave the patient sicker than before. He needs comfort and relaxation and not worries as to how he will pay the bills if medical insurance is not provided. Here is some information, which could be of help to the sufferer.

Every year more than a million people are diagnosed as cancer patients. If they do not have insurance it is a big trouble finding a company, which will cover them after being diagnosed. When they approach an insurance company they will be asked in detail about the progress of cancer and if they are already under treatment, it is really very difficult to buy insurance. He should know exactly the type of treatment he is undergoing; its duration and the chances of recovery so that the insurance companies questions can be answered in full.

Today cancer is curable but the chances of it returning are also there. Hence the patient after being cured should make all efforts to buy health insurance so that he is at ease in the event the disease returns. If he already has a medical insurance policy, he has to know how to best use it. First of all, the patient should read his health plan. He should be clear of what he is going to incur. Whether he has the traditional ‘fee for service’ health insurance or a managed care plan, like a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), he has to know how to get the most out of the coverage. He has to find out if a second opinion will improve matters, whether his treatment has to be pre-authorized, whether he can choose his own specialists and also find out whom he should call in case of emergency. He has to be very systematic, fend for himself and also fight for himself, be his own manager and look after his papers.

After treatment, depending on the outcome of the chemotherapy or surgery or radiation, many companies will determine the qualifications and then settle insurance on a case-by-case basis.
If he has been cured of cancer after treatment, he will have to pay a higher premium than normal individuals. However the cancer patient has to have up-to-date medical records. They will help in procuring insurance for the patient. There are some insurance companies offering cancer insurance plans but they have their rules and regulations to be followed.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners provides links to specific state departments of insurance that regulate managed care. They can help.