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Cancer Insurance
Old 06-30-2009, 09:13 AM   #1
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Cancer Insurance

I would like to get your opinion regarding the wisdom of cancer insurance in my situation. DH is a retired career teacher in a second career. When he no longer works full time and we need to get health insurance thru the teacher's retirement plan he will receive a reduced health insurance premium. As his spouse, I will pay full price. One plan has a premium of $486 for me but should I get cancer, they only pay up to $3000 for drugs and then it must come out of pocket. The more expensive plan would cost $967 a month but would cover the full amount of any cancer drugs. When my husband got his current job, he bought cancer insurance for the both of us from Colonial for $100 a month total. I had read prior to that that cancer insurance was a waste and had cautioned against it but he prevailed and we have gotten much of our premiums back in "wellness benefits". Now I am thinking that perhaps cancer insurance would solve the dilemma. I could get the lower premium health care and fill in the gap with cancer insurance. Any thoughts? TIA!
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:19 AM   #2
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What, specifically, does the "cancer insurance" cover? The devil is often in the details.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:34 AM   #3
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Cancer insurance is generally considered by financial professionals as a waste of money due to the restrictions and limitations of the policies. I could not think of a situation in which it would make sense to purchase "specific disease" insurance.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:36 AM   #4
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I have never seen a cancer policy that is worth its cost. If you are worried about drug coverage, you could skip the cancer policy, take the $481 per month savings and stash it somewhere for a rainy day.

Your primary policy should cover cancer comparable to any other illness. THe savings in premium alone would cover a lot of prescription.

Of course read the fine print, and the above may or may not apply to your particular situation. But my experience with cancer health insurance is that it is not wise for many people.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=Rich_in_Tampa;831110]"I have never seen a cancer policy that is worth its cost. If you are worried about drug coverage, you could skip the cancer policy, take the $481 per month savings and stash it somewhere for a rainy day."

Rich, the drug cost is the only thing I am concerned about. I have several family members who have recently been successfully treated for cancer and the drugs were $3000-$8000 a dose given every three weeks. We do not have a great deal of money and a lengthy battle with cancer would do us in.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:29 AM   #6
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What, specifically, does the "cancer insurance" cover? The devil is often in the details.
ReWahoo the policy covers drugs, home caregivers, transportation and lodging. As I told Rich, only the high cost of drugs is what I lose sleep over.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:31 AM   #7
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How is your overall health? Do you have preexisting conditions that would preclude getting your own policy? For one healthy non-smoking individual, $486 a month doesn't seem all that cheap, and especially not for a policy that excludes cancer drugs over $3000 a year.

Could you self-insure a high deductible for yourself (i.e. $2000-5000 a year), provided the cancer drugs were included in the policy?
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:33 AM   #8
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Rich, the drug cost is the only thing I am concerned about. I have several family members who have recently been successfully treated for cancer and the drugs were $3000-$8000 a dose given every three weeks. We do not have a great deal of money and a lengthy battle with cancer would do us in.
Yes, I understand - it's a scary system where you can get caught in that trap. However, drug coverage can be denied even by cancer policies if they deem them "experimental," so watch out for that (depending on your contract). And there is a gray zone between which drugs are for the cancer and which are for other indications - gets gamey. Most standard policies cover chemotherapy costs.

OTOH, $5700 per year of additional premium (if my arithmetic is right) saved for just a few years is also a lot of money. I am sure you'll decide what's right for you based on the details and costs.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:38 AM   #9
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What Ziggy said.

Why not talk to an insurance broker about your situation? They might suggest options we overlook.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:12 PM   #10
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My company paid for my cancer policy when I worked but when I retired, I decided to take it with me since it was portable. Normally I would agree with most and say it is not worth it. Just save the premium and put it away for out of pocket cost. But since my brother died of cancer, I decided it might not be a bad idea to keep it. Cost $25 per month. I've used the policy twice for skin cancer. Just got a check the other day for $700.

I may not keep it long term, but I feel better having it. Probably not being rational about it though.
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:33 PM   #11
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One plan has a premium of $486 for me but should I get cancer, they only pay up to $3000 for drugs and then it must come out of pocket.
There are a lot of expensive diseases out there, cancer is only one. Is it just cancer treatment that is limited in your present insurance? I'm no expert, but I wouldn't have expected that.
Yes, buying insurance for a specific disease is generally not cost effective. The drug costs for other diseases can also be very high, and you'll be just as financially devastated if your have to pay $50K per year for antirejection drugs after a liver transplant as you'd be if you had to pay for chemo.

A high-deductible policy that covers you for catastrophic medical expenses of any kind not covered by your primary insurance would be the best bet, if you can find it.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:06 PM   #12
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How is your overall health? Do you have preexisting conditions that would preclude getting your own policy? For one healthy non-smoking individual, $486 a month doesn't seem all that cheap, and especially not for a policy that excludes cancer drugs over $3000 a year.

Could you self-insure a high deductible for yourself (i.e. $2000-5000 a year), provided the cancer drugs were included in the policy?
Ziggy I would say my overall health is good but I do have some pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Although both are well controlled with medication it may impact my ability to get private health insurance which I may be forced to do any way. With the loss of dividend income for the teacher's pension fund, they are talking about dropping spouses from health coverage which would leave me no other option. I was looking at a private health offering by United Healthcare online today and with a $5000 deductible I would be fully covered for any expensive drug treatment once I had spent $5000. We could handle that.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:10 PM   #13
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Yes, buying insurance for a specific disease is generally not cost effective. The drug costs for other diseases can also be very high, and you'll be just as financially devastated if your have to pay $50K per year for antirejection drugs after a liver transplant as you'd be if you had to pay for chemo.
Good point and one I had not thought of which is precisely why I came here for input. All these years we have had Cadillac health insurance and I'm trying to get my financial mind around the fact that it is all ending. All of you are so kind to give me your opinions. Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:51 PM   #14
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Here's a quote from a Bankrate.com article on 14 useless insurance policies. Cancer is #4.

Quote:
4. Cancer/dreaded disease insurance

You can take out a life insurance policy that pays if you die from a short list of specific diseases, such as cancer.
However, this is a little like betting a specific number on a roulette wheel, rather than on red or black: The chances of hitting it are slim.
Better to put that money toward a term life policy that covers you for a wider range of dire ends.
14 insurance policies you don&#39t need
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:35 PM   #15
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mickeyd the cancer policy I spoke of does not pay after death. It provides a benefit for drugs, home healthcare, transportation and lodging. All that concerns me is being able to afford the expensive drugs associated with the treatment of cancer. We do have term life insurance in force.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:00 PM   #16
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All that concerns me is being able to afford the expensive drugs associated with the treatment of cancer.
Unless you think that you are sure to get cancer, or that you have a better than average chance of getting cancer for some reason, I would not opt for it. You seem to be especially concerned about it, so it may be the right product to help you sleep at night.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:30 AM   #17
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:46 AM   #18
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Ever think of immigrating to Canada?
Haha! Maybe after another 200 years of global warming!
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I am telling you about my health plan
Old 08-01-2009, 03:22 AM   #19
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I am telling you about my health plan

Can you imagine, in my very little country in Europe every drug dose prescribed costs only 4.7 Euro per dose if you are rich. If you need more than 20 doses per year then all additional doses will be FREE! Unless you are poor, than you dont pay anyway.

Plus, pre-existing conditions don't matter the people even never have heard about the word: "pre-existing conditions" What does that mean ? If you stay in hospital you have to pay the "gap" of 30,- Euro per day for food. BUT if you stay for more than 2 weeks per year in hospital everything is free - even if you are the richest person from USA. New dentures cost for the rich people 400,- for the poor 0,- Same perfect quality.

plus, health insurance covers everything is "free" for rich people too. And the millionairs who don't get salary, and are hiding their money, also only need to contribute less than 150,- Euro every month if they dont pay tax.. if they are hiding their money in our anonym banking accounts..

Even if you have cancer since your childhood, they'll pay! No Problem here. You like our system ? The waiting time for foreigners and newly insured americans is just 6 months to start all therapies! You like it ? Do you have 150 Euro ?
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:37 AM   #20
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In my country all pre-existing conditions are welcome to the health insurance Plus they insure everyone - no exception! If you are 101 years old have a 50kg cancer they'll insure you too ! For 150,- Euro if you are rich! For Zero Euro if you are poor. Not waiting list for surgery like in UK ! I am not from the UK
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