Florida cancer insurance is widely available through multiple providers, but before selecting a cancer insurance policy, there are many caveats to consider. While Florida cancer insurance can provide some financial assistance, it does not replace major medical coverage in any way. Although 99,745 Floridians were diagnosed with primary cancer in 2005 and 40,145 Floridians died of cancer that same year, according to the 2005 Florida Annual Cancer Report by Florida Department of Health, it is important to keep the numbers in perspective. While three out of ten Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society, seven out of ten will never be diagnosed with this disease. Florida cancer insurance may be an unnecessary expense provided major medical insurance is purchased.
Most major medical insurance policies will protect against catastrophic medical costs and typically cover the insured for any accident or illness, including cancer. Major medical insurance costs more than a cancer insurance policy by itself, but it includes much more coverage and many more benefits so it is generally considered a better purchase. This is because cancer treatments, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, only account for approximately 10% of health expenses in the United States. Therefore, in addition to minor illness and injury, major medical will almost always cover cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other numerous diseases, so you will have a more rounded insurance protection plan.
The Caveats Of Cancer Insurance
Cancer insurance does not replace comprehensive coverage and, like all supplemental policies, it may provide unnecessary duplicate coverage if you already have a major medical insurance policy. Therefore, if you are going to supplement your health care insurance with cancer insurance, be certain that the cancer policy provides coverage that is not met by your major medical policy. Also, be advised that some policies will not pay for duplicate benefits, so read all of your policies carefully to be sure you know exactly what you are purchasing and what benefits you will actually receive.
Cancer insurance will not provide any benefits for cancer you have at the time of purchasing the policy, even if you were not yet diagnosed at the time. Some policies only cover hospitalization, which is oftentimes unnecessary coverage since most of today’s treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation, are done on an outpatient basis. Furthermore, if there is a hospital stay, the average stay for a cancer patient is 13 days, so benefits that increase after a 90 consecutive day stay are typically unwarranted.
Also, be sure to review the policy in details because many cancer insurance policies have fixed dollar limits on various cancer treatment aspects, such as $1,500 for surgery costs. Oftentimes a policy will have fixed time limits, such as a waiting period of 30 days or several months before the policy goes into effect. The policy also can stop paying benefits after a fixed period of time, such as two or three years. And most cancer insurance policies do not cover cancer-related illnesses, such as infection or pneumonia.
Reasons To Consider Cancer Insurance
According to the National Institute of Health, the overall costs of cancer in the United States in 2007 were over $219 billion. Of this, $89 billion were for medical costs and another $18 billion accounted for costs resulting from lost productivity. On average, 78% of cancer expense is for hospitalization, 13% are for doctors, and the remaining costs are for other professional services, drugs, nursing homes, and the like.
While some cancer insurance policies do not cover the large non-medical but related expenses such as home care, transportation, and rehabilitation costs, other cancer insurance policies pay a cash benefit directly to the insured. This cash benefit can be used to pay for treatment, whether it be standard or experimental, for reconstructive or cosmetic surgery, or it can even be used to help pay for debts. The application of the cash benefit is solely at the discretion of the insured.
Per the American Cancer Society, one of two men and one of three women will get cancer in their lifetime. Second to the leading killer known as heart disease, nearly ¼ of deaths in the United States are caused by cancer. The estimated amount of new cancer diagnoses for 2009 for all cancer sites is 1,479,350, with 766,130 being male and 713,220 being female. 292,540 males and 269,800 females are estimated to die of cancer in 2009, totaling 562,340 people.
Causes of Cancer
Lifestyle, genetics, and the environment can all play a role in developing cancer. While genes are often a large topic in cancer conversation, it is important to note that cancer itself is not considered hereditary. Abnormal genes can be passed on from one generation to the next, which may result in cancer, but this only accounts for 5 to 10% of all cancers. Inherited abnormal genes make mutations easier to build in the cells, which can result in cancer. Because of this, most “inherited cancers” tend to occur earlier in life. These types of cancers are usually rare cancers such as kidney cancer, cancer that happen at a younger than typical age, such as colon cancer in a twenty-year-old, multiple cancers such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the same person, having two paired organs affected such as both eyes, and the same cancer affecting a set of siblings. The closer the relative, the stronger the chance of an abnormal gene being passed down. For example, a mother, father, or sibling is more likely to pass down an abnormal gene than an uncle or distant cousin.
The remaining cancers that are not considered hereditary are caused by changes in some genes, known as mutations, which cause cells to grow out of control. Mutations, which can lead to cancer, are affected greatly by lifestyle and the environment. They continue to build up as we age, which is why many cancers tend to affect people that are older in years. Common sense tells us that diet, exercise, and reducing our proximity to certain elements such as cigarette smoke can help our genes stay healthy. However, there are many more factors that can affect our genes, such as air pollution, carcinogens, chemicals, certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites, some medical treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, and radiation from items like cell phones, sunlight, and UV (Ultraviolet).
Buying Florida Cancer Insurance
With such a variety of factors that can affect cancer risk, no one can safely assume they are immune. However, routine screenings and early detection can certainly help in the diagnosis, treatment and cure of this potentially fatal disease. According to the Commonwealth Fund’s National Scorecard in September of 2006, uninsured patients are less likely to receive recommended care than insured patients. The American Cancer Society reports that in 2006, a staggering 47 million people did not have health care insurance and 25% of people used up their life savings paying for cancer treatment. Another 27% did not seek treatment at all because of the cost of cancer. The American Cancer Society started the “Access to Care” campaign in 2007 to help raise awareness of the struggles faced by individuals and families that are uninsured or underinsured.
Although insurance can be costly, it can be more costly to be without it. Major medical coverage is available as well as a variety of supplemental policies. Varying degrees of premiums and deductibles make it possible to find a plan that will work for you. The Florida health insurance quote tool above can help you find a policy that matches your needs. If you have any questions, please call the independent agent at the phone number above, or to get started finding health care insurance right away, enter your zip code above.