What is the benefit of Cancer Insurance?
The NHS does an amazing job and has targets in place specifically for the treatment of cancer patients however we are all aware of the pressure it is under and the limitations that can be placed on treatment available. Whilst health insurance for cancer patients would never replace the NHS, it can enhance the medical treatment you receive providing:
- Faster access to tests, diagnosis and treatment
- Flexibility to be treated in a private hospital or NHS in return for an NHS cash benefit
- Access to ground breaking, more expensive treatment and specialist equipment that may not be available on the NHS
- Post surgery care / treatment / monitoring
- Palliative care
In addition, many cancer insurance plans also provide a helpline or access to trained professionals providing round the clock advice and support at a time when you need it most.
How does cancer insurance work?
The level of cancer insurance you receive varies depending on the medical insurance policy you choose. Many offer a minimum level of cancer care that increases depending on whether you choose a more basic or comprehensive health insurance plan. Others will have specific cancer cover insurance that you can add to your core healthcare policy.
You should expect a more comprehensive health insurance plan to provide end to end cancer care; from diagnosis through to treatment and ongoing recovery and monitoring whereas a more basic health care plan may just provide cover for any surgery required, or have limitations on diagnostics and specialist or consultant fees.
For example, Vitality Health’s policy includes cancer cover in their core health care plan. This includes full cover for radiotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery and reconstructive surgery, plus limited cover for biological, bisphosphonate and hormone therapies and follow up consultations for 5 years. The medical attention for the cancer diagnosis would be included in their core cover.
If you prefer additional cancer insurance however, you can choose Vitality’s Extended Cancer Cover, which for an additional premium also gives you full cover for the therapy treatments previously mentioned, plus allowances for end-of-life home nursing care, wigs and restyling, scalp cooling and mastectomy bras and external prostheses.
So as you can see, comprehensive cancer insurance plan can provide more holistic cover including post surgery aftercare as well as diagnosis and treatment.
Health Insurance for pre-existing cancer
Whilst you can get private health insurance with pre-existing cancer, again it depends on the insurer and also the state of your health.
For example Moratorium health care plans provide cover for pre existing conditions that you have been free from for five years and some fixed rate moratorium plans will provide some cancer cover as long as you have had your private health insurance for a number of years.
So you will find that with a pre-existing cancer condition, some insurers will not provide cover at all, some may provide cancer cover after a number of years and others will provide medical cover but for conditions excluding cancer.
Our guide to pre-existing condition health insurance will help you understand more about the cover available to you and how to look for the most suitable plan.
It's worth noting that if you have existing health cover that should you consider switching health insurance companies that you could lose out on some benefits, so you should way up the pros and cons very carefully.