Cancer Insurance: What You Need to Know

Cancer Insurance: What You Need to Know

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States ii. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018 there were 599,274 cancer deaths; 283,721 were female and 315,553 were male[i]. Additionally, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2020 there will be an estimated 1.8 million new cancer cases diagnosed and 606,520 cancer deaths in the United States[ii].

The good news is the overall cancer death rate in the United States dropped 29% from 1991 to 2017 and the American Cancer Society recently reported the biggest drop in a single year in cancer deaths ever recorded (a 2.2% drop from 2016-2017)[iii] . It is expected that the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis will rise to almost 22.2 million by 2030 [iv].

Advances in medical science have ensured that more and more people beat cancer and go on to live full, healthy lives. However, fighting cancer takes a large toll – both health-wise and financially.

Cancer treatments tend to be very costly. The AARP estimates that average costs for cancer treatment run in the $150,000 range. With new cancer treatments emerging every day, there is always hope on the horizon, however these experimental treatments can be even more expensive with many priced at over $100,000 per year[v].

Beyond needing to pay for deductibles, if you have insurance, a cancer diagnosis often requires that patients miss work—and even lose income. There will also be out-of-pocket costs associated with cancer treatment that aren’t covered by major medical insurance. These costs can add up quickly and may make it difficult to pay for other necessities. That’s where supplemental cancer insurance can help.

What is cancer insurance?

Cancer insurance is a type of supplemental health insurance that was created to aid cancer patients with unexpected costs after they receive a diagnosis.

Every cancer insurance policy is different, but most include a lump sum payout after a policyholder is diagnosed with or treated for a covered cancer. The money received is in addition to any other insurance benefits and can be used at the policyholder’s discretion to help pay for any medical and non-medical expenses.

People faced with a cancer diagnosis have to consider their treatment options. As if that isn’t worry enough, cancer treatments and their related costs can put their family’s savings in jeopardy. Suddenly, they have to find a way to meet insurance deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments and pay for “everything else,” such as:

  • Transportation to and from care facilities
  • Childcare and pet care
  • Lost income due to time off work to recover or care for a family member
  • Household bills like rent, utilities, tuition, and loans

This can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Having a cancer policy “just in case” can be an invaluable peace of mind…especially if the unthinkable does happen.

Reducing your risks

Family history and lifestyle play large roles in a person’s risk of developing cancer. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself and improve your overall health and cancer risks, including:

  • avoiding tobacco products
  • limiting consumption of red meat and cutting out processed meats
  • restricting alcoholic beverage consumption
  • limiting sun and tanning bed exposure
  • screening for cancer regularly as recommended by your doctors
  • avoiding infectious diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and the Human papillomavirus (HPV) [vi]

Get covered 

Combined Insurance’s Cancer Protector pays you a lump sum benefit if you are diagnosed with, or treated for, a covered cancer. Your company may offer voluntary benefits that include this type of coverage, or you could purchase it individually through one of our agents.

Talk with your insurance agent if you want to learn more about cancer insurance and how it can help protect you and your family. Find an agent today!

Policy underwritten by Combined Insurance Company of America (Chicago, IL) in all states, except New York. In New York, policy underwritten by Combined Life Insurance Company of New York (Latham, NY). Combined Insurance Company of America is not licensed and does not solicit business in New York. Exclusions and limitations apply. See policy for complete details.


[i] An Update on Cancer Deaths in the United States. (2020, May 29). Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

[ii] Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

[iii] Simon, S. (2020, January 08). Facts & Figures 2020 Reports Largest One-year Drop in Cancer Mortality. Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

[iv] Number of Cancer Survivors Set to Top 22 Million by 2030. (2019, June 11). Retrieved October 05, 2020, from

[v] Moore, P. (2018, June 01). The High Cost of Cancer Treatment. Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

[vi] Cancer. (2020, September 21). Retrieved October 02, 2020, from

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