The expense has been compared to the possible value of a house.
Getting cancer is one of the most unexpected and costly situations someone can experience. The cost of treatment is immense, making it inaccessible to many.
In 2013, in Puerto Rico, about $465 million in cancer health services were billed, according to a report by the Graduate School of Public Health of the Medical Sciences Campus (EGSP, for its acronym in Spanish) of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). Many families have been seriously indebted or even gone bankrupt because they do not have a source of financial support when it comes to paying these costs.
Unfortunately, the incidence of this disease does not decrease. The American Cancer Society (ACSestimated that nearly 1.9 million people would be diagnosed with the condition during the year 2021 in the United States.
Costs that impact the entire family
When this diagnosis is received, it not only affects the patient, but also their family and friends. Therefore, the ACS recommends that, in addition to having regular health insurance coverage, families opt for supplementary coverages that provide them additional benefits to those provided by health insurance plans.
Case Study: Patient with lung cancer
In 2016, a patient had a CT Scan done that showed a mass in her left lung. This led to a series of tests and a referral to an oncologist.
The patient was diagnosed with a carcinoma in the lung, which had also reached her bones. She could not opt for surgery or radiation, but she did opt for chemotherapy.
She visited doctors who monitored the progress of her physical condition; but she also had to turn to doctors who helped her with her emotional state throughout the entire process.
Months later, the patient received another type of treatment, which stopped the growth of the cancer, and she maintained her quality of life.
This entire process cost her $210,067. In the following years, that sum would continue to increase as she must continue visiting her doctor to receive follow up treatment for her condition.
What is a supplementary policy?
A supplementary policy is an insurance that directly pays you the money you need for your taking care of your health. It provides financial support to your health insurance plan. It is a viable, practical and beneficial option for you and your loved ones; and it alleviates the direct and indirect costs of the disease. The benefits will depend on the type of policy you have.
What are the hidden costs of cancer?
In addition to the costs of treatment, the ACS emphasizes the indirect costs. Most cancer patients begin to decrease their work hours, resulting in a lower household income. Essential expenses are not covered by a regular premium, but they could be covered by a supplementary cancer policy.
How can you organize your accounts during treatment?
Good organization could help you gain some control over the situation and the information you receive. Here are three ways to achieve a practical organization during this complicated process:
1. Save everything. Create a filing system where you keep all the documentation, whether physical or virtual.
2. Write down everything. It is important that you write down any conversations you have with the insurance company’s representatives.
3. Decide ahead of time how you will adjust your budget considering loss of income or unforeseen, uncovered expenses.
Protect yourself with TOLIC
At TOLIC, we want you to be well and healthy. Therefore, we offer you 3 cancer policies that adjust to your needs:
· Suma Única Plus: Our cancer policy that pays you the total sum in a single payment. It is the only cancer coverage, Lump Sum type, in Puerto Rico that does not expire after a positive cancer diagnosis.
· Cancer Única Plus: Extensive coverage for cancer and 43 specific illnesses. It has 57 benefits that are paid directly to the Insured.
· Cancer Elite Plus: Our basic policy for cancer and 43 specific illnesses. It has 34 benefits, and it can be purchased by people over 70 years old.