Offering Cancer Insurance to Seniors

Cancer affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives. It could be themselves, or someone they are close to. Statistics from the American Cancer Society tell us that there are nearly 160k new cancer cases a month, in all age groups. This cancer risk increases for individuals who have a family history, a history of smoking, or even genetics. However, the risk of dying has decreased dramatically in the last 28 years due to early screenings, advanced medicine, and technology. Most people who are diagnosed with cancer are receiving lifesaving, usually costly, treatments starting at diagnosis. But how does this affect our fixed-income seniors, and how can insurance agents protect their income? We’ll discuss what type of plans are available to seniors, how you can present these plans to your clients, and more in this article brought to you by the UIG Brokerage Division.

cancer insurance for seniors

There are many costs associated with a cancer diagnosis. Medicare along with a Part D plan will help with some of the costs. Those costs would include medically necessary cancer screenings, in-patient hospital stay, chemotherapy, and radiation. If your client has a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Supplement plan some of the costs not covered by Original Medicare will be picked up by those plans. There are so many other costs not deemed medically necessary that can leave your clients in major financial distress.

Those costs could include:

  • Deductibles and Co-Pays
  • Loss of Income – for patient or caregiver
  • Specific Clothing and Hair Pieces
  • Hotels/Lodging for Out-of-Town Treatments
  • Transportation – Cancer treatment centers aren’t always convenient
  • Experimental/Trial Medications
  • Lawn Care, Snow Removal, Pet Care

These out-of-pocket expenses can really add up, especially if a client’s treatment plan is many months long. You can help your client focus on the treatments and getting better by ensuring the financial costs can be taken care of. To look out for your client, you can make sure they only have to worry about fighting this awful diagnosis and know they will have money to take care of these other costs.

Most carriers who offer Cancer Insurance products will offer either a lump sum benefit or a schedule of benefits. A lump sum benefit is just that, a predetermined amount will be given to your client in one payment at the first diagnosis of cancer. Medico offers Cancer Insurance plans for a lump sum. They offer increments of $5,000, from $10,000 to $25,000 depending on what your client needs, and how much they are comfortable paying in premium. This gives them the ability to use it for whatever they need to during that time. Maybe it is for loss in income, or maybe they are traveling out of state for the best treatment for their diagnosis. The decision is theirs to make.

The Schedule of Benefits is a little bit different. This product will give clients money based on what they are using it for. A predetermined amount will be given to them depending on what the in-direct cost is. So, say your client is traveling out of state for treatment, they will offer a certain amount for a hotel stay. It might not be what it costs to stay there, but you will be able to use that amount towards your lodging. This will be different for each carrier that offers this plan.

As an agent, it would be in your client’s best interest for you to know what each carrier will pay out for these costs to help them make the best decision. Knowing they live in a rural town and would most likely have to travel for treatment would impact the type of plan they choose. Being knowledgeable about these plans will go a long way in your relationship with your clients.

At your next appointment, not a Medicare review appointment, you may want to cover these cancer plans, but you may be wondering, how do I bring this up to my client? UIG offers a Medicare Appointment Guide you may have seen before to help you during your appointments. This guide will help you determine what plans you should talk about given the answers provided on the needs assessment worksheet included in the guide. If cancer does run in their family, that is a perfect lead in to mention the product and how it can protect their finances in case of diagnosis. Even if it doesn’t run in their family, explaining to them the statistics of a cancer diagnosis would be another good lead-in.

A simple and quick way to initiate the discussion may look something like this:

At the end of your meeting, you’ll review what you have discussed, and then you can mention to them: “Be sure to hang on to your cancer plan, do not cancel it,” if they have one, they will let you know. You can then offer to review it for them. If they don’t have one, they will also let you know. You can then ask, “Many of my clients have cancer plans, would you like me to quote one for you, and then we can meet to discuss options?”

Final thought: If you’re not talking about ancillary products with your clients, another agent will be!

UIG is contracted with many of the top national carriers and works closely with these carriers on the best products for each area we cover. Please reach out to your Broker Sales Specialist to find out which carrier would be the best for your client base, and what type of plans you could offer.