Many people think that, as long as they have health insurance, they’ll be protected should a medical crisis like cancer occur. Unfortunately, they’re wrong. There is still a need for financial help for cancer patients.
Being insured is not a guarantee that medical costs associated with cancer treatment will be covered. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network found in a new report that cancer patients with health insurance still face exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for everything from copays to out-of-network fees.
The report revealed that cancer patients in the country paid about $4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in 2014. When it comes down to individual patients, the average payment was $6,000 for patients who are insured by their employer, or $10,000 for those on an Affordable Care Act plan.
Many patients may seek a lower-premium plan to cut down on costs, but such programs often end up costing the patients more over time, as the insurance company expects patients to contribute more for individual visits and procedures. Plans that placed a cap on out-of-pocket costs significantly decreased the financial burden on patients, the report also found.
Financial help for cancer patients not only improves their stress levels and emotional well-being but can actually lead to better physical outcomes. Research has found that physical health is closely linked to mental and emotional health; the more stress someone is under, the more likely he or she is to suffer from physical complications. Similarly, when one’s mental emotional outlook is positive, that reflects in their body, including in its capacity to fend off cancer.
The power of financial health is at the heart of Life Credit’s work. Our living benefit loans provide vital financial help for cancer patients, as we pay out up to half of an insurance policy’s death benefit. This is money that can put a patient’s mind and wallet at ease and ultimately help them face and fight their diagnosis.
According to ACSCAN, nearly 1.7-million Americans are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year. While many of these people may feel confident that they can take on that challenge with the backing of health insurance, financial education about what insurance does — and doesn’t — cover can help patients be better prepared.