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Cancer Health Insurance Patient: The Two Pronged Battle To Survive Cancer

Health insurance for cancer patients can be a very big problem. People with cancer must often face a two-pronged battle: a fight to regain their health and to get what they deserve from their insurance plan.

Fortunately, cancer patients have financial resources available to help them manage the dreaded disease, including health insurance, government programs, disability benefits, aid from voluntary organizations, and living benefits from life insurance policies. There are options even if you have no medical insurance.

There are many expenses associated with the management of most cancers. Some insurance plans provide for additional coverage under a "catastrophic illness" clause. These are policies that cover major medical care needs. The policies usually have a very high deductible and fairly low premiums. They are useful when a person's primary medical policy has a lifetime limit and are appealing to people with chronic illnesses.

If you are a cancer patient and join a new health insurance plan, you may face a "pre-existing condition exclusion period." A pre-existing condition is a health problem that you had before you joined your medical plan. With a pre-existing condition exclusion period, your plan will make you wait before they pay the costs of the pre-existing medical problem. The wait may be as long as a year for insurance you get through an employer.

There are certain employer-based insurance situations in which Federal law prevents the employer from imposing an exclusion period for a pre-existing condition. You may be exempt from this exclusion period if you have had health insurance with a previous employer and have not been without health insurance coverage for more than 63 days. Some states require an employer-based insurance company to cover your pre-existing condition even if you were without insurance for a bit more than 63 days.

However, if you are purchasing a plan that is not group coverage (including high risk pools), the pre-existing condition exclusion period is set by the state and can be many years or even unlimited. If you are getting a plan through someone other than an employer, the insurance provider can also impose an elimination rider that would keep that disease, body part, or body system from ever being covered by that policy.

Hospitals, clinics, and doctors' offices usually have someone who can help you fill out claims for insurance coverage or reimbursement. A case manager or a financial assistance planner may be able to help guide you through what can often be a complicated process.

There are some health insurance policies that pay a fixed amount for each day a person is hospitalized. There is usually a limit on the total number of hospital inpatient days that are covered in a calendar year. The money received from this type of policy can be used as the insured wishes, and it is often used for the other expenses that families face when one member is ill.

It is important that you pay health insurance premiums in full and on time and not to allow health insurance to expire. It is very difficult and expensive to get another health insurance coverage for people with preexisting conditions like cancer.

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