Cancer Insurance Plans have become more and more popular over the last three decades. Part of this is because cancer has simply been in the news more lately, but also because more and more traditional health care plans don’t cover cancer these days. Check your own policy: if you don’t have cancer coverage, it is smart to investigate a supplemental cancer insurance policy.
Since different people have different needs, it makes sense that the same cancer insurance plan won’t be appropriate for everyone. Here are a few questions you should always ask as you investigate:
- Where on the National Underwriter’s List is the company offering the plan listed?
- Does A.M. Best give the company at least an “A” ranking?
- How have their rates increased in the recent past?
- Does the representative of this company seem trustworthy?
Why are these questions important?
The first two questions are designed to establish an insurance company’s financial strength. In today’s economy, with even major, long-lasting business crumbling, this is a much more important factor than it was a decade ago.
The National Underwriter’s ranking is a comparison of the company’s income and outgo: the premiums paid in minus the claims paid out. A company’s base assets are also taken into consideration. The result is a good estimate of how long the company can stay in business if business proceeds as it has recently been going. A company that can’t stay in business as-is will either collapse or have to put out major rate hikes to stay solvent.
A.M. Best also examines a variety of financial factors and distills them into a simple letter grade. Their formula is complex, but the result is simple: if a company doesn’t get an “A” or “A+” from A.M. Best, you don’t want to risk dealing with them.
Examining the rate-hike history of a cancer insurance company can give you warning about their potential future behavior. Many companies have the right to increase rates on a class of policyholders, but few can do so to an individual. Regardless, there are companies out there who have literally never raised the rates of current policyholders — so you can count on whatever rate you receive being your rate for life barring a major economic disaster. Other companies hike rates so regularly that you can practically time the point at which you would be better switching to a different company.
Finally, you should personally feel like you can trust the representative the cancer insurance company sends you. This will be the person with whom you will share personal information about your health, finances, and more. If you can’t trust him, you’ll never feel comfortable doing the business that you need to do.
Like every aspect of modern consumerism, purchasing cancer insurance is an area that benefits immensely from a bit of research and a bit of knowledge — use the above as a starting point, but be smart on your own feet, and you’ll be able to make a decision you’ll never regret.