National Cancer Prevention Month: How to Prevent the Associated Costs

February is national cancer prevention month. Everyone knows October is breast cancer awareness month, a time when pink ribbons are everywhere. No-shave November is meant to bring light to prostate cancer. Unfortunately, even with good preventive measures, cancer can still happen.

Cancer is a serious disease everyone is at risk for. However, the risk increases with age and other lifestyle factors, including tobacco use, inactivity, unhealthy diet, high alcohol intake and exposure to carcinogens. Unprotected exposure to sunlight can raise your risk for cancer as well.

The cost of cancer treatments can drain your savings quickly. That’s why it’s essential to plan for the future–to protect your health and your assets. That’s where a critical illness plan comes in.

Importance of Critical Illness Plans

A critical illness plan can offer a lump sum benefit if you do get diagnosed with most types of cancer. The amount you can expect to receive will depend on your carrier, type of plan, and medical condition.

The money you receive can be used to pay for anything you wish. Many people use their cancer policy proceeds to pay for medical expenses not paid for by their health insurance, such as second opinions, home health care, caregivers, rehabilitation, alternative treatments, and insurance copayments and deductibles. If you are out of work, you may need to use the money to pay for daily living expenses, including food, household bills and gas, among others.

Critical Illness Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans Working Together

It is particularly important to consider a critical illness plan if you are covered by a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan.

Critical illness plans create cost predictability and security when combined with MA. Your personal benefits manager can put together a plan that pairs with MA to fill the gaps where MA leaves you exposed. The resulting coverage can give you peace of mind in knowing you won’t have any large unexpected medical expenses you can’t afford.

If you have a MA plan, it covers all preventive services the same as Original Medicare. This means your MA plan will not be allowed to charge cost-sharing fees (coinsurances, copays or deductibles) for preventive services that Original Medicare does not charge for as long as you see in-network providers. If you see providers that are not in your plan’s network, charges will typically apply.

However, if you need extensive care and procedures to manage your condition, you will have to deal with out-of-pocket costs. The hit to your wallet may be harder than the one to your health. Having a critical illness plan is beneficial in limiting your out-of-pocket costs.

For more information on critical illness coverage, go to Your personal benefits manager can guide you through the process of obtaining the right plan for you. Any questions or concerns you may have will be addressed, and you can rest easy knowing you are protected should a future serious disease happen to you.

To your health and wealth,

Wiley P. Long, III
President – MediGap Advisors