Advice matters
Getting insurance for cancer – or after cancer

Cancer is one of those words that no one likes to hear, let alone think about. However, it is something that may happen to anyone — whether or not they have risk factors.

When it comes to protecting your financial future, having an appropriate level of insurance can make all the difference, right when you need it most.

If covering the ‘big C’ is on your mind, here are some key things to know.

Health insurance

With most types of cancer, early diagnosis is vital. Health insurance is designed to provide you with fast access to private treatment and diagnosis, so you can avoid wait lists in the public healthcare system.

Also, depending on your policy, your health insurance may offer some level of cover for non-Pharmac funded treatments. These are medications that have been approved by Medsafe, but haven’t been publicly funded yet, including certain life-extending cancer treatments.

Without health insurance, the only way to access these medications would be to pay out of your pocket – and they can be quite expensive. By getting health cover, you can expand your options for primary and specialty care, so you can get back on your feet faster.

Cancer-specific cover

There are a few different cancer-specific options available to Kiwis, either as a stand-alone solution or as an add-on to select life or health insurance plans.

Benefits vary widely depending on policies and providers, but generally speaking, some offer a yearly allowance for diagnosis, treatment and recovery, while others may only cover the cost of certain treatments or provide a one-off lump-sum benefit upon a cancer diagnosis.

If you’d like to learn more about these options, get in touch: our SHARE advisers are here to discuss your insurance needs and goals.

Trauma (or Critical Illness) Insurance

Serious medical events like cancer aren’t just emotionally charged – they can also come with unexpected financial costs attached.

If you’re in a couple, would you or your partner need (or perhaps want) to take some time off work? How would you be able to meet extra costs to keep your household running, like childcare or house cleaning? Would you like to have the freedom to spend time – the most valuable thing you have – as you desire?

Trauma insurance, also known as critical illness insurance, is designed to pay out a lump-sum amount when you’re diagnosed with one of 40+ serious illness or injuries stated in your policy. These usually include (but are not limited to) cancer, stroke and heart attack.

While health insurance may pay out for the costs of treatment, the key thing about the trauma insurance payment is the claim payment is tax-free and you can use it as you like – to meet your living costs, for a family holiday, or even for experimental treatments that aren’t funded.

Getting cover after cancer

Have you battled cancer in the past, and won? You may like to know how that might affect your ability to get insurance, now and in the future.

The answer depends on many factors, including how long ago you were diagnosed, the type of cancer you had and how severe it was. Generally speaking, the longer you’ve been in remission for, the more options you’ll have.

The good news? Cover is possible. Get in touch to learn more: depending on your circumstances, you may have to wait a little bit longer before any level of protection is provided, or the specific cancer you’ve had may be excluded.

Like to learn more?

Whether you’re looking at protecting your financial future from cancer, or you’ve had cancer in the past and would like to understand your insurance options, contact us anytime. Our SHARE advisers are here to help.