Your guide to Cancer Cover

Your guide to Cancer Cover

One of the main reasons that you may be considering private medical insurance (PMI) is to ensure you have access to the highest quality cancer care. Figures from Cancer Research show that around 320,500 people were diagnosed with cancer in the UK in 2009, equivalent to about 519 cases for every 100,000 people. The charity reports that the most common cancers are: breast, lung, bowel and prostate.

Advances in medicine mean that more and more people are being diagnosed earlier and gaining access to better treatments. Now, many healthcare insurance policies include comprehensive cancer cover which gives you access to the best specialists, drugs and cancer treatments. Our guide tells you everything you need to know about the ‘cancer cover’ element of a PMI policy.

What is cancer cover?

Cancer cover is an integral part of a many private medical insurance policies. When you shop around for health insurance – and Briggs & Butler can help you do this – you should compare the benefits offered by the various insurers. While every policy is different, many will offer core cancer cover including specialist consultations, diagnostic tests, surgery and follow-up treatment.

Many policies will also cover you if your cancer returns in the future and will offer support services throughout your treatment. Next, we look at what insurers normally cover you for under the ‘cancer cover’ element of a health insurance policy.

What is normally covered under cancer cover?

While every policy is different, most PMI policies will cover:

  • Surgery such as an operation to remove a tumour
  • Chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat your cancer with the aim of achieving a cure or remission. Cancer cover will generally only cover you for recognised safe and effective treatments
  • Drug therapies which are used for the purpose for which they are licensed. Some policies will also cover new drugs where there has been adequate evidence of their effectiveness even if they have not been agreed by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
  • Hormonal and biological therapy – for example monoclonal antibodies such as Herceptin
  • Follow-up consultations and monitoring once treatment has been administered
  • Further treatment if your cancer should return in the future

Many policies will also offer additional benefits. For example, some policies make a contribution towards hospice care while others will cover reconstructive surgery following surgery to remove a tumour.

Next, we look at what exclusions normally apply to ‘cancer cover’.

What is normally excluded from cancer cover?

Again, while all policies are different, common exclusions from the ‘cancer cover’ element of a private medical insurance policy include:

  • Drugs that are still under trial or other experimental treatments
  • Any surgery or treatment of cancer that is not recognised for treating that particular type of cancer
  • Any treatment that exceeds the limits on your particular policy
  • Therapy or treatment where your condition is stable or is in remission
  • Treatment where the idea is to provide relief of symptoms
  • Genetic tests designed to find out how likely you are to get cancer
  • Vaccines designed to prevent cancer (for example to prevent cervical cancer)
  • Normal preventative cancer screens

Cancer cover is a key part of many private medical insurance policies. And, Briggs & Butler can help you find the right cover for you and your family’s needs. Just complete our simple online form now and we’ll do the rest. You’ll be contacted by an independent, FSA registered broker who will discuss your healthcare insurance needs with you. They will compare PMI policies and prices from a wide range of leading insurers. And, they can arrange the cover that you need.

Complete our online form today to find out more.

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