The Cost Of Cancer

Did you know that May is melanoma skin cancer detection and Prevention Month?

Now, of course, you didn’t, most people don’t, but it is and it had me thinking about cancer and the fact that we don’t talk about cancer when we discuss Medicare coverage enough, it’s a very important topic.

It’s one that can cost an enormous amount of money besides the medical toll it can take. It’s a subject I wanted to touch on. This is Jamie Sholom from SeniorStar Insurance Group.Welcome to the SeniorStar Minute.

Everybody knows somebody personally that’s been affected by cancer.In fact, according to the CDC and the American Cancer Society, it’s the second leading cause of death in the United States right behind heart disease.

What’s worse for my population that I serve the seniors is that eighty seven percent of all diagnosis of cancer in the US are from 50 year olds are older. Forty one percent of all males and thirty eight percent of all females will have a diagnosis of cancer at some point in their lives. Now, the good news is that cancer survival rate is thirty one percent higher than it used to be, but along with those higher survival rates are the costs.

The treatments are better and the costs are going higher. Now, why am I telling you this? If you’re covered by Medicare, if you have a great Medicare coverage package or even an average Medicare coverage package, it’s going to cover cancer, isn’t it? Well, yes and no cancer has two open holes that affect a lot of people that didn’t think they were going to be affected by it financially. The first is the enormous cost of cancer, prescription drugs.

The second are the untold costs that are indirect with cancer treatments. I’m going to talk about them both a little bit. The drug costs were studied by the Kaiser Family Foundation recently.

They did a study of 13 popular, for lack of a better word, drugs that were for various forms of cancer. These were Medicare recipients that had Medicare drug coverage. What they determined was that the average cost for these drugs, the out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries, was between eight thousand and sixteen and a half thousand dollars. You heard that right. Medicare beneficiaries with a Medicare drug plan had to spend an additional eighty one hundred dollars to sixteen and a half thousand dollars out of their own pockets each year because of that cancer drug that they were on unplanned for.

And it’s enormous. There are studies that come out every year that talk about how people can’t afford their cancer medications.

They also go through their retirement funds and deplete them at a much higher rate than they thought they were going to. There are also studies that show how indirect costs of cancer affect people in ways that they didn’t expect. Downtime from work counseling, getting family help for the family members that you took care of. Home health aides travel and lodging for cancer treatments, all of these add up to forty two percent of cancer costs. That’s right. Indirect costs are costing you forty two percent of your overall cancer costs.

Now, the reason I’m letting you know this, there is a solution.

There are cancer protection and critical care policies out there that can give you coverage and protection from a diagnosis of cancer. These plans are fairly low monthly premium plans that will give you a lump sum payment, typically between fifteen thousand dollars and seventy five thousand dollars, with which you can do whatever you want. If you get a diagnosis of cancer, you get a lump sum of an amount that you can afford the premiums for and you can choose if you need to use them on cancer drugs, on some of the indirect costs or in any other way that you choose.

If you’re interested in getting more information about this very important product, please contact me Jamie Sholom at SeniorStar Insurance Group. My contact information is on the screen. I hope to speak to you soon. Thank you for listening.