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Guide

Health insurance with cancer cover

Read our guide on health insurance cancer cover to find out how it works and your policy options.

 Around one in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives. This sounds high, but it’s partially because we’re living longer. So it’s reassuring to know there is a range of health insurance options out there that cover cancer.

Health insurance means you may be seen faster than through the NHS. It also can give you access to different treatments. This is where private health insurance for cancer treatment can help. Health insurance that covers cancer treatment means you could get seen faster and might be offered extra care.

Does health insurance cover cancer?

 Most health insurance plans cover cancer. It might be included as part of the main policy or it might be a ‘bolt on’. This means it can be added to your cover but will raise your premium.

Different health insurance cancer cover providers have different policies. Generally, they include things like diagnostic tests and private consultations. They also cover surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It can cover in-patient costs and usually aftercare too. 

Some health insurers will pay for more expensive treatments or new drugs. You’ll also have a wider choice of hospitals to be treated in. They might have a limit to the number of times you can claim each year. Ask for information to understand what’s covered before deciding which provider to join.

Can you get health insurance if you have cancer?

It is possible to get health insurance if you currently have cancer. This is what insurers call a pre-existing condition. But the cancer you currently have would not be covered. You will likely pay higher premiums, and some insurers may refuse to cover you.

Can you get health insurance as a cancer survivor?

Health insurance for cancer survivors is available but you might have fewer options. You may have to pay a higher premium too. Some insurers might ask for evidence from a doctor that you have fully recovered. You’ll often have to be symptom-free for a set period. It also depends on the type of cancer you had and what treatment you received. Another thing to keep in mind is claiming within a certain period of time. You might not be able to make a new claim for cancer treatment in the first few years of your cover starting.

What questions could insurers ask when applying?

If you’re applying for health insurance including cancer cover, the provider will need to understand health at the time of applying. This is to gauge how much coverage you need. Although personal, these questions help to give you an accurate and fair quote. Below are some different areas they’ll ask about:

• Scans and results
• Activity levels
• If you smoke or drink
• Any medication you take
• Family medical history
• What type of cancer you had.

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