Cancer Insurance vs. Critical Illness Insurance
Cancer insurance and critical illness insurance work in similar ways, but there are several important differences between them.
First, cancer insurance is usually easier to get (and less expensive) than critical illness insurance.
Critical illness insurance requires an extensive underwriting process (third-party interviews, MIB searches and/or medical record examinations), and there are numerous pre-existing or prior medical conditions that may render you ineligible. (Restrictions vary by state and by provider.) However, since a cancer insurance policy covers fewer conditions than critical illness insurance does, the underwriting process for cancer insurance is usually much “smoother” and less extensive. (2) (3)
In addition, cancer insurance and critical illness insurance cover different types of illnesses.
Cancer insurance insures you only against cancer (usually internal cancer or malignant melanoma) while critical illness policies cover a wide variety of conditions that can include heart attack, stroke, paralysis, major organ transplant, or total kidney failure (covered conditions vary by carrier). Sometimes critical illness policies include certain types of cancer, but this is not always the case. (1)
However, the basic mechanisms of cancer insurance and critical illness insurance are similar.
Both cancer insurance and critical illness insurance are supplemental policies (they provide benefits in addition to, and do not affect, your normal health insurance policy). When you are diagnosed with a covered condition, both types of insurance pay a lump sum benefit to be used for whatever you need. Both cancer insurance and critical illness insurance require ongoing premium payments to provide you with coverage. Some cancer and critical illness policies cover yearly screening costs so you can catch disease at the earliest stage possible.
Cancer insurance and critical illness insurance coverage and benefits vary from company to company, so compare quotes from top insurance providers on CancerPlans.com in order to find a policy that fits your situation.
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(1) Critical Illness Insurance. Marclife.com. July 23 2012. http://www.marclife.com/research/pdf/2916e.pdf
(2) Mutual of Omaha Critical Illness Insurance Product Guide brochure
(3) Continental Life Insurance Company of Brentwood, Tennessee. Cancer Insurance Policy brochure