Life happens and is unpredictable and sometimes unforgiving. We cannot predict what life events will be bestowed on us but we can attempt to manage the effects of some of these events. One of these events and amongst the most traumatic experienced by all members of the family is Cancer. a Disease which not only physically and mentally impacts on the Individual and family members but also financially.
Treatment for cancer is considered to be amongst the most expensive across the globe with the average cost exceeding R300 000 per annum. Most medical aids cover these treatments from their Oncology benefits which is mostly available on the higher plans although limited options are available on the lower plans. Almost always however, the out of hospital expenses are not covered in full. Medical Aids could cover up to 300 percent of the Scheme rate but mostly fall short in covering the rates of Healthcare Providers which must then be covered by the member. An exclusion to this is when the cancer condition is considered as a PMB (Prescribed minimum benefit) which includes inter alia the following cancers:
- Cancers of treatable organs
- Acute and chronic leukaemia
- Multiple myeloma and lymphomas
The question then arises on when is the treatment of a cancerous organ considered to be treatable? The Medical Schemes Act determines that cancer is considered treatable in the following instances:
- Only the organ where cancer originated are affected and there is no spread to other organs, or
- The organ of origin and other other organs critical to life support have not been irreparably affected by the cancer,or
- Scientific evidence exists that more than 10% of people with similar cancer have survived with the treatment for a minimum of five years
The above is a snapshot of the financial impact Cancer can have on an individual, whether on a medical aid or not. An aspect not always considered is the impact of cancer treatment on the breadwinner of a family. The physical impact of especially chemotherapy normally results into absenteeism from the workplace and subsequent loss of income compounding the financial effect on the family.
GAP Covers and Hospital Cash Plans are the most suitable options covering the above shortfalls with the latter providing valuable cover in these difficult circumstances. In addition to the Hospital Illness benefit payable by Asterio Medical Insurance for in hospital treatment, the member will receive R5 000 per day for a maximum of 10 days to cover medical expenses.
The circumstances of each individual differs and you are invited to contact us for advice on the best solution to cater for your needs.