Cancer: Don’t Assume You’re Covered

According to Cancer UK, cancer is the number one fear for the British public and for good reason too. There are over 200 types of cancer, and close to 300,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK alone. More than one in three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. For those people who have been unfortunate to have suffered from cancer but still made a full recovery, it is not always a condition that can be left behind. Despite given a clean bill of health, many international medical insurance companies will either refuse to cover individuals for future healthcare, or will push up their premiums.

Added to the stresses and strains of living and working abroad on an expatriate posting, this can be a significant extra burden. Given the advances in healthcare, coupled with the high rates of cancer, it also seems grossly unfair. In addition, many international health insurance companies will additionally put a cap on medical expenses, and so only go a very small part of the way to meeting the real and possibly long term costs faced by the cancer patient.

International health insurance provider, April International UK, are one of the few who take a different approach. Clients who can demonstrate a two-year treatment free period from any cancerous condition are eligible for future cover. April International UK reports that a significant and slowly rising percentage of its policyholders have suffered from cancerous conditions and for these clients, April International UK has been meeting all associated expenses.

Cancer costs can easily reach something in the region of £50,000 – £100,000, when complex drugs and treatment are needed. One patient living in Switzerland and suffering from rectal cancer, claimed across three policy periods, sums of £12,354, £35,829 and £36,550 – giving a total paid by April International UK of £84,734. Another patient with breast cancer and based in the UK successfully recovered from the condition, with claims paid across two policy periods of £19,055 and £48,937 – total paid £67,992. Debbie Purser, CEO at April International UK comments: “Every insurer needs to look carefully at the profiles of customer groups, in order to set their policy pricing. There is clearly a higher risk with people who have already had cancer, but with the advances in technology, together with the high rates of cancer globally, April International UK took the view, that it was important to provide adequate cover for this category of client wherever possible and without penalising them unduly for potential care costs in the future. Our position therefore is that we are able to ensure their care and prescriptions are paid for, without question, once they have qualified for one of our international healthcare insurance policies.