Recent surveys are showing that people lack confidence in one aspect of their healthcare plans.
Many feel that expenses related to cancer treatments will not be fully covered, if at all. As healthcare reform approaches the horizon, people are unsure that they will be able to have the medical care that they will need if diagnosed with cancer.
Cancer is the 2nd leading killer of Americans, led only by heart disease. In many instances, treatments may cost $5,000 or more per month. Medicare, without supplemental insurance only pays about 80 percent, leaving patients to pay high out of pockets costs or find secondary insurance. According to Dr. Patrick Cobb, president of the Community Oncology Alliance, these out of pocket costs for Medicare patients can be as high as $1000 per month.
Few private insurance plans will cover the full costs of cancer treatments.
This is complicated further because of diagnostic testing and surgeries related to cancer. The out-of-pocket costs can be financially crippling.
A recent survey published by the Community Oncology Alliance shows that many with private insurance face similar concerns. In the survey, they found that 70 percent of the 1,000 surveyed were very concerned about having money to pay for cancer treatments not covered by insurance. Over half feared that the cost of treatments could leave their family in debt.
In a telephone survey of 1,022 adults, Opinion Research Corporation discovered some added interesting results. Almost 80 percent indicated they had known a relative or friend with cancer. Further and more disturbing, it was found that about 33 percent said they would stop their cancer treatments if they became too expensive. Rather than leave their families with extreme debt, they would prefer no treatment at all.