It’s no joke that we have one of the most expensive medical systems in the world, and as such, diseases like cancer and congestive heart failure is costing Americans A LOT of money, and not just in medical expenses.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeffrey Wooden from Health Markets: a company which helps you find the best medical plan or supplement plan suited to your needs. And some of the stories he shared literally sent chills down my spine. It’s a double-whammy for some people – first they find out they have cancer, and then they find out it’s going to cost them up to hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not more) if they don’t set themselves up for success.
First and foremost, I am not trying to scare anyone with this article – but understanding how the medical system works and setting yourself up for success is paramount in enjoying a high quality of life. Luck favors the prepared!
How Much It Costs to Have Cancer
Interesting fact: Most bankruptcies filed in the U.S. are due to medical than economic reasons.
Depending on the type of cancer, it can cost you up to $100,000 for treatment. I had a dear friend whose bills were around $250,000 per visit to the hospital. He usually had to stay overnight, spend the whole day there and get tons of tests done and meet with several specialists. This wasn’t including the nine-hour drive it took to get to the hospital – if that wasn’t enough, the patient was in his early 20’s. Yikes!
I know – this is not a pleasant topic to talk about, and as someone who has had several family members battle cancer, I believe the difficult things to talk about are the things that MOST need to be talked about.
- Cancer will occur in three out of four families,
- Cox sues 80% of people who owe 10k or more regardless of their illness while mercy sues on average around 10% – these stats were taken off of a KY3 news broadcast.
The thing is this – even if you have health insurance, the insurance company doesn’t pay the indirect costs associated with having this disease. In fact, depending on the health plan people often have to pay for their medication out of pocket – for example, chemotherapy. Many insurance plans don’t cover chemotherapy. Mr. Wooden went on to say that even if someone has a really great medical plan, often it is the indirect costs which get them in a financial bind. Indirect costs include things like:
- The cost of not working – sick leave or early retirement,
- Travel to and from the hospital,
- Finding childcare while you are off getting treatment,
- Dietary needs,
- Cost of morbitity (funeral costs for example).
Jeffrey Wooden is one man on a mission to educated people about the cost of cancer and other diseases such as congestive heart failure and stroke and what people can do to set themselves up for success. Luckily, he has solutions for this – many of which come in the form of extremely affordable supplemental plans.
Getting the Right Medical Insurance and Coverage in Springfield, MO
Interesting fact: 62% of bankruptcies in 2007 were due to illness… 78% of them had health insurance!!
Jeffrey ran a few numbers for me to give me an overview on what it would cost a young man or women to purchase a supplemental policy for cancer:
If you wanted a $100,000 policy, are around 33 years old and are of sound health, it would cost around $48 per month. If you wanted a $20,000 supplemental policy, that would run you around $8 a month. The best part is this money is paid directly to you. You don’t have to go and fight someone for it – it is paid to you upon your first diagnosis.
Keep in mind, it is very difficult to get health insurance or a supplemental policy if you have already been diagnosed. Not only is it difficult, your rates go through the roof.
The Difference Between Insurance and Supplemental Plans
Buying insurance is like buying a Porsche – you buy a naked car which is your insurance, but you are going to need seats, radio, stereo, and all the bells and whistles. Supplements fill in the gaps for your health insurance so when something happens to you, you don’t have to sell your house in order to pay your bills or file bankruptcy. Supplemental plans make it easier to transition for life-changing events.
Jeffrey told me a story about a lady in her mid-50’s who bought a policy covering cancer and any final expenses. Two months later she was diagnosed with cancer, she had a procedure which didn’t work and she sadly died three months after the surgery. Her husband was disabled and had issues moving around and maintaining the home. This policy helped him transition into a better living condition and helped him pay off the remaining payments on his home.
Again, this isn’t a pleasant topic to talk about, but the fact of the matter is we are all going to die at some point. Life is too short to NOT talk about the difficult things.
If you are interested in finding out more about what exactly your insurance does and doesn’t cover, or in looking into supplemental plans, I highly recommend setting up an appointment with Jeffrey Wooden of Health Markets.
His office is located at 1907 S. Stewart Ave Suite G, Springfield, Missouri, MO 65804
His phone number is (417) 755-7650 and he is available Monday through Friday by appointment only.
Wishing you health, happiness and a grand quality of life!