By Noah Henry • April 07, 2014
For some people, the word insurance is enough to bring out the groans. It’s expensive and usually takes a big bite out of your budget. However, being without insurance when disaster strikes is a fast track to financial ruin. It’s a gamble, but it’s a gamble that pays off exponentially when you need it. Here are three types of insurance that are worth it:
Cancer Insurance: It’s a relatively new type of insurance that is growing in relevancy and need. It serves to mitigate the costs of cancer treatment in the event of a diagnosis. Whether or not you should consider a plan depends on a number of factors: whether cancer runs in the family, whether you can afford it, and whether you find the prevalence of cancer and growing number of new causes alarming.
It’s no secret we live in an age of unhealthy habits, and new cancer cases are expected to increase nearly 45 percent by 2030, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. As well, treatment costs are projected to increase 40 percent by 2020, a study from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions reveals. Uncomfortable statistics such as these tip the scale for people considering cancer insurance as a viable safety net.
Aetna, Humana, Medico and Guarantee Trust Life are a few independent carriers that offer cancer insurance policies ranging in benefits; while some benefits are restricted to medical bills and in-network treatment, others offer lump-sum payments to policy holders to use for medical and nonmedical bills. This latitude of coverage options suggests a varied range of quotes and benefits specific to your own susceptibilities and financial situation. Augmenting the simplicity of shopping for plan is CancerInsurance.com, providing an online platform for finding a policy that suites your needs and budget (with a range of insurance policies, quote comparisons, and easy sign-up).
The insidious nature of cancer—women whose mother or sister have breast cancer are two times more likely to develop it, a man whose father or brother has prostate cancer is three times more likely to develop it—is definite cause for concern. And with some types of cancer insurance extending beyond the costs of treatment—including mortgage payments, utility bills, lost wages and travel expenses—you can rest easy knowing the disease won’t entirely consume your finances. The insurance-selling standby is it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and cancer insurance proposes a strong defense against ever-rising treatment costs and the unfortunate case of diagnosis.
Long-Term Care Insurance: First, what is long-term care insurance? Long-term care insurance offers a safety net for people who expect to run into late-in-life medical and nursing costs. Although the premiums for long-term care insurance have increased in recent years (primarily because people are living longer), the odds that you will use your long-term care insurance are roughly 50 percent, according to the AALTCI.
There is nothing scarier than saving for retirement your entire life and then burning through your stash after a life-altering event. Equally scary is the cost of nursing homes—the average price in Manhattan is a staggering $180,000 per year, according to an article by NY Daily News. The unsettling confluence of other regular health insurances such as Medicaid paying only limited benefits for skilled nursing and the fact that 45 percent of people spend six months to three years in a home suggests that long-term care insurance is a no-brainer for those who can afford it.
Long-term care insurance—like every kind of insurance—is a gamble; they say there are winners and losers, but I wouldn’t venture to put it in such simple terms. While some may view it all for naught if they never get the chance to bask in the fruits of their layaways, there is always the peace of mind knowing you and your family are covered if the worst case scenario arises.
Term Life Insurance: The endless debate between term insurance and permanent insurance rages on, but the general consensus lies in term’s favor. Permanent life insurance is more expensive, and it’s far more complicated. The rates for term insurance are good because of a more competitive selling landscape, and advisors say that term is comparable to leasing a car, as opposed to buying one. It is pure insurance—in the result of your death, your loved ones will be completely covered for a fixed amount of time (10, 20 years, etc.)—and it’s very easy to afford.
The downside is that 95 percent of people outlive their term policies. In a macabre sense, dying is winning. This is the wrong way to look at it. There is much less commitment, and it can cost five times less than permanent insurance. Knowing that your loved ones were protected is enough for it to be considered a win. As this guy says, “Because my father bought a term life policy shortly before he was in a fatal airplane crash, my siblings and I were able to go to college and build lives for ourselves.”
Noah Henry Noah Henry is an amateur movie critic, foodie, bowler, and beer reviewer. But he's no amateur when it comes to saving money, so listen up!