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A recent study by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center highlights just how important it is for women to take out protection to cover themselves against financial hardship should they be diagnosed with cancer.
Breast cancer is the most widespread cancer of them all with 235,000 new cases expected in the US in 2014 according to the US National Cancer Institute. In 2010, there were an estimated 2,829,041 women living with breast cancer in the US, and a girl born in America today will have a 1 in 8 chance of contracting the disease. These are frightening statistics, but the good news is that better treatment and ongoing research mean that more and more women are surviving breast cancer. Not such good news is the finding from the University of Michigan study that 25% of breast cancer survivors reported being financially worse off four years after treatment.
Finances can be hit in two ways when a woman is diagnosed with cancer. Firstly, there are the extra medical costs for potentially expensive treatments – 12% of those surveyed still had medical debts to pay off four years after their treatments. Secondly there is the loss of earnings associated with having to take time off for both treatment and recovery. Women in the survey reported skipping medical treatment, mammograms and doctor’s appointments because they could not afford them, and even having to move house to alleviate financial pressures.
In the light of these stories, critical illness cover for women is a no brainer. If you are not convinced, let me add one more: one in five critical illness cover claims are for breast cancer. In spite of this fact, women are far less likely than men to have any cover in place. If that is you, talk to your financial planner about arranging relevant insurance. The peace of mind will be well worth the outlay – you will be guaranteed financial security should you be the unlucky 1 in 8.
If you would like to find out more information about the issues involved with critical illness insurance the Expat Insurance Consumer Guide covers it in depth along with other types of peace of mind insurance.