Can the true cost of cancer be a debt sentence?
Have you ever considered the cost of cancer? Do you know how much the oncology benefit is on your medical aid? Does your medical aid pay for alternative treatments? In the case of breast cancer, will reconstructive surgery be covered? Will your medical aid limit the payments of MRI, CT and PET scans? And what about co-payments? These are all questions that we prefer not to think about, until cancer becomes a reality in the family.
A recent study published by medical journal Lancet predicts that South Africa could see an increase of 78% in the number of cancer cases by 2030. From a global perspective, a 75% increase is expected, increasing the total incidence of all new cancer-cases from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030.
Cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death and has the greatest economic impact in the form of premature death and disability. South Africa is ranked 50th on the World Cancer Research Fund’s list of countries with the highest cancer prevalence rates. Prostate cancer is the number one cancer diagnosed amongst South African men followed by lung, oesophagus, colon/rectum and bladder cancer. Amongst women, the most prevalent is breast cancer followed by cervical, uterus, colorectal and oesophageal cancer.
Looking at the statistics, it is important to keep in mind that while the incidence of cancer has most certainly been on the increase, more patients are diagnosed earlier on and more accurately due to technological advancements and increased access to healthcare services.
With the early detection of cancer the survival rate is increasing. However, the financial cost can be quite extensive and that can have a significant impact on future finances. Considering this financial impact, Ultima Financial Planners, in cooperation with Hollard Life, has extended its service offering and now includes a solution for Comprehensive Dread Disease Cover and/or Comprehensive Cancer Cover.
Hollard Life’s Comprehensive Cancer Cover can be taken out even if you have critical illness cover. The defining feature of this benefit is that it provides complete cover for a wider range of cancers from stage 0 (early cancer) to stage 4. In other words, you will be covered for cancer from the very first diagnosis even if the cancer has not invaded the surrounding tissue.
This benefit covers you for the diagnosis and treatment of both invasive and non-invasive tumours. There are no exclusions and it can be purchased as a standalone or an add-on benefit.
The maximum cover amount is R1 million, and R100 000 for early cancer events. The amount for future claim events will be reduced by the benefit amount paid out after any successful claim. The minimum entry age is 19, and the maximum entry age is 65.