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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer

your path to accessing financial resources


Health Insurance and Benefits

Changing your Coverage

Obtaining New Insurance after a Cancer Diagnosis

If you are limited in the amount of insurance you can access (or have none), it can be challenging to obtain new insurance after a cancer diagnosis.  This is because insurance is based on risk – the insurer assumes a level of risk in paying out for your care or condition in exchange for payment of a premium.  When you receive a cancer diagnosis, the level of risk of the insurer paying out a higher amount on your needs goes up.   You CAN obtain life, disability, or health benefits after a cancer diagnosis, but be aware that your level of coverage might be limited, or you may face higher premiums.    You may also face a probation period where any claim for cancer-related needs may not be met or may jeopardize your policy.  Do not lie or omit the details of your cancer diagnosis if applying for new insurance/benefits as it may cause a claim to be denied at a later point.

Choosing a Different Plan Option (higher coverage)

You may feel that your current insurance and benefits package is not enough.  There may be options to raise your level of coverage.  Keep in mind that certain kinds of insurance can be changed, others have less flexibility.  You may be able to raise the amount of your life insurance payout, add options like a health spending account, or improve the amount of coverage you have for supplementary health benefits.   Other options like LTD and Critical Illness usually can’t be changed after a cancer diagnosis.  If you feel you want to improve your insurance situation, speak to your insurance advisor or your employer.   Keep in mind that raising the amount of your insurance and benefits means paying more per month.  This can be a significant expense if you are also facing taking on the sponsor’s share of the premium.  Weigh your decision carefully and understand your options.

Adding Additional Plans

If you feel your insurance plan and benefits package is limited and your options to improve the package are limited, you may want to look at adding some additional coverage from another source.  This might be on your own, through a partner’s plan OR through a provincial government plan option.   If you decide to add coverage, keep in mind two important considerations: (1) most insurers allow for coordination of benefits within their plans, which means your plan will still be considered first and billed first, and (2) some plans will opt out of covering you for certain items if you have another plan in place, particularly a provincial plan option.  Speak to your advisor, employer or the insurer before signing onto additional plan coverage.



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