The physical, mental and financial strains that come along with cancer are things no one should ever have to go through but with this disease affecting more and more people each year worldwide, we need to be always prepare ourselves and our loved ones if the worst happens.
This is especially crucial for families with members who have had cancer in one form or another. These are tips on how you can better cope with the costs of treatments so that you and your family have less to worry feel anxious about.
Recent Cancer Statistics
The most common type of cancer for male Hong Kongers is lung cancer with 2,994 cases registered in 2015. Females on the other hand deal with breast cancer the most with 3,524 new cases listed last year.
This statistics holds true for Brits with lung and breast cancer affecting the same demographic. 50,750 cases of breast cancer have been recorded since 2012 until 2015 and 24,005 reported cases for male individuals diagnosed with lung cancer for the same time frame.
Lung cancer tops the list as of 2015, according to World Cancer Research International with 7.4 million male cases and 6.7 million for women. This number is expected to increase to 24 million by 2035.
Planning Costs for Cancer Treatment
Each type of cancer has a different treatment. It also depends on the progress of the disease. You can read about the different types of treatment options from cancer.org.
Your oncologist will be the best person to tell you what to expect during treatment and will be the first person to ask about the cost of treatments which is why the first step to planning is knowing as much as you can about your ailment and the treatments needed.
Cancer patients will most likely have to prepare costs for:
- Provider visits
- Lab tests (blood tests, urine tests, and more, which are usually billed separately)
- Clinic visits
- Procedures (for diagnosis or treatment, which can include room charges, equipment, different doctors, and more)
- Imaging tests (like x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, which may mean separate bills for radiologist fees, equipment, and any medicines used for the test)
- Radiation treatments (implants, external radiation, or both)
- Drug costs (inpatient, outpatient, prescription, non-prescription, and procedure-related)
- Hospital stays (which can include many types of costs such as drugs, tests, and procedures as well as nursing care, doctor visits, and consults with specialists)
- Surgery (surgeon, anesthesiologist, pathologist, operating room fees, equipment, medicines, and more)
- Home care (can include equipment, drugs, visits from specially trained nurses, and more)
Some key questions to ask about :
- How much is the estimated cost of treatment?
- Will my health insurance cover it?
- Where will I get treatment? In your clinic, hospital, at home?
- What about medication? How much will they cost?
Having health insurance greatly decreases your out-of-pocket costs and should be able to cover a majority of your expenses. Know the in-network doctors within your policy so you can also ask about out-of-network physicians in case it’s necessary. Talk to your insurance provider about the details of what they can cover so you may plan accordingly.
We at Village Insurance Direct help expats in Hong Kong find the best health insurance policies to cover these types of needs.