Accident & Health Insurance

What Is Cancer Insurance and What Is It Used For?

3 min read
Nov 03, 2023

Unfortunately, not only can cancer be a difficult diagnosis to come to terms with, but it can also come with a lot of extra costs that health insurance may not cover. And after a cancer diagnosis, the last thing you or your family needs is financial stress. 

Cancer insurance is a type of supplemental health insurance that can provide payment to be used to offset the costs of cancer treatments, or however the recipient sees fit. It can help alleviate some of the financial burden involved with treatment, allowing you or a loved one more energy to focus on recovery. ​​So, what does a cancer policy cover, and how can it benefit you and your loved ones? Let’s take a look. 

How do cancer insurance policies typically work?

With cancer insurance, your insurance provider typically pays you directly — not your healthcare provider. The lump-sum payments can be used however you see fit. 

Some cancer insurance policies require a waiting period before benefits kick in. Check with your provider to find out if they have a waiting period and how long it’s for.

What does cancer insurance cover?

Coverage varies and is based on guidelines insurance providers set. Some cancer insurance products may provide coverage for both medical and non-medical expenses, while others include only specific medical expenses. Depending upon the policy, the covered expenses may include: 

Keep in mind that some policies restrict the types of cancer they cover. Also, some providers won’t offer coverage if your cancer diagnosis came before applying for the policy or if you've had cancer in the past. Read your policy carefully to determine what is and isn’t covered. 

Is cancer insurance worth it?

When faced with a cancer diagnosis, having the added support of cancer insurance can help make it easier to focus on your health and recovery. Ultimately, the decision to get cancer insurance comes down to your unique circumstances. 

When weighing your options, consider these factors in purchasing cancer insurance: 

A cancer diagnosis can happen to anyone — no matter your age, health or family history — and planning for the unexpected may better protect you for the future.

How to get cancer insurance 

Check with your employer to see if they offer cancer insurance as a group benefit. If they do, you can sign up during open enrollment or when you experience a qualifying life event, such as getting married, having a baby or beginning a new job. You can also purchase an individual plan through an insurance provider. ​​

​In addition to cancer insurance, you might also want to compare the advantages of other supplemental plans — like hospital indemnity insurance and critical illness insurance — to help you be prepared for the unexpected. 

Learn about MetLife Cancer Insurance

Explore coverage details

This article is intended to provide general information about insurance. It does not describe any MetLife product or feature.

1 “Family Health History and Cancer,” CDC, 2023 

2 “Men and cancer,” City of Hope, 2022