New video from Colonial Life highlights critical role of cancer insurance

Business Wire

COLUMBIA, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The diagnosis wasn’t something David Baird – or anyone else – ever expected to hear. The president and CEO of Insurance Trust and Equinox had a molar removed, and the socket wasn’t healing well. And at the follow-up appointment to check on his healing, the news got even worse.

“Sitting there that day in my oral surgeon’s office and being told I had cancer is just something I never expected to hear,” said Baird, who spent 12 days in the hospital and underwent 30 radiation treatments.

“It takes a tremendous emotional toll on a family,” said Baird in a new video from Colonial Life. “The Colonial Life policy that I own was a real saving benefit for us.”

Colonial Life has more than 50 years of experience providing cancer insurance and was one of the first providers of this type of coverage. In 2013 alone, Colonial Life paid nearly $100 million in claims to 17,000 individuals with cancer. In addition, 200,000 individuals received nearly $25 million in wellness benefits last year from Colonial Life for screenings to help detect cancer.

Colonial Life’s cancer insurance plan helps provide financial protection from the costs associated with cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The coverage includes more than 30 benefits such as:

  • Family care benefit. Pays a daily amount when a covered dependent child receives inpatient or outpatient cancer treatment. Plans cover individuals, spouses, one-parent and two-parent families.
  • Wellness/health screenings. Employers have the option to choose between two benefits that pay for tests and screenings that encourage early detection of cancer.
  • Hospital confinement. Individuals can choose different levels of coverage that pay a benefit for hospital stays of various durations.
  • Cancer treatment. Pays benefits for surgery, anesthesia, radiation, chemotherapy, anti-nausea medication, surgical procedures, private full-time nursing services, experimental treatments, reconstructive surgery, prostheses, bone marrow donor screening and other treatments for cancer.
  • Transportation and lodging benefits. Pays a benefit for transportation to treatment and lodging for the covered individual and a companion.
  • Home health care services and hospice care. Pays a benefit for physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy, appliances and durable medical equipment, plus a $15,000 maximum lifetime benefit for hospice care.
  • Cancer vaccine. Pays a benefit for a vaccine for cancer prevention.
  • Fertility services. Pays for egg extraction or harvesting and sperm collection and storage for covered policyholders diagnosed with cancer.

Deb Rasmussen, vice president of voluntary benefits claims at Colonial Life, said fulfilling insurance claims is just one piece of what Colonial Life offers.

“Paying claims quickly and accurately is important, but so is demonstrating the care and compassion we’re known for,” Rasmussen said. “I think it’s our people who make the difference. They really care about our customers.”

Baird’s story underscores the importance of additional insurance coverage that can help pay for unexpected costs not covered by traditional health insurance. Baird’s cancer policy covered travel to and from treatment — including tolls and gas — overnight stays for his wife and meals.

Research from the American Cancer Society finds nearly 44 percent of men and 38 percent of women will develop some sort of cancer during their lifetimes. More than 40 percent of those will experience a significant or catastrophic financial burden.1 Cancer patients are more than two times more likely to go bankrupt than people without cancer.2

Baird’s story is a happy one.

“I'm happy to say I'm cancer-free today and I thank God every day for my Colonial Life policy,” Baird said.

1 “The Financial Toxicity of Cancer Treatment: A Pilot Study Assessing Out-of-Pocket Expenses and the Insured Cancer Patient’s Experience,” Economics of Oncology Practice, Vol. 18, o. 4, 2013.
2 “Washington State Cancer Patients Found to be at Greater Risk for Bankruptcy than People Without a Cancer Diagnosis,” Health Affairs, May 21, 2013.

About Colonial Life

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, cancer, critical illness and supplemental health insurance. The company’s benefit services and education, innovative enrollment technology and personal service support more than 80,000 businesses and organizations, representing more than 3 million of America’s workers and their families. For more information visit www.coloniallife.com or connect with the company at www.facebook.com/coloniallifebenefits, www.twitter.com/coloniallife and www.linkedin.com/company/colonial-life.

©2008 Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company

Contact:
Colonial Life
Chris Winston, 803-678-6997
cwinston@unum.com
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