Expat health insurers to provide policies for cancer sufferers

Medical insurers used to see insuring cancer sufferers as a no-go area. Now, former sufferers can insure against the chance of a recurrence.

This change of attitude is down to increased survival in cancer cases; according to Cancer UK, the proportion of women likely to survive breast cancer for at least 10 years has jumped within a few decades from less than 40 per cent to 77 per cent and the proportion of people expected to survive bowel cancer has increased from 23 per cent to 50 per cent.

Lead by Market leader Bupa International, who now have a plan for former sufferers of cancer, and other serious conditions, can be insured against the cost of treating a recurrence.

Bupa’s expat customers will be able to apply for cover for more than 60 common conditions they may already have had. As well as cancer, these include hypertension, asthma, acne, high cholesterol, hay fever, and kidney stones.

Under the Bupa scheme, every disease is individually assessed. Policyholders have to be free of the relevant disease for a widely variable period, and their premium is then increased to cover the assessed risk.

The premium loading is modest according to insurance experts; for example, the loading in breast cancer cases could be as low as £260 and £65 for skin cancer. In the event of the disease recurring, all treatment costs would be covered subject to high annual limits, usually £2 million.

Some experts however think that expats should consider carefully whether they would not be better off to get insurance with an exclusion, and simply pay from their own pockets for treatment should the need arise






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