Cancer, heart attack, or a stroke can happen anytime and to anyone. Even healthy people risk being diagnosed with one or more of these diseases. More and more people are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Unfortunately, in addition to bearing this dreadful disease’s physical and emotional consequences, patients often have to bear the financial burden. Fortunately, there are cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance plans (CHAS) to ease these burdens.

 What is Cancer, Heart Attack, and Stroke Insurance?

Cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance (also known as CHAS or critical illness insurance) provides a tax-free, lump-sum payment for a significant medical event. This coverage is intended as supplemental coverage to your existing health or Medicare coverage. It helps to offset the high cost of significant illness.

One in five people with health insurance who are diagnosed with cancer spends most or all of their savings. Medicare doesn’t cover most costs associated with cancer. Only 39% of the costs for cancer come from approved medical treatment.

In addition to indirect costs such as lost productivity and income, people diagnosed with cancer may incur additional expenses such as travel and lodging to specialty hospitals for medical care, deductibles, copayments, and experimental treatments.

You could have thousands of dollars in uncovered expenses. You can protect against these costs with a Cancer, Heart Attack, & Stroke Insurance (CHAS) plan. These plans provide a lump-sum payment as soon as cancer, heart attack, or stroke is medically diagnosed.

You’re free to use these funds. A cancer insurance policy can also help replace lost income if you can’t work due to a cancer diagnosis. Cancer insurance benefits can help pay bills, such as mortgages and utilities, so you won’t have to worry about losing your home. Even travel expenses can be covered, so no cancer center is too far away for you.

Some features of a CHAS Plan include:

  • No additional premiums for tobacco users.
  • Family, individual, and spouse rates are based on the youngest spouse.
  • Guaranteed to be renewable as long as you pay premiums on time.
  • 30-day free look

What does Medicare cover for cancer?

Medicare Part A covers eligible cancer treatments related to hospital stays. For example, it may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy in hospital
  • Inpatient hospital stays for surgery to remove or treat cancer
  • Skilled nursing care facility after a 3-day hospital stay
  • Home health care, such as physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Breastfeeding prosthetic implant surgery after a mastectomy
  • Hospice care
  • Blood transfusion
  • Some costs of clinical research in the hospital

Medicare Part B can cover a variety of outpatient cancer services and treatments, which are as follows:

  • Outpatient chemotherapy, such as infusion center treatment
  • Radiation therapy in an outpatient center
  • Oral chemotherapy
  • Outpatient surgery, such as a port implant for chemotherapy
  • Durable medical equipment, which includes a walker or supplemental oxygen
  • Tests to diagnose or evaluate cancer treatment, such as a CT scan
  • Equipment that supports external nutrition at home, such as feeding tubes and pumps
  • Some outpatient medical research expenses
  • Breast prostheses after a mastectomy

People with Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, should have at least the same coverage as people with Original Medicare, including Parts A and B. However, rates and rules are maybe different from Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans may also include Part D to cover prescription drug costs. Medicare Part D may also cover drugs that counter the side effects of cancer treatment, such as anti-nausea medications.

Can cancer patients get insurance after the diagnosis?

Getting a good cancer insurance policy after you have been diagnosed is difficult. We recommend reviewing your cancer insurance options to avoid any later financial surprises.

However, if you have been cancer free for several years, you may be able to get insurance. Depending on the insurance and company, the number of years of being cancer clear before getting coverage.

Are cancer policies worth It for seniors with Medicare?

Critical illness policies are for people who want to add financial protection to their health insurance if they are diagnosed with cancer, heart attack, or stroke.

Cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance provide you with financial piece of mind in the event of a critical illness diagnosis in the future. This includes medical and non-medical expenses, such as lost income due to illness or premature death. This happens in your healing journey.

Everyone should consider it, especially those with a family history of cancer. It’s also of value to those who don’t have adequate health insurance. Cancer may not be preventable, but cancer insurance can prevent financially devastating effects.

Not to mention, some of Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans biggest holes revolve around treatment related to cancer. Another great ancillary product to help fill some of the highest cost gaps is a hospital indemnity plan.

What is the average cost of a cancer policy?

The National Cancer Institute calculated that the average cost of medical care and medication in the first year after a cancer diagnosis is over $42,000. Some treatments can exceed $1 million.

Usually, most expenses are covered. But patients are increasingly paying large bills because of annual deductibles and cost-sharing from other health plans.

Factors affecting the cost of insurance include:

  • Age: The older you get, the greater your cancer risk and the higher your cancer insurance premiums.
  • Health Status: You’ll have to answer questions surrounding have diagnosed or treated for cancer within the past 5 to 10 years.
  • Benefit Amount: Since these plans are lump sum payments, the benefit amount impacts the monthly premium significantly.

Most Medicare beneficiaries can purchase CHAS plans for under $50 per month. Once you receive your lump sum cash benefit, you can use the funds for anything you choose, even a vacation.


Does Medicare Cover Heart Medications?

Heart disease is often managed or treated with prescription drugs, and Original Medicare doesn’t cover prescription maintenance medications. You can sign up for a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan to add drug coverage.

Why should someone consider cancer insurance?

Unexpected out-of-pocket costs associated with cancer recoveries, such as transportation to chemotherapy, copays, coinsurance, and deductibles, can add up quickly.

In addition, two-thirds of cancer rehabilitation costs are non-medical, such as mortgage payments, childcare, and other household expenses. Cancer insurance can help you pay for these expenses.

Are there any other types of coverage included in cancer insurance?

Cancer, stroke, and heart attack are three of the most common illnesses in America. You can enroll in a cancer-only plan or a plan combining cancer, heart attack, and stroke coverage.

Looking Over Cancer, Heart Attack, and Stroke Plans For Seniors With Medicare

Suppose you’re about to turn 65, and your Medicare Open Enrollment Period is approaching. In that case, this is the best time to knock everything out at once about your health insurance.

Critical illness plans can be added anytime, not just during the Annual Enrollment Period. Let our licensed insurance agents find programs that cater to your individual needs. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, or CHAS plan.

Our agents are experts at all things Medicare. Fill out our online request form or call us at the number above.

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Written By:
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Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare editor for She's been contributing to many well-known publications since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.
Reviewed By:
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Rodolfo Marrero, Rodolfo Marrero is one of the co-founders at He has been helping consumers find the right coverage since the site was founded in 2013. Rodolfo is a licensed insurance agent that works hand-in-hand with the team to ensure the accuracy of the content.