The Ultimate Guide to Selling Cancer Insurance in 2020

Senior Market Advisors: An Insurance FMO

Senior Market Advisors is a field marketing organization that markets, sells, and distributes many different insurance products, including cancer insurance.

We offer our agent partners a diversified product portfolio, top-tier commissions, eContracting capabilities with leading carriers, product knowledge & training, and more.

The way we do business is fundamentally different. We value people over profit and always encourage engagement between our agent partners and our sales and marketing staff. Senior Market Advisors wants to provide you with the best tools and practices to grow your business.

What is cancer insurance?

A cancer diagnosis is scary enough on its own, but the treatment can incur high costs that give people a whole new reason to worry.

Cancer insurance is a type of supplemental health insurance designed to alleviate some of the costs that usually follow a diagnosis. It is best used as a backup to a standard health plan to bring some financial relief and peace of mind during such a stressful situation.

It’s hard to predict exactly how much a cancer treatment will cost, which is why cancer insurance can cover as little as $5,000 or as much as $100,000. The benefits of a cancer policy are usually paid in the form of reimbursement checks, meaning payments are made directly to the policyholder to be used in any way they want.

Is cancer insurance worth selling?

An estimated 1.8 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020 alone, according to the National Institute of Health. While Original Medicare and many health care plans will cover a lot of cancer treatment expenses, the copays and deductibles leftover can add more stress and make the battle against cancer even harder.

There is clearly a need for additional cancer insurance, and you can help fulfill that need by selling cancer insurance as an agent. It’s a simple form of coverage that can be explained easily to your clients and the direct benefit payout means they can use the funds however they need them.

By adding cancer insurance to another health or life insurance plan, you can double the amount of policies you have with that client. This can build your relationship with your client, as well as build your bottom line since you will be receiving commissions for both policies. 

Is there a need for cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance?

Cancer, heart attack, and stroke insurance policies only pay out their benefits if the policyholder has been diagnosed with one of these dangerous health conditions. But the prevalence of these conditions demonstrates how large the need is for these types of coverage

  • Heart attacks 
    • Heart attacks constitute the leading cause of death (1 in 4 deaths)
    • Over 800,000 heart attacks occur every year
  • Cancer
    • Second leading cause of death
    • 41% of men and 38% of women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point
  • Stroke
    • Leading cause of serious long-term disability
    • Recovery can take a very long time

While Medicare and most health insurance policies will cover medical costs related to a critical illness like cancer or heart attacks, there are many associated expenses that are not covered, like lost wages from being out of work. Cancer insurance and other supplemental insurance can help fill the gaps left by standard health coverage.

The benefits of working with an insurance FMO/IMO

Whether you’re a rookie agent or an industry vet, partnering with a marketing organization could make all the difference when it comes to hitting your year-end sales goals. 

FMOs and IMOs (independent marketing organizations) are there to give their agents the products, leads, training, tools, and back-office support they need to succeed. 

While an independent producer may be able to sell certain products, most of the top-tier insurance carriers will not allow direct agents to contract without an FMO. Your FMO insurance partner will work directly with carriers to get you access to certification, credentialing, and contracting for products not offered to independent producers. 

The basics of cancer insurance

Before you start selling cancer insurance, you’ll need to get familiar with the basics of these products. 

Types of cancer insurance policies:

  • Lump-sum
    • These cancer policies will pay out a predetermined cash benefit in a lump sum upon diagnosis. It can often be paired with a Medicare Supplement plan, like Plan G or Plan N.
  • Critical illness insurance
    • These policies usually include coverage for cancer-related expenses, as well as those heart attacks, strokes, comas, and more.
  • Indemnity policies
    • This type of policy pays out a daily amount based on plan choice, with each treatment having its own daily payout limit.
  • Expense-incurred
    • These plans will pay for a percentage of covered services but will require the patient to pay out-of-pocket first and then be reimbursed.

How cancer insurance works

The way a particular cancer policy works will depend on what type of policy it is, as described above. Certain carriers may have similar products that operate in different ways, including requiring a person to be cancer-free for a certain period or excluding certain types of cancer like skin cancer. 

Many cancer policies will also have different waiting periods between the time coverage is purchased and when benefits are paid out. Coverage may also be revoked if the patient had cancer symptoms before they purchased the policy. Be sure to study the details of each plan before you attempt to sell them.

The benefits of cancer insurance

Patients diagnosed with cancer are more than twice as likely to file for bankruptcy as others. That same financial instability may also be a risk factor for early death in patients going through cancer treatment. 

Cancer insurance is one of the only ways people can guard themselves against many of the associated expenses that aren’t included in regular health insurance coverage. The lump-sum benefit paid by many cancer policies can be used to pay for pretty much any expense, including but not limited to:

  • Copays and out-of-pocket costs
  • Loss of income
  • Hospital stays
  • Travel for family members

Costs of cancer insurance

Cancer insurance policies can vary greatly in premium and coverage amount from carrier to carrier, but most are surprisingly affordable for the amount of medical expenses they can cover.

Lump-sum policies usually tend to cost around $30 a month for $10,000 of coverage for individuals, $60 a month for $20,000, and so on. They also offer the ability to add the policyholder’s spouse and kids to the policy for only a minimal additional fee.

Some cancer plans use a schedule of benefits with multiple tiers, which will be priced differently. But they still allow for a lot of flexibility, so the policyholder can find the right plan to cover their medical costs for a reasonable price.

How to get started selling cancer insurance

The best way to get a head start selling cancer insurance is to partner with an FMO that can give you a direct line to the best products in the market. Once you have your license in one or more states, your FMO can support you in many ways including:

  • Contracting with top carriers
  • Cancer insurance leads
  • Product and sales training
  • Affordable Errors & Omissions coverage

Considering if cancer insurance is right for your clients

As an agent, you have to consider your clients’ needs first and foremost. Cancer insurance can be sold to anyone over the age of 18, but people who have been treated in the past for certain types of cancers, HIV, or AIDS may be denied coverage under most cancer insurance policies.

Who is an ideal client for cancer insurance?

Cancer insurance is especially applicable to those who have not yet been diagnosed but who may have a family history of cancer. People who live lifestyles that increase their chances of developing the disease could also find cancer insurance very helpful. 

Can cancer patients get insurance after diagnosis?

Unfortunately, many carriers will refuse coverage to those with a past cancer diagnosis or certain other serious conditions. Some will accept enrollees who have been cancer-free for a certain period of time, but that could be as much as ten years.

If your client is interested in cancer coverage but cannot get approved, try showing them some Medicare Supplement or Advantage plans. While these policies won’t help the client with everyday financials, they can still significantly reduce their copays and coinsurance.

How to bring up cancer in conversation with clients

Cancer has impacted most people’s lives to some degree and because of this, it can be a very touchy subject to broach. It’s a topic that agents must navigate deftly in order not to anger or offend.

We’ve found one of the easiest ways to bring up the subject with your clients is to do a simple needs assessment. You can use one of the questions on the assessment like “Do you have a family history of cancer?” to find out more information without being too pushy or invasive. 

Let your client tell you about their history and experience with cancer, without talking too much. Oftentimes, they will make the case for you that cancer coverage is very important. From there, it’s not a long shot to show them how cancer insurance can help them if a diagnosis does happen.

How to easily close the cancer insurance sale

Selling cancer insurance door to door may still be the preferable method, as it allows you to physically show your client the brochures and benefits of all the different plans you have available.

But at the moment, more and more agents are moving to sell cancer insurance over the phone. The method is different, but the actual conversation you will have with your client will be much the same:

  • Package a cancer plan with a Med Supp plan, or give the client the three best choices to choose from.
  • Don’t start the presentation with price. The most important thing is which needs of the client are being addressed by each plan.
  • Never ask open-ended questions like “So, what do you think?”

Cancer insurance carriers we represent

Senior Market Advisors seeks to build relationships with the best carriers, so we can get our agents the best insurance for cancer patients in 2020. We represent these trusted cancer insurance providers:

Why Senior Market Advisors should be your FMO

If you’re interested in selling cancer insurance, why not partner with one of the top IMO insurance companies in the nation? We support our agents by providing access to the best insurance products, and the contracting and training it takes to sell them.

SMA was founded by insurance agents for insurance agents. Our CEO, Jeff Pita began his career as an independent insurance agent, so he knows the hard work it takes to be successful. Above all, he and the SMA team are dedicated to people over profit. 

What We Offer Our Independent Agents:

  • Top-tier commissions
  • Diversified product portfolio, including hospital indemnity
  • eContracting capabilities with leading carriers
  • Product insight
  • Training

More information and resources for insurance agents:

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