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Steve Jobs dies from pancreatic cancer: How needed is cancer insurance?

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It is with great sadness that the world has been shocked with the news of the death of Steve Jobs. It was his visionary leadership, innovative passion, and determination the help to evolve Apple into the technology giant that has become. He was only 56, but lost his battle with pancreatic cancer today.

It is also time then, to revisit a cause of his passing. No, it was not old age nor an accident, but rather a disease that, as statistics depict, has or will affect everyone either directly or indirectly. The name of the disease is cancer.

It can be safe to suggest that everyone who has not been afflicted with a form of cancer probably knows someone who has been its victim. For those who have become a survivor, medical advancements have been able to slow down or stop the progression of the disease. Many such individuals are then on a constant watch for “No Evidence of Disease.”

As an insurance agent, I am constantly amazed at the costs that some cancers can take on during the fight for health. It is not only the costs for the doctors, medications, and surgeons as necessary, but rather the incidental costs as well. What some people do not realize is that health insurance will only cover a select portion of that price tag, leaving an individual’s savings, retirement, generous donors, and welfare to pick up the tab for the incidentals and extra costs.

With October representing the month for breast cancer awareness, it was felt that, in light of Jobs passing, the subject of cancer, in general, needs to be addressed.

Thus, throughout the next few months, a focus on the needs for insurance to cover an individual’s open risks is a vital topic. Unfortunately, during times of economic turmoil and unemployment, too often it is an individual’s insurance that will lapse due to the lack of money available to pay premiums, deductibles, and copayments. This phenomenon causes further problems in that many insurance premiums are age banded. In simpler terms, as a person ages, their initial premiums on a new policy will generally be higher than if the individual, with the same level of health, were to apply for the same policy and coverage.

Even though Jobs had become rich from the success of his company, a disease like cancer, depending on its location and aggressive nature, can devour thousands of dollars during its fight. While Jobs had been able to continue working for a period of time while undergoing treatments, it was not long before the disease and treatments took its toll and he realized he needed to stop working. For those who are not as well off as Jobs, the loss or reduction of income can be devastating, only adding to the stress.

Adding to the importance of this discussion will be the acknowledgement that cancer does not discriminate with who it challenges. Its victims are not chosen by race, color, nor creed, and age is not a determination of who will survive or who will succumb.

By being armed with the knowledge of how to be better prepared financially, perhaps the fight against a diagnosis of cancer will be a little more manageable.

Watch for further stories and reports throughout the next several weeks.

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