Money Saving Monday: Preparing for Cancer

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - In our weekly Money Saving Monday report, WHNT NEWS 19 focuses on something life-threatening that could happen to anyone, at any age, and anywhere:  cancer.

Fighting it has been known to rob families of their finances, as they support their loved one during the battle.  And in the end, families find they are devastated emotionally and financially.

With that in mind, some action you take now could save thousands of dollars, stress and grief in the worst of times in the future.

Cancer insurance is an option, since cancer doesn't discriminate.

Just in the month of February, it has claimed the lives of an eight-year-old boy from Athens, a 17-year-old girl from Harvest and who knows how many elderly people.

Some kinds of cancer are genetic, but others develop out of the blue, with no family history of it.

There are some 200 different kinds of cancer that affect the human body.

If you haven't run into it yet-- now might be the perfect time to make a move to get ahead of it -- at least financially.

The Tennessee Valley is still mourning the loss of 8-year-old Ryan Kitchens to brain cancer and 17-year-old Brittany Vann of Harvest to liver cancer.

Their brave battles took a financial toll on their families, who lost an untold amount of money in income and expenses they never could have imagined.

Larry Sharp of Huntsville can relate to some degree.

"I had a level four melanoma, diagnosed in 1979," he said sitting inside his insurance office.

His major medical insurance coverage took care of his treatment at the time, but he estimates he lost $11,000 in expenses he could have saved if he'd had a cancer policy.

"It's one of those things that you think the person sitting next to you is going to get it and you're not," said Sharp.

He said he took out a cancer policy ten years later and was eventually diagnosed with a second form of cancer: prostate cancer.

This time he was ready for it financially, and as an insurance agent, encourages his clients to be ready too just in case.

"Supplemental insurance is growing in importance for people to consider," said Sharp.

WHNT NEWS 19 found videos and links to more information on, perhaps, an unlikely internet site:  Pinterest.  Pinners have put up all kinds of information about cancer insurance as well as critical illness insurance and how to compare rates and benefits.

And it doesn't stop with humans.  There are policies for pets, also susceptible to various forms of cancer.

It's a proactive money-saving step that could prove invaluable if a loved one ends up in a fight for life.

"Cancer is not a death sentence, as we once thought it to be," said Sharp.  "Cancer insurance allows you to seek the best treatment you can, and along with your major medical, know that you can financially afford to keep your lifestyle where you want to be, where you are now.  You don't want be in a position where you have to choose whether to go to get chemotherapy or pay your grocery bills."

Many companies won't insure you for cancer if you've been diagnosed with it.  Some companies will, but only after you have been cancer-free for five years cancer free and then the insurance only applies to a new kind of cancer.

Either way, it's a money-saving option to consider in advance of hearing a doctor say those dreaded words -- "you've got cancer".

WHNT NEWS 19  knows there are lots of savers who watch our newscasts.  So we want to hear your secrets to saving money.  Please post your thoughts to the WHNT NEWS 19 Facebook page and we may pull a few of them to highlight in future Money Saving Monday reports.

And if you like what you see on WHNT NEWS 19, "pin it" on Pinterest and let's share the wealth of saving money!

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