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What is disease-specific insurance?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Some call these legal robbery policies, because the restrictions are often so encompassing that you are more likely to be hit by lightening twice in a day than benefit from one. To be specific, disease-specific insurance is a type of supplemental insurance that kicks in if you are diagnosed with the specific disease or condition specified in the policy (and there are usually many more restrictions than that, like you didn’t know you had a likelihood of that disease or condition). These policies are often very restrictive in their coverage. Remember, they’re meant to supplement, not substitute for, your basic health insurance.

Disease specific insurance is a supplemental insurance policy that only covers you if you are diagnosed with the particular disease that is outlined in the policy, such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, or heart disease. Disease specific insurance is not the same as comprehensive or major medical coverage, so it is important to ensure that you understand exactly what is covered by the disease specific policy and whether or not you really need more than your comprehensive plan. Be careful to consider if you are at high risk for developing the disease because of genetic predisposition or professional hazards, if you can face the financial burden of a chronic or catastrophic illness, or if you are purchasing from emotion or fear.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.