It's benefit renewal time for many and HR teams are in the middle of open enrollment (or should be wrapping it. If you have an employee with cancer, here is an important question to ask. What does your insurance offer for employees with cancer?
Not all plans offer similar support. I did a little research to see what the top 4 plus one other insurance carrier offers.
Here is why it matters?
Think of support for an employee with cancer as a total compensation package. Knowing the kind of support your insurance carrier offers and communicating that information to your employee is vital in offering caring and thoughtful cancer support.
How did I research this?
I did this research by Googling the name of the insurance company + cancer support. Below is a general outline of support, so be sure to call your broker and have them dig deeper. There will be holes; knowing what they are before your employee finds them is always a good idea.
Who did I review?
United Healthcare, Blue Cross/Shield, Cigna, Aetna, Humana, Kaiser, and Oscar.
Who didn't have any information on their site?
Here is what I found.
According to their website, the United Health Care Cancer Support Program "aims to support this key relationship with individualized, coaching and education for both adult and pediatric patients diagnosed with cancer."
The highlights of what they offer are:
Provide information to encourage patients' active participation in their care.
Help reduce complications related to the cancer diagnosis and treatments through targeted and timely interventions.
Increase awareness and informed choices about hospice and palliative care toward the end of life.
Help coordinate care and benefits issues.
Blue Cross / Blue Shield
They have a program called Care Management from Shield Support. Their care managers will check in with patients every now and then. (That feels to ambiguous to me!) There wasn't a lot of description but their primary role stated on their website seems to be to:
Support you with managing day-to-day health needs
Coordinate your care with your doctor and healthcare team
Help you navigate the healthcare system and access valuable resources
Cigna has three levels of support.
Level 1 is for those in remission.
Level 2 is for past cancer patients who are still taking cancer-related medications or are undergoing preventive treatment.
Levels 3 & 4 are for those currently living with cancer and for those living with cancer but who have other complications such as chronic pulmonary diseases.
They offer nurses who have oncology training and personalized care support plans based on each person's unique needs. I liked how they specifically outline how they offer palliative and hospice care.
Aetna offers the most comprehensive cancer care plan I have seen so far.
They have a software called Novologic that finds makes sure that treatments conform to the most evidence-based guidelines.
Access to a nurse care manager
Access to behavioral health programs (online, in person or on the phone
Non-clinical care advocate to help take care of things like cleaning and transportation.
They have a lot of information and referrals but not much of a program. Referrals are great, but honestly, referrals are not enough. A person with cancer is overwhelmed. If Humana could help your employee with cancer get the support they need, I would be much more impressed.
Insight into the scope of their Humana medical benefits
Education and advice to prevent or minimize side effects
Referrals to community resources, including support groups
Referrals to organizations that offer financial assistance with copayments, medication costs, and treatment-related travel costs
Referrals to organizations that offer transportation for medical appointments
Information about the Palliative Supportive Care Program
They only had two articles about cancer support. It was odd for such a larger organization not to have anything about cancer support programs on their website. Maybe is you are a member there is more information on your portal?
In conclusion, based on my research, I hope that I had Aetna for insurance if I had cancer. Please let me know if I missed something. What does your plan offer?