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Does health insurance cover palliative care?

If you or a loved one is suffering from a life-threatening illness, there’s a chance you’ll receive what is known as “palliative care.” The nature of palliative care differs a bit from hospice treatment, so you may be wondering whether or not your health insurance will cover it.

Most public or private insurance policies will cover palliative care, but customers who have taken out an additional cancer insurance policy will find that they may not need to worry as much about the expenses of palliative care, especially for long periods of treatment.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is any type of long-term treatment you receive for a serious or life-threatening illness that is intended to improve your quality of life. This type of care is common when treating patients with terminal illnesses such as cancer, but it can be applied to any patient experiencing a life-threatening ailment.

A big part of palliative care is that it is not explicitly “curative,” meaning it is not intended to alleviate you of an ailment or disease (although it can be used alongside curative treatment). Rather, palliative care tries to ensure that you do not experience any preventable pain or distress from the treatment of your illness.

Is palliative care different from hospice?

While palliative care shares some similarities with hospice care, they fundamentally differ in the end goal of their treatments. First, hospice care is intended for patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less. Also, it usually replaces any curative treatment the patient may have received.

On the other hand, palliative care can be performed in addition to curative treatment. It usually also applies to any patient suffering from a serious illness, no matter their age or life expectancy.

Will I have to pay more on my premiums for palliative care?

Most likely, no. If you already have a health insurance policy prior to receiving your palliative care, you may not have to pay extra on premiums for receiving palliative care. However, many insurances companies treat palliative care differently, so it’s important to check with your company to understand what constitutes palliative care.

Even if your insurance covers palliative care, you may still have trouble covering external expenses that a typical health insurance policy does not cover, such as travel or lodging expenses during the process of receiving care. For these reasons, a supplemental insurance policy, such as a cancer insurance policy, may help you better manage expenses.

Is there a time limit to palliative care coverage?

There is no time limit to palliative care coverage. Under your health insurance coverage, you should be able to receive palliative care as long as necessary.

Always make sure to follow a palliative care regiment as long as you need to. The positive effects of palliative care can help you tackle the curative part of your treatment with added ease.

Let your insurance cover you

Life-threatening diseases already cause a significant amount of discomfort and distress. Let you and your loved ones focus on recovery by letting your insurance cover your palliative care expenses. That way, you can focus on your treatment with a little less worry.

This is a brief product overview only. Coverage may not be available in all states, including but not limited to ID, NJ, NM, NY, or VA. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on plan selected. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies and riders have limitations and exclusions that may affect benefits payable. For costs and complete details of the coverage, please contact your local Aflac agent. In Idaho, Policies B70100ID, B70200ID, B70300ID, B7010EPID, B7020EPID. In Oklahoma, Policies B70100OK, B70200OK, B70300OK, B7010EPOK, B7020EPOK.

Aflac insurance coverage is underwritten by Aflac.

The content herein is provided for general informational purposes and is not provided as tax, legal, health or financial advice for any person or for any specific situation. Employers, employees and other individuals should contact their own advisers about their situations. For complete details, including availability and costs of Aflac insurance, please contact your local Aflac agent.

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Z2200327    Exp. 4/23