Would You Be Ready For This? The Financial Side Of Cancer


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We consider ourselves fortunate in may ways. Yes, my husband has cancer. However, he has a job. We have health insurance that’s covering the cost of his transplant and a housing allowance during his recovery, and state disability insurance to cover a percentage of his lost wages during the time he will be unable to work.

That said, we will have to use our savings to subsidize the difference between what he will earn on state disability and what his salary would normally be. Thankfully, we have money saved. If we get into a situation where we have to pay COBRA, we will have to dip further into that savings. But it’s a far cry from being without health insurance or savings, like many Americans.

Since my husband works for a small company that doesn’t provide disability benefits of their own (true of many small employers), we are left at the mercy of the state of California’s disability plan. We don’t qualify for a private long-term disability plan because he’s already been diagnosed with cancer.

My advice to you? Get a long-term disability plan that is independent of your employer. Now, while you’re healthy.

We’ve had life insurance since our children were born, but that doesn’t help us now. It doesn’t help when I need to be a full-time caregiver and my husband will be out of work.

Fortunately, he works in a field that doesn’t require him to do physical labor, so he should be able to return to his job sooner than others in his situation. But that doesn’t make this any less stressful. If we’d had a disability insurance policy that covered the gap, it would have been one less thing for us to worry about during an already stressful time.

I used to think those AFLAC commercials just had a cute duck. Hindsight and stuff.