Childhood Cancer


How Can Health Insurance Help Protect Your Children

Since the early 1990s, incidence rates for cancers in children have increased by around a seventh (15%) in the UK. Rates in girls have increased by around a sixth (18%), and rates in boys have increased by around a seventh (13%) (2015-2017). Cancer Research UK

‘There are around 1,900 new children's cancer cases in the UK every year, that's around five every day (2015-2017).’ Cancer Research UK

Childhood cancers can have a devastating blow to the children themselves as well as their family and friends around them. At a time when children should be carefree - concentrating on playing and learning in school - they are forced to focus on hospitals, medication and operations.

The strains on their parents also come from all angles. There is the anguish of watching their child suffer, the stress of the decisions they are faced with over medication and treatment, the difficulty of trying to explain to youngsters what is happening to them and even the day-to-day struggles with time off work or school.

Children’s cancer survival rates are good however and with the right treatment and medication, many children go on to recover. According to Cancer Research, ‘around 8 in 10 (80%) children diagnosed with cancer in England survive for ten years or more (2006-10).’

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It is an annual international month-long movement to raise awareness, support and funding for childhood cancers. Founded originally in 2010 by then President Barack Obama, it is marked each year with awareness events from various cancer charities.

Health Insurance can cover children and childhood cancers, we explain exactly how it works, what’s covered and how it can help alleviate worries.


What is Child Health Insurance?

Child Health Insurance is an insurance policy which covers the cost of private medical care, should your child ever require it. It provides the peace of mind that potentially expensive private treatments and care would be covered by the insurance policy. Private medical treatment means access to the very best treatments, hospitals and consultants, with the minimal waiting times and in superior comfort.

Health Insurance works in conjunction with the NHS to complement it and maximise the treatments available and the comfort in which you receive them. As a nation we are lucky to benefit from a publicly funded health service, giving everyone access to treatment at little to no cost. However, the NHS is under increasing pressure and many people now face long waiting lists and delayed or cancelled treatments.

Access to private medical care means you can avoid the long waiting lists for treatment. Health Insurance offers your child access to a choice of hospitals and treatment times that suit you, with overnight stays normally in a private, en-suite room. Some policies will provide allowance for parents to stay in nearby accommodation as well if necessary.

How Does It Work?

You can either take out an individual policy for your child, or you can add them to your own policy as a dependent. Often it is a better value option to add your child to your own policy, but this varies with the individual’s own requirements and you should always compare the options. Our advisers are always happy to talk you through your individual requirements.

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Cancer Cover

Cancer cover is usually included within the core cover of all policies. It is one of the most valuable benefits of Health Insurance policies; according to Macmillan’s latest research, cancer is the disease we fear the most in the UK. Health Insurance allows you the peace of mind that should one of your family be affected by the disease you can have access to breakthrough cancer treatments and superior comfort and choice throughout treatment. It is important to compare cancer cover between policies as what is included within the core cover can vary. However, most policies will include the following within the core cover:

  • radiotherapy
  • chemotherapy
  • surgery
  • consultants’ fees
  • out-patient treatment
  • home nursing
  • cash benefits if treated by the NHS


What Else Is Covered?

Cancer isn’t the only condition covered by a Child Health Insurance policy, there are many more besides. All Health Insurance policies intend to return the policyholder to the same state of health as when they took out the policy. They are intended to cover things that are treatable and can be recovered from, such as leukaemia or appendicitis. Usually most policies will include the following within their core cover though:

  • Inpatient and day patient treatments
  • Some outpatient cover (this is variable depending upon your choices)
  • Cancer cover
  • Digital and/or telephone-based GP and health support


Other Benefits

There are some other benefits specific to Child Health Insurance policies also, these may vary slightly between providers, but can include:

Newborn Cash Benefit - Some insurers will pay a one-off cash benefit on the birth (or adoption) of a child. Usually you would need to be covered for a limited period before the baby is born to receive the benefit.

Parent Accommodation - Some policies will cover the cost of accommodation for you to stay near your child whilst they are receiving eligible inpatient treatment in a hospital included in your plan.

Corrective Ear Surgery - Most insurers will offer procedures to correct prominent ears up to a certain age.

Laser Treatment - Most insurers will cover procedures to remove or improve the appearance of birthmarks such as ‘port wine stain’ on the child’s face.

Speech Therapy - A set number of sessions are usually available with a speech therapist, when there is a delay in the child’s development.


For more information about Private Medical Insurance and a policy to suit your family or child, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our expert advisers for free, impartial advice. Fill in the short form below and we will be in touch.


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