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New Study Describes Financial Hardships Encountered by Cancer Patients; Supplemental Health Insurance May be a Key Safeguard

CARMEL, Ind., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- According to a study conducted jointly by the American Cancer Society and Kaiser Family Foundation, cancer patients and their families suffer financially and are often forced to delay or avoid life-saving treatments. The report, Spending to Survive: Cancer Patients Confront Holes in the Health Insurance System, highlights the serious financial consequences families can experience when a family member is diagnosed with cancer -- even when the patient has health insurance.

The report is available at the Foundation's web site:

"Our findings are consistent with those of the American Cancer Society and Kaiser Foundation. American families need more financial protection from major illnesses, such as cancer, than major medical insurance provides," said Steve Stecher, President, Conseco Insurance Group. "For many, supplemental health insurance can be a key to help maintain their standard of living."

As referenced in a January 2009 Conseco study, Supplemental Health Insurance: A 'Must' for Americans in the Current Economy, medical debt is a leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. today. The protection afforded by supplemental health products has never been more important to American families, due to the risk of incurring illnesses or injuries, the high cost of medical care, and the gaps in the insurance coverage carried by most people. Not only are hospital stays and doctor bills a looming threat to financial stability, but also additional expenditures related to the nonmedical aspects of care, such as transportation to and from medical facilities, lost wages and additional child care.

The Conseco study recommends that individuals in the market for supplemental health insurance should look for:

-- Lump-sum benefits, which are paid when the consumer is diagnosed with a common catastrophic illness

-- Indemnity benefits, which offset the medical costs associated with hospital and ICU stays, chemotherapy, radiation and corrective or preventative surgery

-- A premium-return feature, also known as a "cash value" or "return of premium" rider. As the name implies, this benefit can return premium to the policyholder if coverage is kept for a certain period of time. It gives the buyer assurance that they will get premiums back if the insurance coverage is not needed.

-- Transportation benefits, which help insured persons cover the cost of travel to and from a medical center for treatment

-- Coverage for regular diagnostic tests, such as mammograms, Pap smears and colon screenings

For more information on supplemental health insurance policies from Conseco Insurance Company that meet your needs, or to view the complete white paper study, logon to

Conseco, Inc.'s insurance companies help protect working American families and seniors from financial adversity: Medicare supplement, long-term care, cancer, heart/stroke and accident policies protect people against major unplanned expenses; annuities and life insurance products help people plan for their financial futures. For more information, visit Conseco's web site at

The financial condition and contractual obligations of Conseco, Inc. are separate from its subsidiaries.

Policies are issued by Conseco Insurance Company, a life and health insurance company, and have limitations and exclusions. For costs and complete details of coverage, contact an agent. Certain policy benefits, features and riders may vary by state and are subject to state availability. Conseco Insurance Company is not licensed, and does not solicit business in, the state of New York.

SOURCE: Conseco Insurance Company

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