"This World Cancer Day is a timely reminder that all providers should regularly review the care and support they offer to make sure that it is sufficient to meet the needs of those affected and to see if they can extend that support in any way to improve the outcomes for policyholders."
- Christine Husbands, RedArc managing director
Debra Clark, Towergate Health & Protection head of specialist consulting, believes this statistic stems from higher survival rates in cases of early diagnosis proving that “risk profiling and screening employees is likely to have a major impact on health and wellbeing across the workplace.”
Given that approximately 40% of cancer cases (155,000 cases) could be prevented in the UK every year, “employers prompted by World Cancer Day 2023 to offer simple screening or risk profiling services could literally have saved lives by the next World Cancer Day.”
Screening plays a vital role in early diagnosis and can help detect cancers before symptoms develop. Not all screening tests have to be carried out in clinics, with tests for both bowel and prostate cancer being available to conduct at home or onsite at workplaces. Employers can provide access to many of these via their health and well-being programmes.
Similarly, RedArc has noted that World Cancer Day is a timely reminder for more insurers to begin playing an active role in supporting consumers living with cancer to get the care they require and deserve, closing the ‘care gap’ with the following three steps:
Step 1: Offer Support
Insurers who don’t already offer support must consider doing so to ensure their policyholders can access help when they are affected by cancer. With the disease being so prevalent and affecting such a large proportion of the population at one stage of their life or another, this is a clear way to demonstrate that insurers care about the health of their customers.
Step 2: Ensure Support Meets Real Needs
To close the ‘care gap’, insurers need to ensure support is carefully chosen and will properly meet the needs of all those affected by cancer, including families. Considering that most cancer needs are complex and can be long-term, whether just diagnosed or undergoing treatment, support needs to add genuine value, and be sufficiently comprehensive and flexible to meet every practical and emotional need.
Step 3: Communicate
Insurers need to ensure that once support is in place, it is effectively and regularly communicated to guarantee customers know it is available and how to access it.
Christine Husbands, RedArc managing director, believes that insurers should be looking to do more to improve the health outcomes of their policyholders and their families at very vulnerable times in their lives, “simply because it’s the right thing to do.”
“Although many insurers will already be providing support for their policyholders who are affected by cancer, this World Cancer Day is a timely reminder that all providers should regularly review the care and support they offer to make sure that it is sufficient to meet the needs of those affected, and to see if they can extend that support in any way to improve the outcomes for policyholders,” added Husbands.