In the most important and frightening area of cover - cancer, medical insurers are moving in to fill the void. Until recently, where some insurers see coverage for cancer as an unduly risky area, market leader Bupa International has entered into this area.
It unveiled a plan whereby former cancer sufferers and those with other serious conditions, can insure themselves against the cost of treating a recurrence - though at a heavy premium.
In the insurance industry, this is supposed to be a cover for pre-existing conditions, which is often regarded by insurers as a no-go area for cancer.
Expat customers of Bupa International can now apply for insurance coverage for more than 60 common conditions that they already have. In addition to cancer, it also includes hypertension, asthma, acne, high cholesterol, hay fever, and kidney stones.
As part of Bupa World Health Options, this benefit is being offered. This is the first significant policy innovation by Bupa in more than 20 years. According to the findings of a poll among 12,262 people around the world, three times as many people were worried about getting cancer than any other disease.
Dementia and heart attack being the other big worries evoked little fear when compared with cancer.