Miller insurance for cord blood stem cell therapies
Most private healthcare insurance policies provide limited cover for stem-cell therapies as they are still viewed as 'experimental' despite being widely adopted by medical professionals as standard and considered highly effective treatments.
In response to this, Miller Insurance Services LLP (Miller) has launched a new international insurance facility that aims to fill such gaps in healthcare availability. Underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyd's, the policy recognises the financial challenges that families experience when their loved ones embark on complex, long-term treatment modalities and has been designed specifically to give parents who are banking cord blood additional peace of mind that treatment can be affordable.
What does the policy cover?
The insurance covers the cost of a stem-cell transplant and related medical expenses such as hospital costs, outpatient visit costs before and after a transplant, rehabilitation costs and any follow-up medication. It also covers non-treatment expenses such as transport and accommodation costs if a patient needs to travel abroad for treatment, any special modifications to a patient’s home, home help or child-care support, and tutoring costs for those under 18 who are unable to attend school.
Perhaps most significantly, the insurance covers the costs of searching for suitable stem cells (from cord blood, bone marrow or peripheral blood) if those stored are unsuitable to use for any reason.
Coverage provides families with $250,000 a year, $30,000 specifically for non-treatment expenses, which can either be used to reimburse individual expenses or as a lump-sum benefit.
Families can also sign up to an extension of cover prior to their child’s birth, which would provide $50,000 if their child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy in the first three years of their life. This lump sum benefit is designed to help relieve the financial pressures associated with a diagnosis of this condition.
Who is eligible?
The policy covers the expected child (or children in the case of a multiple birth), however it can be extended to also insure siblings, step-siblings and parents in case they were to require a stem-cell transplant using the expected child’s banked cord blood. Any family member insured under the policy must be under 40 years of age when the policy starts and be able to confirm no existing diagnosis of any of the listed conditions covered by the insurance.
How do you buy it?
Coverage is designed for families storing their stem cells and can be obtained directly from any participating public or private cord blood bank. It can be purchased at the time parents decide to store their family’s stem cells or as an add-on to any existing storage arrangements, depending on how their chosen bank provides the insurance to its customers.
Families store stem cells to protect their children’s future; this insurance follows the same principle.