Cancer is not just a disease, it is a different story of pain, distress, emotional breakdown, survival risk, and whatnot. Cancer not only affects the patient but the entire family and those connected closely. And unfortunately, this disease is on the spike all around the globe. Talking specifically about India, cancer cases are expected to increase by 12% by 2025 as suggested in a report by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Bengaluru-based National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research.
Cancer is not limited to a person, gender, geography, or demography, it can affect anyone anywhere anytime. The report also reveals that by 2025 the cancer cases in men may reach 7,63,575 and 8,06,218 in women. These figures are alarming and every living being is vulnerable to this deadly disease. Fighting against cancer requires a lot of strength, a positive attitude, zeal to survive, emotional support, and huge financial resources.
According to a national survey, the average total cancer care expenditure in 2017-2018 was around Rs. 1,16,218 (public hospitals). Whereas in private hospitals, the cost was approximately Rs. 1,41,774. However, public hospitals are comparatively economical to private hospitals for cancer treatment but the overall cost is still expensive. Moreover, the medical inflation over these years has sky-rocketed the cancer care treatment cost.
In such a situation, the best companion to manage cancer care expenses is cancer insurance. A comprehensive cancer insurance plan can relieve you and your family from the financial burden while dealing with an already stressful medical condition.
Let's dive deep to explore the significance and advantages of having cancer insurance.
These days, various general comprehensive health insurance plans cover critical illnesses, having cancer on the top of the list. It can be helpful in a scenario where the policyholder is diagnosed with a type of cancer. But such covers or add-on plans are not sufficient to bear cancer treatment expenses. These policies usually offer coverage for inpatient hospitalization and treatment at hospitals in India. They do not cover the entire cost of treatment. Also keeping the standard sum insured amount in mind which is INR 5 lakhs then it may become inadequate to meet the treatment requirements for a disease like cancer. Moreover, comprehensive individual or family floater plans generally come with some limitations in terms of the sum insured capping, or waiting period, etc. Therefore, cancer insurance becomes an ideal plan to ensure getting treatment sans financial burden.
Starting with the basics of cancer insurance plans, their minimum entry age is 18 years and the maximum age is 65 years, and the renewability of the policy after 65 years of age varies from policy to policy. Some of the common forms of cancer covered by such insurance plans include breast cancer, ovary cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, hypopharynx cancer, and prostate cancer. But usually, skin cancer is not covered.
The cancer-specific insurances are highly beneficial as they come with higher sum insured ranging from INR 10-50 lakhs that are sufficient to undertake the expensive treatments. It includes cancer diagnosis and treatment such as hospitalization, radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, to name a few.
These plans take care of early and advanced stages of treatment which saves the patients and their families from the financial and mental pressure. Since the cancer disease is defined based on severity, a certain percentage of the policy sum assured is paid in a lump sum depending upon the terms & conditions laid in a policy. Usually, to pay the cancer benefit, the disease is divided into different stages of severity. The insurance payout depends on the stage of cancer and claims previously admitted under the policy. Such insurance policies also offer free regular cancer check-ups during the entire duration of the policy term.
Some cancer care plans also offer the benefit of premium waiver in certain cases. In this waiver benefit, once a claim under the major stage cancer benefit clause is approved, all future premium payments for the policy are waived off for the rest of the policy term. However, such a facility is applicable only when all due premiums have been paid and the policy is active.
Moreover, another benefit of cancer care policies is that they are affordably priced compared to other types of health plans. Also, the policyholders can avail of exemption on tax under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. However, generally, there is no death, maturity, or surrender benefit payable under such plans.
Life doesn't run based on the assumption that some might catch the cancer disease and some might not because no one is sure about life and what disease it may carry in the future. Therefore, there are some parameters to analyze the requirement of this kind of a plan for oneself.
Cancer is a kind of disease that increases the risk if it runs in the family. Hence if a close relative has suffered from any nature of cancer disease then other family members might have a higher chance to have it too. Hence buying a cancer-specific plan in advance can help in dealing with this deadly disease in a better manner.
As mentioned above, cancer treatment incurs a huge amount which can put pressure on your investments, therefore to safeguard your long-term investments and deal with the cancer disease without financial distress, it is imperative to have an insurance plan as a backup for emergencies.
By paying a regular premium for this health insurance plan, one can avail of financial protection in case the policyholder is diagnosed with any of the specified early and/or major stage cancer during the policy term.
Features and Benefits-
It gives the flexibility to choose between two benefit options - Level Sum Insured and Increasing Sum Insured. Get 25% of applicable sum insured as lump sum benefit and premium waiver benefit upon diagnosis of Early Stage Cancer. Or get 100% of applicable sum insured as a lump-sum benefit, income benefit of 1% of applicable sum insured, and premium waiver benefit upon diagnosis of Major Stage Cancer.
This covers the cost of cancer treatment, which is very expensive and can easily turn into a huge financial burden on not just policyholders but their families as well.
Features and Benefits-
This plan offers comprehensive protection against all stages of Cancer, including early, major and critical stages. Get immediate payout upon diagnosis of cancer, irrespective of the stage of cancer you are diagnosed in. Gives the benefit of the sum insured increase by 10% for the first 5 claim-free years at no extra cost.
This plan by HDFC life offers a lump sum benefit in case the life insured is diagnosed with cancer and helps protect their income and savings from the burdening medical expenses.
Features and Benefits-
Policyholder gets the eligibility to choose from 3 different plan options that cover you with varying benefits - Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The policy offers the flexibility to pay your premium at your choice of frequency - annual, half-yearly, quarterly, or monthly. Avail waiver of premium benefit for a period of 3 years upon diagnosis of early-stage cancer.
This individual, non-participating, and non-linked health insurance plan helps you prepare yourself financially in order to defeat cancer with complete reliability and affordability in place.
Features and Benefits-
This plan is designed with the flexibility to avail 1.20% of the sum assured as monthly income for 3 years instead of 40% of the sum assured payable upon diagnosis of major stage cancer. Choice of availing second medical opinion from a panel of medical experts. Avail of 5% discount on your premium upon online purchase.
One can now cover the cost of cancer treatment with the help of this insurance plan that is unlike any other traditional health insurance plan as it provides a lump sum payout without any medical bills.
Features and Benefits
Avail 5% discount on the first year of premium at the time of buying the health cover for oneself and spouse. Gives a 5% loyalty discount on the first year of premium in case a policyholder is an existing customer holding another policy with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and a waiver of premium upon diagnosis.
There are many other cancer insurance plans offered by leading companies. Choose the one that suits your specific needs and be prepared to fight against uncertainties with a strong financial backup. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure; having reliable financial support before having a financial crisis is always a better option.
Written By : Naval Goel
Last Updated : June, 2021
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