Best Health Plans From Top Insurers

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Sehwag PX

Best Health Insurance Plans From Top Insurers

#Virukipolicy | T&C*

Recently, a special research paper talking about the incidence of cancer in India was published in the Lancet Oncology journal. Stating an alarming statistics, the research paper said that in India alone, nearly ten lakh people are diagnosed with cancer each year, of which, almost six-seven lakh people succumb to it.

It also stated that by the year 2035, these numbers may almost double, reaching 17 lakh new cancer patients and about 12 lakh deaths resulting from the disease, each year.

If we ask this question that how long are you going to live, we are sure everybody would answer that it depends upon their health. So, basically, health is a deciding factor when it comes to the longevity of one's life. Now when we talk about deaths by other diseases other than cancer, the condition is that ischemic heart diseases cause 8.76 million deaths worldwide. Also, cardiovascular ailments are responsible for about 17 million deaths. And shockingly, most of the deaths caused because the treatment is so expensive that most people cannot afford it. We know that chronic diseases attacking anyone and cancer on the rise, it is the best remedy other than following a healthy lifestyle, that one should be ready for the worst and prepare for the best.    

We have to agree that the cost of medical treatment, especially cancer in India as well as abroad is also exponentially increasing along with the growing incidence of the disease. Hence, comprehensive medical insurance against cancer has become the need of the hour, to offer some relief at least on the financial front. It is noteworthy that despite most health insurance policies available today usually cover almost all major critical illnesses, inclusive of cancer, these policies mostly pay only for inpatient hospitalisation and only for treatment in hospitals in India. However, these policies come with various sub-limits on the payable amount in different situations. The policy amount may not suffice and also they may not cover expenses for the entire treatment. This is because the common person usually does not purchase a health policy for over INR five lakhs.

What Does Critical Illness Mean

Under a condition called ‘critical illness’, people find it as a life-threatening situation. The critical illness policies by insurance companies offer the payment in a lump sum amount if the policyholder is diagnosed as suffering from one of a number of specified terminal illnesses.

Not reading the policy document generally leads the policyholder ending up making wrongful assumptions, also they have various misconceptions about critical illness insurance plans because of the obvious same reason, not reading. It is severely important to understand what is covered and what isn’t covered by the plan. Rejection of claim can take place because of myths and assumptions and obviously not reading the policy document well.

You might be knowing that rejection of one's claim is said to be worse than not having a critical insurance cover. It is worth worrying that a medical treatment expense can wash off the savings of any person in a single go; even if (s)he had spent a lot of money while buying the plan, if the claim is rejected. It is important to think about that purchasing an insurance policy in the first place is of no use if it cannot be used when it is needed the most.

A patient's life has a lot to do with any major sickness or illness. It leaves the family members shattered both emotionally as well as financially and at the same time leads to huge medical treatment costs as well. In such situations, a Critical Illness Insurance acts as a real saviour, looking after the financial protection whenever there is a shortage of funds for getting the patient treated. Under a critical insurance plan, the insurance company offers an amount in a lump sum in case the insured gets diagnosed with any of the critical illnesses mentioned in the policy document.

You may also like:- Myths and Facts About Critical Illness Insurance in India

Diseases Covered Under Critical Illness

Though the list of diseases coming under critical illness may vary from company to company, still, around 8 to 20 major critical illnesses or more than that are covered. A typical list of critical illness is mentioned below:  

  • Permanent paralysis of limbs
  • Stroke resulting in permanent symptoms
  • Major organ/bone marrow transplant
  • Open chest CABG
  • Cancer of Specified Severity
  • First heart attack of a specified severity
  • Coma of specified severity
  • Open heart placement or repair of the heart valves
  • Loss of speech
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Motor neuron disease with permanent symptoms
  • Multiple sclerosis persisting symptoms
  • Deafness
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Major burns
  • End-stage lung disease

Advantages of Critical Illness Insurance

Basically, the reason for offering a critical illness cover is to assist in paying towards expensive medical treatments, especially required for certain diseases. The policy pays a lump sum on the diagnosis of any of the ailments listed in the policy document. The policyholder can use this amount as per his/her requirement, for recuperation aids, expensive medical treatments, etc. Hospital bills are not mandatory to make a claim. Additionally, critical illness insurance, despite offering the option of a bigger cover (between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 50 lakh) works out cheaper than comprehensive medical insurance plans, mainly because it covers only specific critical illnesses.

Disadvantages of Critical Illness Insurance

Similarly, when we talk about how useful critical insurance plans are to specifically cover cancer treatment and related expenses, one thing on which it surely lacks is that such plans cover cancer only at an advanced stage (they come with a 90-day waiting period). Hence, the plan only pays if a malignant tumour exhibits uncontrolled growth, with the destruction of normal tissues at a very advanced stage.

Cancer Insurance

Few of the domains where critical illness insurance plans lack are addressed by cancer insurance- a dedicated cancer care product. Cancer insurance is a special type of critical illness policy plan. A cancer-specific insurance policy provides cover for whole costs associated with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including hospitalisation, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc.

Inclusions of a Cancer Insurance Plan

Generally, the cancer insurance policies cover almost every type of cancer, be it in its early stage or advanced stages. Some of the types of cancer covered by these insurance plans, under which the insurers pay out money at minor as well as major critical stages of the covered types of cancer diagnosis, ongoing treatment, and surgery, are:

  • Lung cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Hypopharynx cancer
  • Prostate cancer

Exclusions of Cancer Insurance

One of the exclusions of cancer insurance plan is that skin cancer is usually excluded. Also, claims are also not payable if cancer directly or indirectly results from or is contributed to by STDs, HIV, or AIDS. Additionally, cancer caused due to pre-existing medical conditions, congenital conditions, and biological, nuclear, or chemical contamination, such claims are also not payable.

How a Cancer Insurance Plan Works

In case, the policyholder gets diagnosed with cancer of any particular category defined under the plan, the insurer will pay a certain percentage of the sum assured as a lump sum amount immediately. However, it will be subjected to applicable limits. Also, it is important to know that the payout varies as per the cancer stage and any claims previously admitted under the same policy. Certain insurance policies offer free regular cancer check-ups through the entire duration of the policy’s term, for ease of its customers. Meanwhile, any cancer care products generally do not offer death, maturity or surrender benefits.

Advantages of a Cancer Insurance Plan

Anyone having a family history of cancer, it is advisable that (s)he should get a cancer insurance plan. Here is the list of advantages a cancer insurance plan offers, penned down by PolicyX:

  • Lump Sum Payout: Under a cancer-specific health insurance policy, the policyholder receives a lump sum payout on diagnosis of cancer, according to the policy document. Hence, the policyholder and his/her family can use it anyway they want, be it treatment, or other expenses, to reduce the financial stress faced by your family during the treatment period.
  • Premium Waiver: Under a cancer insurance cover, there are certain conditions under which the policyholder may be eligible for a premium waiver. For example, early-stage illness.
  • Insurance Cover: Under a cancer insurance cover, the policyholder can avail the insurance coverage in accordance with the terms and conditions of his/her policy terms and conditions mentioned in the documents. This amount helps the policyholder in covering the high treatment cost. 
  • Tax Benefits: Under a cancer insurance cover, the policyholder is eligible to receive tax benefits for the amount paid on the cancer insurance policy under section 80(d), Income Tax Act, 1961. 

Also Read:- Health Insurance For Diabetics

Features of a Cancer Specific Plan

Feature of a cancer-specific plan



18 years of age is the minimum entry age and the maximum is 65 years of age for most cancer-specific policies. The plan offers renewability of the policy only after the policyholder crosses 65 years of age. However, it varies from policy to policy.

Sum assured

The permitted minimum and maximum sum assured is Rs 5 lakh and Rs 50 lakh.

Premium waiver benefit

Under certain cases, few cancer-focused plans offer a premium waiver benefit as well. All future premiums payable towards the policy are waived off for the rest of the policy term. But this happens only after approval of the claim under the major stage cancer benefit clause. These benefits are receivable only if the policyholder regularly pays all due premiums and the policy is in force.


If measured against the benefits it offers, a cancer care plans are reasonably priced.

Tax benefit

Premiums paid towards cancer care products qualify for tax benefits under section 80(d) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Despite the fact that a dedicated cancer-specific insurance product has its own advantages, still the experts if the industry recommends that such a product is most beneficial for those falling in the high-risk category. Anything that includes anything due to family health history, environmental, lifestyle, smoking, tobacco or other such contributory reasons, (s)he is at a greater risk of developing cancer, falls under high-risk category. Taking a dedicated cancer insurance policy in such cases becomes well worth it.

Meanwhile, we must remember that cancer is not the only critical and life-threatening disease, there are many on the list as well. Blood pressure, diabetes, heart, liver, lung, kidney-related ailments, etc. are just a few of them. Thus, if somebody is not in the high-risk ‘cancer’ category, to purchase a critical illness plan makes sense and be called as a smart decision. This happens because it provides broader coverage against a wide range of critical diseases, and at competitive prices.

Cancer Insurance vs Critical Illness Insurance Policy

It is appreciating and a very smart move to have a critical illness insurance policy because it provides protection against any terminal diseases that can lead to death. On the other side, a dedicated cancer insurance plan helps its policyholder restrict the expenses arising out of cancer treatment. Here is the list of differences between the two:


Cancer Insurance Policy

Critical Illness Insurance Policy


  • Aids financially as a lump sum amount against medical expenses 
  • It is a benefit-based policy
  • Offers cover against nearly all forms of cancer
  • Aids financially on diagnosis of a listed critical illness as a lump sum payout 
  • All expenses related to the treatment of a medical emergency can be covered by the lump sum payout can be utilised.


  • A cancer insurance policy covers comprehensive cover against all stages of cancer: minor, major and critical stages
  • A critical illness insurance policy covers a list of critical illnesses, mentioned in the policy document. 
  • Payment can be utilised to treat any of the mentioned illnesses

Term of insurance

    The term of insurance it offers is up to 20 years

      The term of insurance it offers is up to 20 years


  • Applicants who have a family history of cancer-related problems or we can say that who identify the risks associated with cancer
  • It is advised by the experts of the field that the best combination is to purchase a comprehensive health insurance plan and then purchase a cancer specific insurance plan as an additional rider option
  • Applicants aware of or having a higher probability of developing a critical illness in the near future
  • It is advised by the experts of the field that the best combination is to purchase a comprehensive health insurance plan and then purchase a critical illness insurance plan as an additional rider option

Which One is Beneficial to Go

Though the question falls in a category cancer-specific one, still it is necessary to understand which one is better to go. However, the answer is not so difficult, it is that it varies from person to person, situation to situation. Also, given the choices in the insurance industry makes this question more and more difficult. But according to the experts of the field, one must go for a regular health insurance plan with an adequate sum assured.

The next thing that is suggested to do after this is to consider a critical illness plan which gives the highest coverage and isn’t restricted to one particular illness, unlike a cancer-specific policy that covers only cancer. Experts in the field say that a cancer plan is more relevant if you have a family history. And till date the person hasn't bought the same, it is better to first buy a critical illness plan. The principal advantages with an indemnity cancer plan are that OPD expenses are covered and a sum assured is set aside for cancer, as a regular critical illness plan also covers cancer. So it is recommended to buy a critical illness or cancer policy, according to the applicant’s needs, in case (s)he is having a regular health plan in place.

In a Nutshell

We have to agree that a person’s most part of life depends on his/her good health. Disappointingly, the hectic lifestyle human leads these days, and the increased level of stress has increased the instances of critical illnesses and cancer as well, even among young adults. Adding to this is that the healthcare costs are skyrocketing, and hence, it is imperative for the human to secure their life with adequate health insurance coverage. We PolicyX, recommends our reads that survey and read well before buying any such plan, as there are certain insurance plans as well that makes it even more convenient to buy by offering a two in one plan that provides coverage for cancer and other illnesses as well.

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Naval Goel is the founder of He is an Associate Member of the Indian Institute of Insurance`, Pune. He has been authorized by IRDA to act as a Principal Officer of Insurance Web Aggregator.
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