Cancer not only affects the patient but also impacts the lives of their near and dear ones. In India, more than 1 million people are diagnosed with cancer each year (Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information). Due to the high number of cancer diagnoses and significantly high cost of cancer treatment, it is important to have cancer insurance to help you in your time of need.
How does Cancer Insurance Work?
As the name implies, cancer insurance protects your finances while tackling cancer-related risks. It ensures you and your loved ones receive the best-in-class treatment if needed. Contrary to popular belief, cancer insurance is not similar to the standard health insurance plan. A cancer policy is a fixed benefit plan that provides payments in case the insured person is diagnosed with cancer. Meanwhile, a health insurance plan covers the insured person’s medical expenses. Furthermore, health insurance policies come with sub-limits on the amount payable in diverse circumstances.
Types of Cancers Covered by Cancer Insurance
Cancer insurance covers some of the most prevalent cancer types at both early and advanced stages. The most common cancers include:
- Stomach cancer
- Hypopharynx cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
This is the basic list of the types of cancers covered under cancer insurance. Read the complete policy paperwork before buying the policy to know about all the inclusions and exclusions.
Benefits of Cancer Insurance
1. Makes soaring healthcare costs affordable
Due to the exponential growth in the cost of healthcare services, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of individuals purchasing a cancer care health insurance plan. To cover medical expenses, insurance provides you with a financial safety net you can depend on.
2. Includes various types of cancers:
The most significant advantage of this plan is that it covers both major and minor stages of cancer.
3. Lump sum amount:
There are two stages of cancer—the minor stage and the major stage. Based on the severity of your ailment, the insurance provider offers a lump sum payment.
4. Hike in sum assured:
If you don’t file any claims throughout the policy year, some insurance providers give you a choice to increase the sum assured. For each year without a claim, the insurers usually raise the sum assured by 10%.
5. Premium waiver:
One of the main advantages of cancer insurance is that the policyholder can keep using the plan even after receiving an early-stage cancer diagnosis. Some insurance companies waive off three to five years’ premiums if the tumour is removed at an early stage.
6. Income incentive:
When the sole earning member of the family gets diagnosed with cancer, to compensate for the income loss, the insurance provider offers an income benefit option. As part of the benefit, the insurer provides lump sum payments at various intervals over a predetermined time. As per the terms and conditions, the family of the deceased cancer patient will continue to get income benefits for a certain period. The nominee receives the monthly income.
7. Consistent coverage:
Contrary to a standard health insurance plan or critical illness plan, which expires after the first diagnosis, cancer insurance continues to exist as there is always some chance of the return of the disease despite remission.
8. Tax exemptions:
Much like the majority of other health insurance plans, cancer insurance plans qualify for tax exemptions under Sec 80D of the Income Tax Act 1961. For those under 60 years of age, this exemption is only valid up to Rs 25,000, while for those above 60 years, it is valid up to Rs 30,000.
How to Pick the Right Cancer Insurance Plan?
Below are a few factors you should keep in mind while choosing a cancer health insurance plan:
- Claim settlement ratio of the insurer:
Each insurer’s Claim Settlement Ratio, or CSR, will show you how many claims have been resolved out of all the ones filed. Purchase cancer coverage from a company with a high CSR.
- Cancer insurance payout for various conditions:
When calculating insurance payouts, early-stage and advanced-stage diagnoses are treated differently. Nobody can predict the kind of cancer that will develop. As a result, you should choose cancer insurance that provides generous coverage for even minor ailments. With the use of such insurance plans, you will be able to effectively manage the costs associated with cancer treatment.
- Premium rates:
Different people have different understandings of beneficial insurance policies. As a result, you should choose a cancer plan which suits your needs and is within your budget. Go for cancer insurance policies from reputable insurers that offer comprehensive coverage at a reasonable cost.
- Term period:
In addition to insurance coverage, evaluating the insurance term for a cancer insurance plan is also important. Although picking adequate coverage is indeed an essential aspect, so is choosing a plan that covers you for a longer period. Long-term plans are financially advantageous compared to short-term plans. Since most cancer treatments often last for an extended period, cancer plans with a longer-term guarantee offer appropriate coverage for your complete cancer treatment.
- Check the waiting and survival period:
It is advised to read the policy specifics since they include information on the waiting period or the time you must wait before the insurance starts paying benefits. Similarly, look for the survival period, which is the amount of time the insured must be alive after the diagnosis to get benefits from the plan.
Fight Cancer with a Health Insurance Plan by Your Side
To protect yourself from the financial hardship arising due to unforeseen circumstances and other medical crises, purchasing a health insurance plan is crucial. Cancer is among the most frightening diseases in India, and the number of cancer cases is expected to reach 15.7 lakh by 2025 (Source: National Cancer Registry Program 2020). This makes cancer insurance even more critical. So, what are you waiting for? Protect yourself and your loved ones with an all-inclusive cancer plan today.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purposes only. For more details, please refer to the policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.