Cancer Insurance: Fighting a Good Fight

Cancer is an unfortunate health condition, which can sneak up to any individual without warning. Statistics from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and NICPR (National Institute Of Cancer Prevention & Research) show that mouth cancer is the most common type of cancer found among males. On the other hand, the female population is afflicted mainly with breast cancer. The data also depicts that the total number of people diagnosed with cancer would reach up to 17.3 lakh by the year 2020.

The most astonishing fact about cancer treatment in India; however, is that only 12.5 percent of patients come for treatment while the disease is in its early stages. Also, an estimated 71 percent of all cancer-related deaths occur in the age group between 30 to 69 years. Experts believe that lack of awareness about the disease and high costs of cancer treatment in India is the primary reasons for such high statistics.

As a health condition, cancer not only deteriorates your physical health but also gives a severe blow to your finances as medical treatment for cancer is an expensive proposition. However, there are standalone cancer insurance plans from reputable insurers that can take care of your treatment expenses while you stay focused on your path of recovery. These plans offer a lump sum payout to the insured in case they are diagnosed with the disease.

Why Cancer Insurance Plan?

Most of us believe that buying a regular health insurance plan will help take care of the expenses for terminal health conditions such as cancer. The cost of cancer treatment may range between Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 20 lakhs in a period of say six months, depending upon the stage of diagnosis. Also, individuals diagnosed with cancer are often not able to continue with their routine job, which in turn, results in a loss of regular income.

In all such scenarios, a cancer insurance plan can be quite a handful to you, as you can use the lump sum or partial payout as the claim amount offered by the plan towards paying the hospitalisation costs, treatment expenses and consultation expenses.

You can also use the amount to take care of non-medical expenses such as household or travel expenses. Overall, having a cancer plan can help you protect your assets and savings from getting diminished during the treatment phase.

Important Points to Consider Before Buying Cancer Insurance

Before buying a cancer plan, it is crucial that you first understand the framework of the insurance policy and keep some critical factors in mind.

Choose a Robust Sum Assured

Treatment and hospitalisation cost for a terminal disease such as cancer can reach astronomical heights, depending upon the stage of diagnosis. Therefore, if your family has a history with the condition, it may increase your susceptibility towards that particular type of cancer.

So, while buying a cancer-specific insurance plan, it is essential to take the sum assured in sync with the treatment expenses. In other words, you must choose an adequate value as the sum assured under the cancer plan so that you have substantial financial aid to combat the economic impact of the disease.

Buy a Plan that Offers Comprehensive Cancer Coverage

Diagnosis of cancer is primarily segregated into three different stages, Pre-cancer, Early stage and Major or Critical stage, depending upon the severity. Therefore, it is crucial that you opt for a plan that offers payout according to the stage of diagnosis so that you can tackle the treatment and other medical expenses that come with each stage.

Usually, reputable insurers offer a percentage of the sum insured (up to 25 percent) under their cancer insurance plans, which is payable if cancer has been diagnosed at an early stage. Also, you may receive 100 percent of the sum insured (minus any previously paid claim amount) if you have been diagnosed at the major/critical stage of cancer.

Seek Waiver of Premium (WOP) & Income Benefit

In most cases of cancer, the patient’s health, productivity and earning capacity deteriorates significantly. Also, there may be a loss of regular flow of income, and subsequently, the patient’s family may not be able to keep up with the daily household expenses and the increasing treatment costs. Therefore, opting for a cancer insurance plan that offers additional benefits such as “Regular Monthly Income” and “Waiver of Premium” would help you cater to the treatment expenses and much more.

Under the Premium Waiver benefit, the insurers waive off any remaining future premiums payable (after cancer is diagnosed). On the other hand, the Income Benefit provides your family with a regular monthly income to help manage the household expenses.

Fight a Good Fight Against Cancer with Cancer Insurance

Though cancer is one health condition that has a significantly high rate of casualties, it is not entirely untreatable. Early diagnosis and sticking true to the medication and treatment procedures does the trick. That said, it would also be a wise decision to choose the right cancer insurance plan for yourself, especially considering the rising incidences of this disease.

Further, to be sure that you have the best cancer insurance policy in India in your kitty, you must ensure that the plan offers benefits such as a high sum assured, easy payout options and comprehensive coverage, to name a few.

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