Medical science has done a great job in reducing deaths from heart disease and diabetes, but less so with cancer. Despite a four-decade war against the disease, in India alone 40 lakh people have been diagnosed with it, and about 22.54 lakh deaths have been reported in 3 years.
Cancer is one of the fastest-rising health threats. And it has devastating effects, both emotionally and financially. Given how it can prove challenging for everyone involved, it is essential to have cancer insurance in place. A safety net that protects you, while you heal.
What Is Cancer Insurance?
It is an insurance plan that is designed to offer financial help to patients diagnosed with cancer. It is a stand-alone cover that helps you with cancer-related expenses.
Now, there are several types of Cancer Insurance Plans available today. Some plans will cover various expenses related to cancer including chemotherapy, radiation, hospitalisation, nursing care, surgery, the cost of medicines, etc. And, some plans will offer a lump sum payout at various stages of diagnosis.
In this article, let’s take a detailed look at Cancer Insurance Plans that pay a lump sum amount when you are diagnosed with cancer.
If you are diagnosed with cancer during the policy period, a lump sum amount will be paid to you. This lump sum payout can act as an income replacement as well as be used to deal with all the additional expenses your family will have to incur as a result of the disease. The policy also offers tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
Why Should You Buy Cancer Insurance?
When you are young and healthy, the chances of developing cancer may seem like a distant possibility. Life seems good and Cancer Insurance may feel like an unnecessary expense. But then, cancer does not discriminate across ages, genders, or social statuses. In fact, young people are more prone to various types of cancers, like - lymphoma, melanoma, breast cancer, etc.
Cancer insurance has been introduced to help people deal with the increasing number of cancer cases and the cost of care.
Types And Stages Of Cancer Covered Under Cancer Insurance Plans
Generally, all types of cancer are covered under Cancer Insurance, like -
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Cervical Cancer
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Hypopharyngeal cancer, etc.
Stages of cancer covered -
Carcinoma In Situ (CIS)
It is the earliest form of cancer, and is considered stage 0. When a patient has developed cancer for the very first time, this stage is when the cancer cells would not have spread to nearby tissues.
In stages I and II, a malignant condition can invade and destroy the surrounding tissues.
In stage III, there will be a malignant tumour growing uncontrollably. Cancer can spread to nearby lymph nodes, tissues, or organs.
In stage IV, cancer spreads to distant parts of the body.
Depending upon the insurer, you can get specific coverage for the different stages that the disease is detected at. The payouts are usually made as a lump sum, which will be reduced if you have made a claim earlier. For instance, if you have claimed 30% of the cover amount at an early stage, you will be eligible to receive 70% of the cover amount at a later stage.
Things You Must Be Aware Of Before Buying A Cancer Insurance Policy
Here are a few important things you should note before buying Cancer Insurance.
A waiting period is a span of time when you can’t make a claim under your insurance plan. Almost all cancer insurance plans come with an inbuilt waiting period that can range from 90 to 180 days from the day you buy the policy. Please note that the waiting period will vary across insurers and policies.
Another key aspect you need to keep in mind is the survival period. Once the cancer is diagnosed, in order to receive the claim amount, you, the cancer patient, might be required to survive for a specific period that can range from 15 to 30 days. If you pass away before the survival period, the insurer will not pay the claim amount.
Note: A survival period may not be applicable under some Cancer Insurance Plans.
Waiver Of Premium
Some plans may also waive off all or some future premiums if you’re diagnosed with cancer. For instance, if early-stage cancer is detected in your body and you’ve already invested in a cancer insurance plan, you will not be required to pay any future premiums but will still be covered by the plan.
You cannot avail of any coverage if the diagnosed cancer is caused or contributed by -
- And pre-existing disease
- Congenital defect or disease
- Sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV or AIDS
- Intoxication by drugs or alcohol
- Attempted suicide, self-inflicted injuries, etc.
- Radioactive contamination due to nuclear accident
Please Note: That these are general exclusions and may vary across insurers.
Health Insurance v/s Critical Illness Insurance v/s Cancer Insurance
This table lays out the various differences between these plans so you can make an informed decision -
|Critical Illness Insurance
|A good way to protect yourself against rising medical costs and expensive treatments. It is an indemnity-based plan, which means that the insurer will pay out the claim amount as per your medical expenses.
|Pays you a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a critical disease that is listed in the policy document. The amount can be used for treatment and other expenses you’ll have to incur as a result of the disease.
|Covers cancer-related expenses, if you are diagnosed with cancer. The lump sum payout you will receive can be used for medical expenses as well as income replacement.
Coverage for cancer-related expenses
|Cancer-related costs will be covered if you are not diagnosed with cancer at the time of policy purchase - but are later diagnosed with it.
|It only covers listed critical illnesses. It may not cover all types or stages of cancer.
|It covers all types and stages of cancer.
|Long-term, can range from 5 to 50 years.
|Long-term, can range from 5 to 50 years.
Who Should Buy?
|Ideally, every individual should buy it to be shielded from unforeseen medical expenses.
|People who want extra protection, especially those who are at high risk of critical illnesses. You can buy a health plan and then a critical illness plan for an added layer of safety.
|People who understand the prevalence of cancer and the high costs associated with it. You can buy a health plan and then a cancer plan for an added layer of protection.
As urban lifestyles, rising pollution and stress increase the risk of getting cancer, Cancer Insurance becomes a safety net that cushions you financially. It is a difficult journey, yes, but there is always a way out. Our spirit is more robust than anything that can happen to it.