Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Cancer Insurance
You’ve just bought a health insurance policy, and you’re comfortable. You’re happy, secure, and believe that no matter what happens in life, you will always have the upper hand in any medical emergency; be it an accident or ailment. You may feel as if you’ve got everything under control, but have you?
Cancer is an umbrella term given to abnormal and uncontrollable cell division in the human body. The type of cancer one has is determined by the area the affected cells belong to. There are more than one hundred different types of cancers detected in humans.
Because the human body accommodates several hundred billions cells and cancer is the result of unusual cell activity, it comes as no surprise that cancer is the cause of around 1 in 6 deaths worldwide. Some significant risk factors for cancer include a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, alcohol, and tobacco abuse, etc.
It is frequently observed that families with a member suffering from a disease as deadly and expensive as cancer often experience financial challenges too. Many patients are forced to borrow preposterously high sums of money, to pay for treatment costs and hospital bills. A comprehensive health insurance policy alone cannot be your best defense against this misfortunate condition. The answer could be Cancer Insurance.
What is Cancer Insurance?
More and more people are taking Cancer Insurance these days. This rising popularity is attributable to the modern-day lifestyle, which makes it a necessity to protect oneself from the perils associated with cancer. Cancer Insurance is a type of long-term insurance policy specifically tailored to suit the needs of those battling cancer.
Unlike comprehensive health insurance plans, cancer insurance takes into consideration the various expenses incurred during the treatment of cancer; and not just hospitalization costs. There are many benefits to a policy like this, especially if you fear being a victim of this unpredictable disease. Read below to find out some things you probably did not know about Cancer Insurance.
- You can get cancer insurance even if you were already diagnosed with cancer
It was a widespread belief that those who have previously been diagnosed and treated for cancer are ineligible to get cancer insurance.
Sometime back, Star Health and Allied Insurance (SHAI) introduced the first of its kind cancer insurance policy for the people who have already been diagnosed with this disease. Proposing two Sum-Insured alternatives of Rs.3 lakhs and Rs.5 lakhs, Star Cancer Care Gold scheme appears to be a promising option for those who are diagnosed with cancer stage 1 or 2. This scheme also allows you to buy the policy without even getting any medical examination beforehand. All you need are some prior medical records, and you are good to go! This is an excellent scheme for those suspecting metastases, which refers to the spreading of cancer to previously unaffected areas or dreading the recurrence of this disease. It is also helpful to those who are diagnosed with another cancer in their bodies. It is a good idea to get this policy because some cancers, such as ovarian cancer have a staggering recurrence rate of 85%. It would be advisable to understand and learn more about the recurrence rate of your cancer if you already have a diagnosis.
- Your Cancer Insurance can take care of your loved ones even in your absence
Not many people are aware that Cancer Insurance policies like ICICI’s Heart / Cancer Protect Plan offer the complete cover amount in case cancer is detected, irrespective of whether death occurs or not. It is important to note that cancer insurance is not a substitute for a proper life insurance policy as Cancer Insurance will only pay out the cover amount if cancer is detected in the insured individual. The patient or his / her family can use this amount to take care of the relevant expenses. The loved ones of the insured can use this money if he/she passes away during the treatment process.
This is especially helpful for the loved ones if the individual is the sole bread-earner of a family, i.e. high dependency cases.
- Your Cancer Insurance will not decide the hospital you will get treated in
Being diagnosed with cancer could come like a bolt from the blue. It is an overwhelming feeling and can cause a lot of stress and anxiety to you and your loved ones. With so many worries on your mind, the last thing you would want is to be stuck in an unpleasant environment that you would never choose as the place where you want to get treated for your disease. Cancer insurances like ICICI’s Heart/Cancer Protect Plan do not have any affiliations with a few selected hospitals and thus, do not force the insured individual to choose from one of them.
This is important because not getting a hospital of your choice could cause a lot of unwarranted worries, especially when you have more significant battles to fight. By getting such policies, you not only safeguard yourself against financial distress associated with the disease but also purchase for yourself the freedom to choose any treatment and hospital that you want and are comfortable with.
- Conditions not covered under Cancer Insurance policies
One of the most important things that you must know about cancer insurance is that cancer insurance does not protect you against a plethora of other health risks. This is why it is advisable to read the requirements before buying cancer insurance. A few common conditions that are not covered by some cancer insurance are Carcinoma-in-situ, minor prostate cancer, presence of tumor accompanied by HIV infection, skin cancer etc. To avoid unexpected shocks, you must understand what your insurance protects you from and make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. In short, it is essential to read the fine print because in any insurance cover, the exclusions are more important than the inclusions.
- You can customize your Cancer Insurance plan according to your needs
Your cancer insurance plan can be anything you want it to be. With Cancer Insurance plans, you get a variety of options from which you can choose the sum assured as well as the policy term, tailored for your expectations and requirements. For instance, with Future Generali’s Cancer Protect Plan, you have the choice to select either a cover of 10, 20, 30, or 40 lakh; whatever is more suitable for you. You can further choose if you want a policy for 5, 10, 15, 20 years or till the time you attain the age of 80. Moreover, you can even select the method of payout of the cover amount, by choosing to either get the lump-sum amount or also to get income benefit in addition to the cover amount. In this way, you can customize your policy in the best possible manner.
- Cancer insurance is cheaper than comprehensive health insurance plans
It might come as a surprise to many of you that getting cancer insurance is not that expensive after all. Unlike comprehensive policies that offer protection from diseases covering a broad spectrum of medical conditions; cancer insurance only covers you against risk of cancer. That is why it is cheaper than most health insurance policies. However, even though cancer insurance is less expensive due to limited coverage, it does not mean that it is not an essential protection for your future.
Most standard health insurance policies or even Mediclaim policies do not stand a chance in safeguarding you and your hard-earned savings against a disease as vicious and as expensive as cancer. Thus, it is advisable to buy both of these together for ultimate protection and a sense of security.
Some Cancer Insurance Policies you must consider
ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect Plan
This is one of the best plans to consider while getting a cancer insurance policy. This plan has a unique premium waiver feature which waives the need for you to pay the premium for the cover even on the detection of a minor condition.
Future Generali’s Cancer Protect Plan
This is also a plan worth giving serious consideration to while buying cancer insurance as it provides many unique benefits to those insured under this policy. Apart from the usual benefits of freedom and flexibility that cancer insurance offers, this plan also has a free look period. This means that within 15 days of buying this policy, you can return it to the company if you feel that you are not in consonance with the conditions mentioned under the policy or change your mind due to any other reason. Moreover, this plan has a surrender benefit, grace period, and many other benefits as well.
Overall, cancer insurance appears to be a good investment that you can make right now to secure your future, especially in today’s times where nothing is entirely foolproof, and no one is entirely safe. Considering the gloomy statistics, it is almost a necessity if you don’t want an unexpected diagnosis to eat away at your hard-earned savings or worse, render you debt-ridden. Hope these points help to shed some light on the conditions that you must be aware of before buying cancer insurance and lead you towards making a well-informed decision!
Facts About Cancer Insurance
Is it possible to cover all members of a family under the same cancer insurance policy?
After knowing about the risks and financial strains associated with cancer, more and more people are interested in covering their whole family under a cancer insurance policy that will safeguard them no matter who is affected. After all, a calamity like cancer does not check to make sure who has an insurance policy and who doesn't. It is sudden, unexpected and can happen to anyone at any time.
Although there are enough grounds to immediately protect all your family members from the problems that this disease creates, remember that unlike family floater plans, cancer insurance is more specific. It will not suffice for all of your family members. An individual can buy it and avail the benefits for his treatment.
Will cancer insurance policies provide me with any tax benefits?
Just like your comprehensive health insurance policy, your cancer insurance plan will also allow you to claim tax benefits. In India, cancer insurance plans make you eligible to claim tax benefits up to Rs.25,000 under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. This amount can be higher in the case of senior citizens above the age of 60 where the benefit extends to Rs.50,000 per year.
Is it possible to get additional riders with my cancer insurance policy?
Although the type of riders available to you with your cancer insurance plan differs from one case to another based on the insurance company, you can get many options for riders such as coverage in case of accidents with some cancer policies. It is advisable to enquire more about the different options available to you before buying the cancer cover policy.