Five helpful hints before buying a cancer health insurance
Cancer is often unpredictable and knocks you down with a whole package of distress. Being prepared with the best cancer insurance plan is an intelligent investment when you realise you still have certain responsibilities towards your loved ones. Stay a while, God has got a plan for you!
Here, we have outlined certain important points about cancer insurance that don’t usually come up during family gatherings or recreational outings.
What is Cancer Health Insurance?
Cancer Insurance is a type of Health Insurance policy offered by the insurance company to mitigate various risks involved in cancer. It substantially manages costs of treatment of cancer and provides you financial support. Buying Cancer Insurance acts as a backbone which holds you straight mentally and financially in hard times.
Why should you buy a Cancer Insurance Plan?
Cancer is a life-threatening disease. Globally, over 10 million deaths occurred in 2020 worldwide due to cancer. It is a serious ailment which requires special treatment. Cases in India are growing at an ever-increasing pace. But thanks to medical advancements, high-quality Health care has led to an increase in the survival rate of cancer patients.
Increase in medical inflation makes us realize how crucial Cancer Insurance can be to provide financial support. It offers comprehensive coverage by providing both in and out-patient hospitalisation.
Need for Cancer Insurance-
There are almost 200 types of cancer which makes it crystal clear what’s the need of cancer insurance.
- Family History-
On an average 5-15% of cancer patients had got cancer by inheritance. It is caused by mutations that get transferred to descendant due to DNA replication errors. In case cancer runs in your family, it increases the danger for you getting diagnosed with cancer down the road. You should be well aware of your pre-existing cancer conditions before purchasing your cancer insurance plan.
- Supplementary to Health Insurance-
Cancer insurance is a branch of health insurance. It supplements your health insurance. Though, comprehensive health insurance is budget-friendly but has narrow coverage. While the cancer insurance would provide you with higher coverage and would act as a shield against skyrocketing costs.
Getting insured with cancer insurance along with the family floater policy gives you a massive advantage of claiming the coverage for cancer.
- Financial Backup-
Cancer might cause you financial stress by taking you off the track from your routine job. There must be sufficient savings or an efficient provision for such hard times. To do this, you should buy cancer insurance in the first place and honestly, those are the smart financial decisions. Thus, cancer insurance prevents you from falling into a debt trap.
- All types of cancers are covered-
Fortunately, cancer insurance sufficiently covers all types and stages of cancer. It includes numerous forms of cancer like-
- Stomach Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer, etc.
Apart from these, one more thing to note down is that cancer insurance can cover more or less all kinds of cancer except skin cancer. Also, transfer of cancer through sexually transmitted disease like HIV/AIDS is excluded, at the time of claim. Amazingly, cancer cover is not ceased after first diagnosed.
- Increase in Medical Cost-
Knowing the fact about the booming cost of cancer treatment is worrisome. The realisation of the fact that cancer treatment could result in loss of income, might freak you out. Current retail healthcare inflation in India is 7.14%. Spike in the number of cases, increases the medical cost to be incurred. These costs are the outcome of advanced treatment methods like surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, transplant etc. Cost depends on various factors – stage of cancer, type of cancer, hospitalisation cost, duration of treatment etc. Cancer policy pays out a lump-sum amount or a monthly income for a specific period, hence providing you financial relief all-in-all.
5 Things need to be kept in mind before buying cancer insurance-
Terms in cancer insurance are more specific than those in traditional health insurance. Being a rational customer, you need to strategically analyse all the terms and benefits that would be covered, before buying the cancer health insurance policy. Essentially, they are-
- Sum Insured-
Taking into account the sky-rocketing cost and ever-increasing medical inflation, buying cancer insurance can be a smart move. Cancer insurance is an indemnity-based plan which offers you lump-sum payout option as and when you get diagnosed with cancer. During the period of distress, you cannot afford to solely rely upon your savings. Moreover, if the plight of cancer is ancestry, it might contribute to the spike in treatment cost. Cancer insurance lets you keep monetary funds in sync with the cost. Therefore, buy a robust sum assured plan with proportionally less premium to combat financial and medical contingencies.
- Waiting and Survival Period-
These are two of the most unrecognised clauses, we neglect before going for cancer insurance. Affirmation of the waiting and survival period is the duration in which you cannot file a claim for coverage. Initial waiting period ranges between 90-180 days. Lesser the waiting more swiftly you will get the coverage. Survival period is the time you must survive following the diagnosis of cancer to become eligible for the claim. Usually, it is for 7 days after you get diagnosed for cancer.
Stages of cancer are categorised in 3 branches-
- Carcinoma in Situ (CIS) i.e., autonomous growth of carcinomatous cells.
- Early-Stage Cancer
- Major or Critical Stage
With a further increase in stage, treatment cost also increases. You might need to travel out of the town for specialised treatment. To deal with all these expenses, you need to opt for a cancer insurance plan which offers you wider coverage. Adding to your fortune, some insurance companies might offer you a benefit of increased cover. Under this, it would extend the basic cover up to some percentages each year or until a claim is filed for an early or a major stage of cancer.
- Waiver of Premium (WOP) and Tax Benefits-
Mostly, the insurance companies would offer you a waiver of premium coverage as a benefit. It is a unique option under which you can avail the benefit of premium being waived off for a specific period of 3 or 5 years or sometimes for complete policy duration, just when the claim is acknowledged under an early or major stage of cancer
Since cancer severely affects your income, cancer insurance provides the advantage of premium waiver following the diagnosis. Also, just like in any other health insurance, premium under cancer insurance is tax-deductible. You can avail tax benefits under Section 80D of Income Tax Act, 1961.
- Longer Policy Term-
Cancer is a dreadful disease and its treatment period is usually long-term. It is essential to go through every single term and condition before finalising your cancer insurance policy. Look out for the plan that has a longer tenure of policy and covers you for maximum age. Not many of the cancer insurance policies cover you till 80 years of age. Longer policy term would guarantee to get you covered for an extended time frame.
What all are excluded from Cancer Insurance Policy?
- Cancer resulting from intoxication (alcohols and drugs)
- Contamination by nuclear, biological or chemical sources.
- Congenital Conditions.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (HIV/AIDS)
- Plastic Surgery or cosmetic treatment
- Self-inflicted injury
- Miscarriage, maternity or pregnancy.
- Injuries due to criminal intent.
What is included in the Cancer Insurance Plan?
- Day-Care Treatment
- Pre and Post Hospitalisation Medical Expenses.
- Lifelong Renewability
- Organ Donor Cover
- No claim Bonus
- Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy Cover
- In-patient Hospitalisation Cover
- Annual Health Check-Up
Summing it all up
Now, that you have a thorough review of various considerable for opting most suitable cancer insurance plan, settling on the perfect product should not be a tough judgement. Getting diagnosed with cancer is nothing less than trouble. It altogether affects you and your family, financially, mentally and physically. You need to make smart decisions to get the right coverage.
Cancer insurance is a supplement to the traditional Health insurance plan. Majority of the health insurance plan does not cover all the medical costs related to the cancer diagnosis. Now, cancer insurance plan plays a crucial role. To avail the benefits under a cancer insurance plan, you need to pay regular premiums. Thereafter, your treatment costs would be covered through one of the facilities-Cashless payment or reimbursement. Mostly, health insurance policies have narrow coverage. Even you might find cancer cover as a rider with health insurance to be inadequate in covering various cancer-related expenses. Considering the external environment, medical condition and increasing inflation, it is wise to go for standalone cancer insurance. Apart from the waiver of premium(WOP) and Tax-benefits cancer insurance plan offers another valuable benefit namely indexation benefit. This is a sort of No Claim Bonus(NCB) wherein your sum insured would increase by a few percentage yearly if you don’t claim for coverage during the policy year.
How does the cancel insurance plan work?
Before filing the claim, you need to revise all the policy terms and coverage specified in your contract like-Co-pays and deductibles, waiting period, inclusions and exclusions, etc.
Should I buy cancer cover as a rider or as a stand-alone policy?
What is the indexation benefit under my Cancer Insurance Policy?
Cancer insurance is a supplement to the traditional Health insurance plan. Majority of the health insurance plan does not cover all the medical costs related to the cancer diagnosis. Now, cancer insurance plan plays a crucial role. To avail the benefits under a cancer insurance plan, you need to pay regular premiums. Thereafter, your treatment costs would be covered through one of the facilities-Cashless payment or reimbursement.
Mostly, health insurance policies have narrow coverage. Even you might find cancer cover as a rider with health insurance to be inadequate in covering various cancer-related expenses. Considering the external environment, medical condition and increasing inflation, it is wise to go for standalone cancer insurance.
Apart from the waiver of premium(WOP) and Tax-benefits cancer insurance plan offers another valuable benefit namely indexation benefit. This is a sort of No Claim Bonus(NCB) wherein your sum insured would increase by a few percentage yearly if you don’t claim for coverage during the policy year.