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Is Buying a Cancer Insurance Plan Worth?

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in India. Learn about the options available for covering the huge costs associated with cancer treatment and how cancer insurance might help.

You might likely have heard about a close or distant family member or a friend who has been diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, it is something you hear about all the time. Cancer is a deadly disease, and it has devastating effects, both emotionally and financially. Coping with such illness can prove challenging for everyone involved.

Cancer insurance plan is a cancer-specific insurance policy that provides complete coverage if you are ever diagnosed with cancer. Cancer insurance has been introduced in response to the rapidly increasing rate of cancer cases and the escalating cost of cancer care. As a supplement health insurance policy, it reduces the out of pocket expenses associated with cancer treatment that includes chemotherapy, radiation, hospitalisation nursing care, surgery, and cost of medicines. The sum insured depends on the stage at which cancer was diagnosed.

What is Covered Under a Cancer Insurance Plan?

Many people misunderstand when it comes to a cancer insurance plan. Cancer insurance is not your primary health insurance policy. It is a stand-alone cover designed to help you prepare for cancer-related medical expenses. The benefit payable under a cancer insurance plan has limits applicable under a health insurance plan like deductibles, co-payments. It has a higher sum insured against a regular mediclaim policy which stops once it has paid out the maximum benefits allowed under the plan. A cancer insurance plan is similar to critical illness cover. The benefit is provided in a lump sum once the insured is diagnosed with cancer. You can also buy combined cancer/critical illness cover depending on the options offered by the insurance company.

A cancer insurance plan pays benefits for an insured person who has been diagnosed with cancer in a lump sum depending upon the stage of cancer deducted.

How Worthy is Cancer Insurance?

While some people believe in the significance of cancer insurance, others believe that such insurance policies are not worth the extra cost. In case you are planning to obtain a cancer insurance plan, it is crucial to keep in mind some critical aspects of it.

Do you need it?

It makes sense to buy cancer insurance plan if you have a medical history of cancer in your family. Moreover, as an additional policy, you can check on how it is complementing your current health insurance policy. However, it is important to note that cancer insurance plan only starts if you are diagnosed with it. In case you are diagnosed with any other chronic illness, a cancer insurance plan does not come into action.

Should you consider upgrading your current health insurance plan?

For people, who are at lower risk of getting affected by cancer, upgrading their present health insurance policy is a better alternative rather than buying a separate cancer cover. Instead of buying a stand-alone cancer cover, upgrading your current policy may probably cost you less, and perhaps, it would offer you an extended coverage as compared to a cancer-specific insurance policy.

Do the two plans provide you dual coverage?

Having both a comprehensive health insurance policy and a cancer insurance plan makes you eligible for getting the benefits from both these plans. The cancer insurance plan pays you a lump sum amount as per the stage of cancer you are diagnosed with. You can use this amount to pay for the items and treatments not covered under your health insurance plan. Thereby, you are effectively utilising the benefits received from both your insurance plans.

How economical is it to cope up with cancer?

The cost of cancer treatment is unpredictable, as it can recur even after successful treatment. With the latest medicines and technological development in medical science, the survival rate of cancer patients has gone up significantly, and so are the costs of cancer treatment.

Things You Should Keep in Mind Before Buying Cancer Insurance

  • Make sure the sum assured is of sufficient amount: Medical inflation is estimated to rise 15% every year. Cancer treatment may take time, so it is advisable to buy a cancer insurance policy with a sufficient sum assured. This will ensure that there is no shortage of funds for your life-saving cancer treatment.
  • Check the payment schedule: A good cancer insurance plan should offer comprehensive cover for all stages of cancer. Most of the plans provide 25% of the sum assured at the early stage and remaining on major stages.
  • Check additional important policy benefits: Some insurance companies offer add-on benefits to make their plan stand out from the competition. Some of these benefits are regular income for a fixed period and waiver of premium benefit. These add-ons are significant as they provide added relief during a stressful period. Most of the cancer insurance plans have these features; however, it is advisable to ensure they come with the cancer insurance plan you are buying for yourself or your family.
  • Duration of the policy: A cancer insurance plan with a long duration is always beneficial as it will give the insured protection for a longer-term on the same premium.
  • Check waiting period and survival period: It is recommended to go through the policy details as it gives you the details on the waiting period, i.e. the time you will have to wait before the policy offers benefits. One should also check the survival period, i.e. the time after the diagnosis, the insured has to be alive in order to claim the benefits of the plan.

Getting diagnosed with cancer is worrisome, and the cost of cancer treatment is undoubtedly a nightmare for middle-class people. Buying a cancer insurance policy is a significant aid that can save you from the financial collapse in case you are ever diagnosed with cancer.

Recommended Link:5 Things You Must Know About Cancer Insurance