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Health Insurance Policy Can Cover Cancer Expenses

Karan Sharma Karan Sharma 07 January 2020

Does your health insurance plan provide cover for cancer expenses? If not, it is time for an upgrade.

Health Insurance for Cancer

As per The Lancet Oncology Journal, ‘one million people in India are diagnosed with cancer every year and 6-7 lakh succumb to this fatal disease. By 2035, these numbers will double to 1.7 million new patients and 1.2 million deaths per year.’

A comprehensive health insurance policy is an ideal solution to all of your health and accident related problems. However, you need to ascertain that your health plan covers cancer expenses. Some health insurance plans usually do not cover critical illnesses such as cancer. In such cases, you are required to purchase an additional critical illness cover as a rider to your existing health plan or purchase a comprehensive health insurance which provides critical illness cover by default. Alternatively, you can purchase a specific cancer insurance cover.

To begin with, let us understand the key difference between cancer cover, critical health cover and a comprehensive health plan.

Criteria Cancer Insurance Critical Illness Insurance Health Insurance
Cover - All expenses related to cancer
- Usually a merit based policy
- Covers medical expenses or provides a lump sum or acts as a replacement of your monthly income
This is a benefit based plan or a rider option which provides a lump sum benefit post diagnosis of a critical illness. The sum can be used for recuperation expenses A comprehensive health insurance plan provides cover for accident/illness and reimburses hospital expenses/cashless treatment/ pre and post hospitalization expenses
Type Covers all stages of cancer - Pre-stage, Early Stage and Major Stage Covers a specific list of critical illnesses and diseases Coverage is restricted to hospital, medical and surgical expenses
Ideal for All Individuals can start with a basic health plan and add a specialized cancer insurance policy to the portfolio All Individuals who have a family history of critical diseases. This can also be purchased as an add-on to your existing health plan This is a basic health policy for all individuals
Term Available for long terms like 20 years Available for long terms like 20 years with life insurance plans and for 1, 2 and 3 years with health plans Renewed on an annual basis and also comes for long term of 2 to 3 years.

From the above table, we can clearly understand that a health insurance plan provides coverage on the basis of medical bills. It does not cover income loss and other expenses such as loan, EMI, outpatient expenses. The best solution to this problem is to purchase a separate insurance plan which provides income replacement as well as covers medical expenses or provides a lump sum payment for cancer treatment. Here are a few benefits of a cancer associated plan:

Financial Cover - Treatment for cancer is expensive and can also become on-going expense. The expenses also depend on the stage at which cancer is detected. In case of a later stage, the surgical treatment cost will be higher. A cancer insurance plan ensures that you have enough money for diagnosis, treatment and recuperation. Also, the amount is released as a lump sum.

Cover Type - Cancer is a persistent and chronic disease, its development can segregated in various stages and can last for a long time. A cancer insurance plan covers all stages of cancer, irrespective of the type of cancer. In short, cancer insurance policies take care of the entire cancer treatment costs while some plans also provide medical or living expenses as well. Some of the common forms of cancer covered by such insurance plans include breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, hypopharynx cancer and prostate cancer. Skin cancer is not covered.

Tax Benefits - Premiums paid towards a critical illness plan can be claimed as a deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Along with the premium, the payout received from the insurer under a cancer insurance plan is also exempt from tax as per the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Cancer Insurance Plans

Here are a few cancer insurance plans with their benefits:

ICICI Prudential Heart/Cancer Protect Plan

Family Benefit A discount of 5% on the first year’s premium
Loyalty Benefit Existing customers can enjoy a discount of 5% on the first year’s premium
Payout 25% of the sum assured is paid (lump sum) in case of a minor condition or else 100% payout on major condition
Hospital Benefit Daily hospital cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 if you get hospitalised for a continuous stay of 24 hours
Increasing Cover Benefit Sum assured will increase by 10% simple interest every year, till the time first claim is made. The maximum sum assured under Increasing Cover Benefit is limited to 200% of the sum assured
Income Benefit 1% of the sum assured will be paid each month for a period of 5 years on diagnosis of any of the major conditions
Age at entry (age as on last birthday) Minimum: 18 years
Maximum: 65 years
Maximum maturity age (age as on last birthday) Minimum: 23 years
Maximum: 75 years
Policy Term Single Pay: 5 years
Regular Pay: 5 to 40 years
Premium payment option Single Pay, Regular Pay
Premium payment term Single Pay: Single
Regular Pay: Same as Policy Term
Minimum Sum Assured Rs. 2 lakh
Maximum Sum Assured Cancer cover : Rs. 50 lakh
Heart cover : Rs. 25 lakh
Premium Payment modes Single, Yearly, Half-yearly and Monthly

SBI Life Sampoorn Cancer Suraksha Plan (Standard Variant)

Minor Stage Benefit On diagnosis of Carcinoma in Situ or Early Stage Cancer, 30% of the Sum Assured will be paid. You can claim for one CIS and one Early Stage cancer during the policy term. The maximum payout at this stage would be 60% of the sum assured and the premiums for the next 5 years from the date of diagnosis or for the entire policy term would be waived off depending upon the plan option chosen.
Major Stage Benefit On diagnosis of cancer of Major Stage, balance of 100% of the Sum Assured less any benefits paid earlier on Minor stage claim will be paid.
Option to receive 40% of the sum assured monthly income benefit over 3 years and rest as a lump sum benefit under Major stage claim. The monthly income benefit would be 1.20% of the sum assured
Age at entry (age as on last birthday) Minimum: 6 years
Maximum: 65 years
Maximum maturity age (age as on last birthday) 75 years
Policy Term Minimum: 5 years
Maximum: 30 years
Premium payment term Same as policy term
Minimum Sum Assured Minimum: Rs. 10,00,000
Maximum Sum Assured Maximum: Rs. 50,00,000
Premium Payment modes Half-Yearly: 51.00% of annual premium
Quarterly: 26.00% of annual premium
Monthly: 8.50% of annual premium

HDFC Life Cancer Care

Silver Option 25% of the sum assured is paid (lump sum) in case of a minor condition or else 100% payout
Gold Option In addition to the benefit offered under Silver Benefit, the Sum Insured increases by 10% of initial Sum Insured each year starting from the first policy anniversary
Platinum Option In addition to the benefit offered under Gold Benefit, this option offers monthly income of 1% of applicable Sum Insured for 5 years, on diagnosis of listed Major Cancer.
Offers Premium discounts for Sum Insured above Rs 10 Lakhs
Age at entry (age as on last birthday) 5 to 65 years
Maximum maturity age (age as on last birthday) 85 years
Policy Term 3 to (85 - Entry Age) years, subject to maximum Maturity age of 85 years
Minimum Sum Assured Minimum Sum Insured: Rs. 10 Lakhs
Maximum Sum Assured Maximum Sum Insured: Rs. 50 Lakhs
Premium Payment modes Annually, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly frequency of premium payment

It can now be concluded that it is advisable to purchase a comprehensive health plan and purchase a cancer insurance plan as a rider. As an alternative option, one can purchase a health insurance plan with a critical illness rider. Ensure that the critical illness rider provides cancer cover.

Recommended Link: Top Cancer Insurance Policies

Karan Sharma
Written by Karan Sharma
Content Strategist at Coverfox.