Health insurance is vital for everyone, more so for women. It is important that women are aware of the various cancer health insurance policies available.
In India, the awareness related for cancer is low, especially so among women, in whom cancer cases, as well as mortality, are increasing rapidly.
According to a report 'Call for Action,' India has the third-highest cases of cancer among women after China and the US and is growing at a rate of 4.5-5% annually. But, the situation is a lot worse, as half the incidents of cancer go unreported or aren't diagnosed.
A cancer statistics report by cancerindia.org.in shows that out of 7,84,821 cancer-related deaths in 2018, 3,71,302 deaths or almost 50% were women patients. Further, some more alarming statistics are:
- About 1- 1.4 million women are diagnosed with cancer every year.
- Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, and Ovarian Cancer are the most common form of cancer among women.
- Every 8 minutes, one woman dies of Cervical Cancer.
- And, for every two women diagnosed with breast cancer, one woman loses her life to it.
Hence, it's important to understand the need for buying cancer insurance for women , which not only protects them from a financial crisis during medical emergencies, but also ensures continued specialised medical treatment.
Benefits of Cancer Insurance
For women, age is no bar as they're always at a higher risk of contracting cancer at any stage in life. It’s unpredictable in nature, higher cost of treatment and low survival rate, makes it an extremely deadly disease, aside from draining you out, both mentally and financially.
Cancer Insurance provides protection against all the uncertainties of this deadly disease and also ensures specialised treatment with continuous financial support. There are numerous benefits associated with buying such a plan at the earliest:
Higher Coverage Amount
- The treatment of cancer is extremely expensive, and in most cases, a single hospitalisation cost exceeds the average annual per capita income of over 60% of the population. Also, the treatment cost is even higher if one is diagnosed with an advanced-stage of cancer. One of the main objectives of cancer insurance is to protect patients from the exorbitant cost of treatment, depending on the type and stage of cancer.
Cancer Insurance provides coverage of up to Rs. 50 lakh, depending on the policy.
Cheap Premium and Lump sum Payout
Apart from a higher coverage amount, the premiums of cancer insurance are cheap and affordable when compared to any traditional health insurance policy.
Further, cancer insurance policies also offer a lump sum payout on the detection of cancer. Typically, on early detection, the insured is paid up to 25% of the sum insured and thereafter, depending on the stage of the cancer, if the disease makes a comeback.
In the case of diagnosis at a major or advanced stage, the insured is paid up to 100% of the sum insured to start with the treatment without any delay.
In some cancer insurance policies, a fixed monthly amount is paid to the insured's family, if the insured is diagnosed with a critical or advanced stage cancer.
The insured is offered a premium waiver either for the entire policy term or for a pre-defined no. of years on the cancer insurance policy, in case of diagnosis of cancer in the early stages.
Further, the cancer insurance policy does not cease and continues to offer you coverage, even after the first diagnosis of cancer.
Cancer Insurance offers wide coverage for almost all types of risks associated with cancer at an affordable price. However, many cancer insurance policies don't offer cover to each cancer type, such as skin cancer. Hence, you need to check with the insurer and read the policy document carefully.
Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can avail tax deduction of up to Rs. 25,000 on the premiums paid towards a cancer insurance plan. Therefore, it also helps you to reduce your overall tax liability.
Why Should Every Women Get Cancer Insurance Coverage?
In India, health insurance is not a priority for women. And, when it comes to cancer insurance policies, the policies are mostly taken by the earning member of the family and women, and the non-working spouses are generally overlooked.
A survey among 1000 women found that only 39% are covered under health insurance plans, and of them, only 22% have bought insurance for themselves.
But women, whether working or non-working, are an important part of the family and are the ones responsible for its growth. From ensuring that all household tasks are performed diligently, to managing finances and taking care of kids, they act as a natural pillar.
In case she falls ill or isn't able to contribute to the well-being of the family due to acute illness or in her absence, everything falls apart, derailing the growth of the family.
Research has shown that women are more prone to chronic health risks compared to men. When it comes to cancer, women of the age group 21-67 years are more likely to contract cervical cancer, while women in their early thirties and in 50-64 year range have a higher risk of contracting breast cancer. Yet, only less than 40% have proper health coverage.
At the present rate of incidence of cancer among women, it's likely that cases of cancer among women will touch 190-260 per 1 lakh people by 2025, equivalent to the incidence rate of China.
In lower to middle-income group households, it's the women who suffer the most because of lack of proper health awareness and negligent behaviour towards their own health.
Because of such behaviour, women in India are observing a higher incidence rate of critical illnesses, such as cancer. As per a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in India. And, due to late diagnosis, their survival rate is lowest in the world.
Having a complete health insurance policy can take care of such health risks, but such a policy fails to provide full coverage in case of critical illnesses.
Cancer insurance offers coverage for in-patient hospitalisation and a higher coverage amount to take care of the unique needs for effective cancer treatment.
With women having a longer life expectancy, along with a higher risk of contracting chronic illnesses when compared to men, buying cancer insurance ensures no financial burden on the family and treatment for the specified condition in the best possible way.
Because women play a vital role in the development of the family and society, it is important that they are well looked after. One way to ensure that is through buying a cancer insurance policy so that their critical health issues are not overlooked.
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