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  • Cancer Insurance

    What is Cancer Care Insurance?

    Cancer Insurance
    Cancer Insurance

    Cancer insurance is a kind of health insurance that has been created to ensure that all the risks linked with cancer are managed as best as they can be. Cancer insurance helps in reducing the costs incurred by individuals on cancer treatment, thereby ensuring that policyholders have the financial support when they most need it.

    Cancer insurance has grown in popularity in recent years as it is known to lower stress on the finances of those who have been diagnosed with the condition. Since cancer can strike anybody regardless of lifestyle and family history, it is advised that you purchase cancer insurance so that your finances are not totally depleted on the occurrence of cancer. A number of leading life insurance providers in India have started offering cancer insurance to protect their customers. In this article, we will look at the benefits of cancer insurance and everything else you need to know about the same.

    Why should people buy Cancer Insurance?

    While there are many benefits to purchasing cancer insurance, the scheme comes in handy in case you are diagnosed with cancer. Considering the increasing medical costs in this day and age, a cancer insurance will ensure that you receive the financial support to pay your bills and receive quality treatment to beat the condition. A cancer insurance policy provides cover for several different costs related to the diagnosis as well as treatment of cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, hospitalisation, radiation, etc.

    Individuals who wish to purchase cancer insurance will have to ensure that they are not already suffering from cancer as cancer insurance policies do not cover already existing conditions. But purchasing a cancer insurance plan will ensure that there is no domino effect on the individual or his family and help them remain strong emotionally, physically and financially. It is essential to consider the purchase of cancer insurance if your family has a history of cancer, or if you do not have sufficient savings to meet medical expenses, or you are the sole earning member of the family, or if your basic health insurance policy does not offer comprehensive coverage for cancer, or if you have a fear of developing cancer owing to environmental or other reasons.

    Types of Cancer Covered by Cancer Insurance Plans:

    Following are the different kinds of cancer covered by cancer insurance plan:

    • Lung cancer
    • Stomach cancer
    • Breast cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Hypolarynx cancer

    Best Cancer Insurance Policies in India for 2018:

    The risk of cancer has greatly increased in the recent past due to several environmental and lifestyle factors. In addition to being a serious physical ailment that requires extensive care, cancer is also an expensive disease to treat. With healthcare costs on the rise, being diagnosed with a critical illness like cancer can drain one’s hard-earned savings and can even leave an individual in debt.

    Thus, purchasing a cancer insurance policy as a precautionary measure is a smart decision since a cancer insurance policy can provide financial protection to the policyholder, in case he/she is diagnosed with cancer at any point of time. If you are considering purchasing a cancer insurance plan for yourself or your family members, here are the best cancer plans offered by insurance companies in India with the highest claim settlement ratio for FY16-17.

    Following are some of the best cancer insurance plans you can avail in India:

    Plan Name Entry Age Sum Assured Policy Term
    ICICI Cancer Care Plus 20 years to 60 years Rs.5 lakhs to Rs.25 lakhs 10 years
    HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan 18 years to 65 years Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.40 lakhs 10 years to 20 years
    Aegon Life iCancer Insurance Plan 18 years to 65 years Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs Minimum of 5 years; maximum up to the policyholder turns 70 years of age.
    PNB MetLife Mera Heart and Cancer Plan 18 years to 65 years Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.80 lakhs 10 years / 15 years / 20 years
    Birla Sun Life Cancer Shield Plan 18 years to 65 years Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs 5 years to 20 years
    1. LIC’s Cancer Cover

    2. LIC’s Cancer Cover is a non-participating, non-linked, insurance policy that provides financial protection to the policyholder in case he/she is diagnosed with cancer during the policy tenure. This policy provides coverage against all stages of cancer and comes with two plan options.

      Key Features and Benefits of LIC’s Cancer Cover:

      • This policy can be purchased through online and offline channels.
      • At the time of purchasing the policy, the policy buyer can choose the ‘Level Sum Insured’ option or the ‘Increasing Sum Insured’ plan option.
      • This policy comes with an inbuilt premium waiver benefit for both Early Stage and Major Stage Cancer.
      • In case one is diagnosed with Early Stage Cancer, 25% of the sum insured will be offered as a lump sum payout. In case of Major Stage Cancer, the policyholder will receive 100% of the sum insured at diagnosis and an income benefit for the following 10 years.
      • The general waiting period for this policy is 180 days. The survival period is 7 days.
      • This policy can be purchased by individuals between 20 and 65 years for a policy tenure between 10 and 30 years.
      • The minimum and maximum sum insured for this plan are Rs.10 lakh and Rs.50 lakh, respectively.
    3. Max Life Cancer Insurance Plan

    4. The Cancer Insurance Plan from Max Life Insurance is non-participating, non-linked insurance policy that covers up to 20 types of cancers and provides coverage for all stages of the disease.

      Key Features and Benefits of Max Life Cancer Insurance Plan:

      • This policy provides coverage against Carcinoma in Situ (CIS), Early Stage Cancer, and Major Stage Cancer.
      • The sum insured automatically increases by 10% each year until no claim is made.
      • Policyholders can also receive tax benefits as per the prevailing tax laws.
      • In order to purchase this policy, the policy buyer needs to be 25 years or over. The maximum age at entry is 65 years.
      • This policy can be purchased for any duration between 10 years and 40 years.
      • In order to purchase this policy, the policy buyer will need to choose a minimum sum insured of Rs.10 lakh. The maximum sum insured that can be chosen is Rs.50 lakh.
      • The waiting period for this policy is 180 days, whereas the survival period required is 7 days.
    5. SBI Life Sampoorn Cancer Suraksha Plan

    6. This cancer insurance policy offered by SBI LIfe provides a comprehensive protection against all stages of cancer. This plan comes with three benefit options and a stage-wise benefit payout is offered to the policyholder.

      Key Features and Benefits of the SBI Life Sampoorn Cancer Suraksha Plan:

      • Up to 150% of the sum assured can be paid to the policyholder upon diagnosis of the disease, based on the benefit structure that is opted for.
      • The Enhanced Benefit structure comes with an inbuilt Sum Assured Reset feature.
      • No medical examination is required to purchase this policy.
      • Tax benefits can be availed under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, by the policyholder, for premiums paid.
      • Policyholders can avail a free medical second opinion.
      • This policy comes with an inbuilt Premium Waiver feature, based on the benefit structure chosen by the policy buyer.
      • This policy can be purchased for a child or an adult. The minimum age at entry is 6 years for children and 18 years for an adult.
      • The minimum and maximum policy tenure options are 5 years and 30 years, respectively.
    7. ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect Plan

    8. The Heart/Cancer Protect Plan from ICICI Prudential provides an insurance cover against cancer, heart diseases, or both by way of a joint cover. This policy offers a high sum assured at a low premium rate to the policy buyer.

      Key Features of ICICI Cancer Care Plus Plan

      • The policyholder can pay a nominal premium rate and avail the cover for a high sum assured.
      • The policy will provide a lump sum payout on the first diagnosis of the disease, regardless of how much one will actually spend on the treatment.
      • Policy buyers can either purchase an individual plan or a family floater plan. The insurer offers a discount to policy buyers who opt for family floater plans.
      • Post diagnosis of the disease, future premiums will be waived off and the policy will continue to remain in force.
      • The cover will automatically increase by 10% every policy year.
      • The policy provides an additional monthly benefit amounting to 1% of the sum assured for a period of five years, in case one is diagnosed with an illness.
      • No co-pay charges are applicable on this plan.
      • Policyholders can claim up to Rs.25,000 as tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for premiums paid towards this policy.
      Benefits of Cancer Insurance
      Benefits of Cancer Insurance
    9. HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan

    10. The Cancer Care Plan from HDFC Life Insurance offers policyholders a lump sum benefit upon diagnosis of cancer, regardless of the stage. The policy comes with three plan options – Silver, Gold, and Platinum, making it easy for a policy buyer to avail coverage as per his/her needs.

      Key Features of HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan

      • All three plan options offer slightly varying coverage.
      • Any policy buyer between the ages of 18 years and 65 years can purchase this policy.
      • The maximum age at maturity under this plan is 75 years.
      • Policy buyers can opt for a policy tenure between 10 and 20 years.
      • Premiums can be paid on an annual, bi-annual, quarterly, or monthly basis.
      • The minimum sum assured for this plan is Rs.10 lakh, while the maximum sum assured is restricted to Rs.40 lakh.
      • One must survive for a period of 7 days after diagnosis of the disease in order to receive the benefit.
      • In case one is diagnosed with Early Stage Cancer, all future premiums will be waived off. The policy, however, will continue to remain in force and all policy benefits will be payable as per schedule.
      • Policyholders can avail tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
    11. Aegon Life iCancer Insurance Plan

    12. The iCancer from Aegon Life is a non-participating, non-linked, online insurance plan that was designed to provide policyholders financial support for treatment of cancer, by way of a stage-based benefit payment schedule.

      Key Features of Aegon Life iCancer Insurance Plan

      • The policy provides a cover against all types of cancer except skin cancer.
      • Premiums can be paid on a yearly basis or a monthly basis.
      • The policyholder can claim benefits for multiple unrelated cancers.
      • Insurer offers Waiver of Premium benefit, wherein if the policyholder is diagnosed with cancer, all future premiums will be waived off.
      • Anybody between the ages of 18 years and 65 years can purchase this plan.
      • The maturity age for this plan is 70 years.
      • Policy buyers can opt for any policy tenure between 5 years and 70 years.
      • The minimum and maximum sum assured under this plan are Rs.10 lakh and Rs.50 lakh, respectively.
      • The policy can be purchased online in a hassle-free manner with minimum documentation.
      • No death benefit, surrender benefit, or maturity benefit is payable under this plan.
      • Policy buyers can claim tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
    13. PNB MetLife Mera Heart and Cancer Plan

    14. The Mera Heart and Cancer Plan from PNB MetLife is a non-participating, non-linked, health insurance policy that provides comprehensive coverage against heart diseases and all stages of cancer.

      Key Features of PNB MetLife Mera Heart and Cancer Plan

      • The policy buyer can choose to purchase the policy to provide a cover against cancer, heart diseases, or both diseases.
      • The plan guarantees lump sum payouts upon the diagnosis of a heart disease or cancer, irrespective of the stage of the illness.
      • The policy also comes with an in-built life cover and cover against terminal illness.
      • If the policyholder is diagnosed with mild or moderate cancer, premiums for the next 5 policy years will be waived off.
      • The minimum and maximum sum insured for the cancer cover are Rs.5 lakh and Rs.40 lakh, respectively.
      • Any individual between the ages of 18 years and 65 years can purchase plan. The maximum maturity age under this plan is 75 years.
      • One can choose a policy tenure of 10 years, 15 years, or 20 years.
      • Premiums can be paid on a yearly, half-yearly, or monthly mode of payment.
      • Upon opting for the ‘Return of Balance Premium’ option, one will receive the total premiums paid during the policy tenure as the maturity benefit, at the completion of the policy tenure.
    15. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Cancer Shield Plan

    16. The Cancer Shield Plan from Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance is a non-participating, traditional health insurance that offers coverage against all stages of cancer.

      Key Features of Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Cancer Shield Plan

      • Policy buyers are provided the option to choose either an increasing cover or a level cover.
      • If the policyholder is diagnosed with Early Stage Cancer, premiums for the following 5 years will be waived off.
      • Prospective policy buyers have to be between the ages of 18 and 65 years in order to purchase the plan. The maturity age for this plan is 75 years.
      • The minimum policy tenure that a policy buyer can opt for is 5 years, while the maximum policy tenure that can be opted for is 20 years.
      • Premiums can be paid on an annual, semi-annual, quarterly, or monthly basis.
      • The minimum and maximum sum assured under this plan are Rs.10 lakh and Rs.50 lakh, respectively.
      • In addition to the policy benefits, one can avail tax rebates for premiums paid under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

    With increasing incidence of cancer cases in the country and the rising medical costs, a cancer insurance plan is a must-have. However, before you purchase a policy, make sure to compare plans offered by various insurance providers, check the benefits and payouts, read through the policy terms and condition, and compare premium quotes. Ideally, you should always opt for a policy that offers you the best coverage at a competitive premium rate.

    Features and Benefits of Cancer Insurance Plans:

    Following are some of the features and benefits of cancer insurance plans:

    • Cancer insurance policies offer cover for multiple stages of cancer.
    • In case the life assured is diagnosed with cancer during the policy term, a lump sum amount will be paid out.
    • In case a life assured is diagnosed at an early stage, he/she can avail a waiver of premium under certain conditions.
    • In case the policyholder does not make any claims during the whole year, the sum assured will increase by a pre-determined percentage.
    • Policies that have been insured for more than a certain amount can avail premium discounts.
    • In case a policyholder is diagnosed with cancer in the later stages, he/she will receive monthly income for a certain time period subject to specific conditions.
    • Insurance cover will continue even after the first diagnosis.
    • Customers who purchase a cancer insurance plan can avail tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

     

    • To be noted on Cancer Care Insurance

      Relief for cancer treatment expenses by Ayushman Bharat

      Cancer is one of the most dreadful diseases all over the world. India is one of the most affected countries that deals with several incidents of cancer of various types. Though the medical industry has grown over the years, cancer deaths have only increased. In 1990, cancer was a cause of 3.82 lakh deaths and in 2016, it was the cause of 8.13 lakh deaths. This means that the number of cancer deaths has increased twofold over a period of 26 years. Currently, cancer is a cause of 8.3% of the total number of deaths in the country.

      The most common types of cancer incidents are lip cancer, oral cavity cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, and stomach cancer. The biggest risk factor of cancer was found to be tobacco. During the period between 1990 to 2016, the number of breast cancer cases increased. However, the number of cases with regard to cancer of the cervix, oesophagus, lip, stomach, oral cavity, and leukaemia reduced.

      Preventing cancer is, hence, the need of the hour. Screening camps need to be conducted in order to detect cancer as early as possible. Further, since tobacco is one of the major causes, the prices of the same need to be increased in order to prevent people from over-consumption of tobacco. Along with the increase in prices, hike in taxes and awareness of the risks associated with tobacco will help tackle the issue.

      Many people from the lower economic class cannot afford cancer treatments due to the elaborate and expensive procedures, which is why the central government has included coverage for cancer treatments in its ambitious national health insurance scheme called Ayushman Bharat. The scheme offers coverage equal to Rs.5 lakh to each family that is eligible to enjoy benefits under the scheme. The funds allocated towards such treatments will even help track the incidents of cancer through Ayushman Bharat’s database. Insurance companies, today, offer specific health insurance plans such as cancer insurance plans that offer coverage for cancer treatments but such plans may or may not be affordable to the underprivileged. The same is the case with the life insurance plans and riders offered by private life insurance companies for financial aid for cancer patients. Therefore, such people can avail aid through the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme.

      Renal failure: Why it is important to have a cancer insurance plan?

      Kidneys are one of the most important parts of our body as it flushes out all the toxic and unwanted elements from our system. They also ensure that our blood pressure is maintained including the production of the red blood cells in our body. Thus, due to so many functions that kidney exhibits, it is no doubt one of the most important organs in our body.

      Kidney failure or renal failure, in general, can result in diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic diseases, infection, etc. Humans possess a pair of kidneys. When both of them stop functioning then the condition is called renal failure.

      Some of the reasons due to which kidney failure can happen are:

      • Less intake of fluids such as water
      • Dehydration caused due to loss of body fluids
      • Low blood volume caused due to extensive blood loss
      • Obstruction of the renal artery or vein which results in irregular blood flow to and from the kidneys.

       

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      The symptoms of a renal failure

      Generally, it can be difficult to notice the symptoms of a renal failure. Hence, a person initially may not detect his/her kidney failing to function. However, with time, as the kidney starts getting damaged slowly, one can then detect certain symptoms which could suggest that the person is suffering from renal failure. Some of the symptoms that can help a person detect a renal failure are:

      • Lethargy
      • Weakness
      • Edema or swelling
      • Problems while breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Anemia
      • Congestive heart failure
      • Metabolic acidosis
      • Low calcium blood levels
      • Uremia or high urea levels
      • Arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats
      • Hyperkalemia or high potassium blood

       

      It is recommended that a person stays alert. Any signal that suggests that the person may suffer from renal failure, he/she should immediately take precautions and consult a doctor.

      Rain bane

      While the monsoon season can bring its own share of happiness to people, it is also a season when people can fall sick due to getting hit by various forms of infection. It is one of those times when dangerous bacterias can enter our body and destroy our cells. Rainy season is also one of those seasons during which a person can suffer from kidney failure, and thus it becomes extremely important to take precautions.

      Some of the precautionary measures that you can take in order to keep your kidney healthy are:

      • One needs to be hygienic in nature. Cleanliness is extremely important. Ensure to clean any touched surface with chlorine-based cleaners or bleachers.
      • Ensure that the drinking water is cleaned and disinfected. It is always recommended that one boil their water before drinking or use chlorine before drinking.
      • It is better to stay away from food which is not home cooked. One doesn’t know the source of water used to cook the food and thus the chances of you suffering from kidney failure can rise. Always consume freshly made home cooked food.
      • Hands are one of the biggest sources of transmitting infection. Hence, one must always wash your hands before and after a meal and also after using the bathroom.
      • Ensure that a person cleans their electronic gadget on a regular basis. It is one of the largest transmitter of infections and thus they should be cleaned on a regular basis.
      • One must not consume pre-cut fruits and always eat freshly cut fruits. Pre-cut fruits may have microorganisms accumulated on it which can cause a lot of diseases in our body. Hence, doctors, these days advise that we peel our fruits and remove the outer skin before consuming the fruit as the skin may contain a large number of infectious organisms.
      • It is ok to get wet during the rainy season and enjoy the weather but a person must immediately clean themselves so that not only they do not run the risk of falling sick but also do not communicate the infection to others.
      • A person’s shoes will get muddy during the rainy season and it can be a carrier of various microorganisms. Hence, a person must always remove their shoes before entering the house and ensure that the house is clean at all times.
      • An individual must ensure that the sugar level in your body is controlled. A person’s kidneys can fail due to the high glucose level in your body.

       

      Renal failure and cancer

      Renal failure can also be very dangerous for cancer patients and thus they must take extra precautions to ensure that their kidneys do not suffer. Renal failure for a cancer patient may create a lot of extra health complications and can increase the cost of treatment.

      Though a human has been bestowed with a pair of kidneys, it is always recommended that a person purchases a proper health insurance policy, and also a cancer insurance policy as well.  It is important to have a suitable health insurance policy or a mediclaim as a majority of the family in India end up paying up for the treatment of any health condition out of their own pockets.

      When one pays for the treatment of a health condition from their own pocket they generally let go of their hard-earned savings which they could have utilised to fulfill their other goals. Hence, the need for having a health insurance policy becomes very important and hence one should purchase a health insurance policy for themselves immediately.

      Cancer covers: Your Best Protection Against the Financial Impact of Cancer

      Cancer is one of the worst diseases one can encounter in their lifetime. The number of cancer cases across the country is increasing every year. One of the serious impacts of cancer is the expenses associated with the treatment process. With this significant rise, cancer covers could provide you with the much needed financial security in case of the occurrence of the disease.

      A cancer cover pays a fixed lump sum amount following the diagnosis of cancer. The percentage of sum insured amount provided to the policyholder may depend on the stage of cancer. The fixed sum insured amount is provided without the need for any medical bills or treatment reports.

      One of the advantages of a cancer-specific health insurance plan is that the premium costs are not very expensive. With the right insurance cover, you can take advantage of the income benefit, waiver of premium benefit, cumulative benefit, etc.

    Difference between Cancer Insurance and Critical Illness Rider Plans:

    A comprehensive cancer insurance is completely different from a critical illness rider that can be added to a base plan to gain additional protection. While a critical illness rider will offer financial support in paying for expensive treatments for a variety of critical conditions such as stroke, paralysis, multiple sclerosis, organ transplant, cardiac arrest, deafness, total blindness, etc. A number of life-threatening cancers are also covered by many critical illness riders. In most cases, the average critical illness rider will pay out a lump sum in case the life assured has been diagnosed with any of the critical conditions covered by the rider. The payouts offered by the rider can be used for co-pays, treatments, therapies and related medical expenses.

    Critical illness riders are less expensive in comparison with comprehensive medical insurance policies as protection is offered only for a few critical conditions. Critical illness riders can be bought as individual plans or riders that can be attached to existing health or life insurance policies. One of the prominent drawbacks of critical illness riders, however, is that they usually cover cancer during the advanced stage in the sense that they cover cancer only in case a malignant tumour displays uncontrolled growth and invasion of regular tissues. Moreover, critical illness plans do not offer a waiver of future premiums whilst revoking all the other benefits you would otherwise receive from a comprehensive health insurance plan. In case any of the illnesses covered by the critical illness rider have been detected in the policyholder, the plan cover shall cease.

    Cancer insurance plans, on the other hand, offer comprehensive coverage for each stage of cancer, thereby ensuring that the policyholder can continue to receive financial protection and save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on treatments and therapies.

    Exclusions in a Cancer Insurance Plan:

    Following are the exclusions in a cancer insurance plan:

    • All kinds of skin cancer.
    • Cancer as a result of any pre-existing or congenital condition; chemical, biological or nuclear contamination; radioactivity from any therapeutic or non-diagnostic source or contact with radiation.
    • Any type of cancer caused as a direct or indirect result of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS or HIV.
    • Leukemias.
    • Papillary micro-carcinoma of the thyroid.

    How do I make a claim for Cancer Insurance?

    While the claim settlement process varies from insurer to insurer, the general procedure that one will have to follow when it comes to making a claim is as follows:

    • Claim Intimation: Before you file your actual claim, you will first have to intimate the insurer of the upcoming claim. In order to intimate the insurer, you will have to reach out to the insurance firm on any one of their official customer care channels. You can find the insurer’s customer care channels on their official website or the policy brochure. Post intimating the insurer of the claim, you will also have to submit all supporting medical documents to the insurance firm. Insurance firms usually specify timelines within which time they will have to be informed of the upcoming claim.
    • Claim Processing: Once the insurer has received all your documents, an assessor will scrutinise the same and evaluate the validity of your claim and whether it falls within the purview of your insurance policy. At this time, if any more documents are required, the insurer will communicate the same to the policyholder by letter/email/SMS.
    • Claim Settlement: After evaluation of all the relevant supporting documents, the insurer will communicate their decision regarding the claim to the policyholder. The insurer can either approve the claim and settle the claim amount, ask for further documents, or reject the claim and communicate the reason to the concerned person. Most insurance firms generally settle the claim amounts via NEFT or ECS.

    Things To Consider Before Buying a Cancer Insurance Plan:

    Cancer is one of the most deadly diseases that can hit you. While cancer can put you and your loved ones under extreme emotional turmoil, it can also put you and your family under a huge financial trauma as well. Cancer insurance policies are specially designed to provide you cover in case you or any of your family member gets diagnosed with cancer. You receive payouts depending on the different stages of cancer which ensures that you do not face any financial problems during the treatment. Thus, purchasing a cancer insurance plan is the way to go forward. Before you purchase any cancer insurance plan, you must properly research and compare various policies. Keep in mind the following factors before settling down for the most appropriate cancer plan for yourself:

    • Eligibility:  A majority of the insurance policies provide cover for various types of cancers except for skin cancer. However, you will not be eligible for a cancer policy, if the condition is pre-existing in nature. You must select your cancer policy based on factors such as your lifestyle habits, the result of your screening test, and heredity. You must also list out the types of cancers you might be vulnerable to and based on that you can choose a cancer policy for yourself.
    • Sum assured should be sufficient in nature: It is important that the sum assured chosen by you must be sufficient enough to cover the cost of the treatment of cancer. In today’s time when medical inflation is expected to grow and you are also becoming more susceptible to suffer from a serious condition like cancer, it is always safe to ensure that your cover amount is adequate enough to take care of the medical expenses related to your cancer treatment.
    • Check for the waiting period and survival period: You must properly read the policy document and check the waiting period and the survival period. The waiting period is the duration of time you will have to wait before the insurance company starts providing you with the coverage. The survival period is the duration of time during which you will have to survive after which you can ask for your claim. You need to ensure that the waiting period and survival period are not too long and thus you must understand the fine print of your policy document before signing it.
    • Check for your payment schedule: One of the ways that can help you determine whether the cancer policy is suitable for you or not is to check whether the policy provides coverage to you for all the stages of cancer. A good cancer policy will provide you with 30% of your cover amount during the early stage, and 70% of the remaining amount for later stages.
    • Check for additional features: While purchasing a cancer insurance policy for yourself, you must look for features which can help you from a financial point of view in future. Some of the benefits which a cancer insurance policy may provide you are regular income for a fixed period, or waiver of premium.
    • Duration of your cancer insurance policy: The treatment of cancer can be a long and tedious process depending on which stage you are on. Hence, it is always safe to ensure that your cancer insurance policy covers you for a longer period of time. Having a cancer insurance policy which provides cover for a longer period of time can be financially beneficial while you continue to pay the same amount of premium throughout.
    • Check the exclusions: You must surely look for exclusions in your policy before you sign on the policy document. For example, a majority of the cancer insurance policy restrict coverage for the early stage of your cancer to 20-25% of your cover amount. There are certain policies which may not cover a certain type of cancer. Thus, you must ensure that you are completely aware of the exclusions under your policy before you sign the document so that you do not face any claim-related problems in the future.
    • Track record of the insurance company: One of the most important points that you must keep in mind when purchasing a cancer insurance policy for yourself is to check the track record of the insurance company from whom you are purchasing the policy. One of the best methods to check whether the insurance company is suitable for you is to check their claim settlement ratio. Remember, higher the claim settlement ratio, better the insurance company is likely to be. The last thing that you will need is the delay in claim settlement and therefore, you need to purchase your policy from a company which does not take too much time in settling your claim.

    Some of the insurance policies for cancer that you can avail for yourself

    You can come across various types of insurance policies which provides coverage for cancer. You can avail these types of policies even if you have never been diagnosed with cancer before. Some of these types of insurance policies for cancer that you can avail for yourself are:

    • Specialised cancer insurance
    • Critical illness rider in a health insurance policy
    • A term insurance policy with terminal illness benefit

    Thus, choosing a proper cancer insurance policy is extremely important as you would want a scheme that would provide you with the necessary financial assistance while you get treated for cancer. You need to ensure that you are getting adequate coverage with your cover amount, sufficient enough to take care of your medical expenses. You must also look for features which would ensure that you or your family do not face any monetary problems while your treatment for cancer is in process. You must also look for the exclusions in your policy, and make sure that the policy covers the majority of types of cancer. You must also ensure that you are purchasing your cancer insurance policy from a reputed and trusted insurance company. In the end, you must properly research and compare different cancer insurance plans, and based on your needs and medical history you can choose the most suitable cancer insurance policy for yourself.

    Cancer Insurance Policy - All You Need to Know

    According to a report, as many as 10 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer each year and over 60% to 70% of those, I.e., 6 to 7 lakh people succumb to the disease. Also, cancer treatments are often extremely expensive and more often than not, the patients only prolong their lives for a few more years before the condition relapses and with it some more complications. Of late, nearly every comprehensive health insurance policy comes with coverage against all sorts of cancer to reduce the level of financial constraints on the patients, however, it is only a stop-gap solution of sorts. Keeping this in mind, life insurance companies have come up with specific plans to come to the aid of cancer patients.

    In this section we will tell you a few basic things about what a cancer insurance policy is all about and some of the aspects relating to it.

    • It’s not the same as comprehensive health insurance plans: As mentioned above, a Cancer Insurance Policy is not the same as a comprehensive policy because the coverage offered by these two are entirely different. For starters, a cancer insurance policy is available for cancer patients and it covers all sorts of cancer. On the other hand, a comprehensive policy offers generic coverage against a list of illnesses.
    • Offers coverage for all stages of the disease: These policies cover you for all stages of the disease and will pay a lump sum amount when a person is diagnosed with the illness. Further, the policyholder can choose to receive payouts in two different ways: lump sum cover or lump sum cover with monthly income. Also, if the cancer is benign at the time of diagnosis, some plans waive off premiums for a period of time while still keeping the coverage intact.
    • Can offer robust coverage when compared to critical illness plans: While critical illness plans offer coverage against a host of illnesses, a cancer-specific plan offers much better coverage and covers hospitalisation as well as the initial stages of recovery. Besides, it allows policyholders to choose a payout that is beneficial to them. Critical illness plans, on the other hand, don’t offer this benefit.
    • Should be bought before the age of 60: As you may already know, insurance is a game of odds which is stacked against the older people. This is the reason why it costs more for them to get coverage. So, if you decide to take a cancer-specific plan, make sure to do so before you hit the age of 60, so as to reduce the premium amount. With the number of cancer patients rising each year, a cancer-specific plan is worth your consideration, especially if you are a smoker or have other such vices. So, consider looking into such a plan to keep yourself relatively safe if disaster strikes. And as they say, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s your time now!

    Cancer Insurance FAQs:

    1. Can I make changes to the terms and conditions of the policy if the policy term has commenced?

      A. Changes in all terms and conditions will not be allowed once coverage starts, but customers have the freedom to increase the sum assured at any time.

    2. Will it be difficult to avail cancer insurance in case my family has a history with cancer?

      A. No. Proposal forms will be accepted from a customer even if he/she has a family history of cancer. However, such customers will have to furnish a detailed description of their cancer history.

    3. What are the eligibility criteria for availing a cancer insurance plan in India?

      A. Customers who wish to avail a cancer insurance plan will have to meet the age criteria which usually require them to be between 18 and 65 years of age. Customers will also have to make premium payments towards their plan and select a sum assured before availing the policy.

    4. What is the minimum and maximum sum assured for cancer insurance plans?

      A. While some companies allow customers to select a sum assured worth Rs.5 lakhs at least, the minimum sum assured for some companies is higher. In the same way, the maximum amount of cover you can avail from a cancer insurance plan will also change from company to company.

    5. How are the benefits paid out in case I am diagnosed with cancer?

      A. Different plans have different payout structures. While some plans will provide the customer with the entire sum assured upon diagnosis, some plans offer a certain percentage of the sum assured as a lump sum and continue to pay out the remainder over regular intervals of time.

    6. Do cancer-specific policies cover all stages of cancer or do they only provide a benefit in case of being diagnosed with major stage cancer?

      Most cancer care policies in the market cover major and minor stage cancer. Thus, no matter what stage of cancer the policyholder is diagnosed with, he/she will get the corresponding benefit.

    7. What other benefits are covered by cancer insurance policies?

      The benefits provided by various insurance policies will differ based on the policy’s coverage limits, inclusions, and exclusions. For more information on the same, make sure to go through the policy document or brochure.

    8. In case of the cancer patient’s death, will the insurer provide a payout to his/her nominee?

      Most cancer insurance plans do not provide a death benefit, thus no benefit will be paid to the nominee in case of the policyholder’s death. However, if the death benefit is part of the benefits offered under the policy, the nominee will be entitled to receive a payout in the event of the policyholder’s death.

    9. Do cancer care policies cover pre-existing illnesses?

      In most cases, pre-existing diseases are not covered by cancer insurance policies. You will find the whole list of exclusions in the policy brochure.

    10. Is there a waiting period under cancer insurance plans?

      Most cancer insurance policies that are offered come with a 180-day waiting period. Thus, if the policyholder is diagnosed with cancer during the waiting period, no benefit will be paid.

    11. What is meant by ‘Survival Period’?

      To be eligible to receive the payout offered by the insurer, the policyholder has to survive for at least a period of 7 days, post diagnosis of the disease. This 7-day period is known as the survival period.

    12. Do cancer policies provide tax exemptions?

      Yes, you can claim tax benefits for premiums paid under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

    13. I already have a health insurance cover, do I still need to purchase a Cancer-specific insurance policy?

      A health insurance policy offers comprehensive coverage against a range of illnesses and diseases. And while health insurance plans do cover critical illnesses, they usually only cover inpatient hospitalisation, and not the entire treatment costs. Thus, it is advisable to purchase a cancer-specific policy, even if you already have a health cover.

    14. Will premium rates remain constant for the duration of the policy tenure?

      Your premium rates will remain constant for the duration of the policy tenure. At the time of renewing the policy, the insurer may increase your premium based on your current age, lifestyle, sum insured, etc.

    15. Do cancer care policies have a free-look period?

      Yes, cancer insurance plans come with a free-look period. The free-look period is usually either 15 days or 30 days.

    16. Can cigarette smokers apply for cancer insurance plans?

      Yes, you can apply for a cancer insurance plan even if you are a smoker. However, you will have to declare this fact at the time of purchasing the policy. Failure to do so could lead to your claim getting rejected.

    17. Will a policy buyer have to undergo a pre-policy medical screening before purchasing this plan?

      Policy buyers might have to undergo a pre-policy medical test on the basis of their age, sum insured, lifestyle, and other factors.

    18. Will I get a surrender benefit if I surrender this policy before the maturity date?

      Most cancer insurance policies do not have a cash value attached to them. Thus, you will not be paid a surrender benefit even if you surrender your policy.

    19. What documents should a policyholder submit at the time of submitting the claim?

      At the time of making a claim, the policyholder will have to submit the filled and signed claim form, supporting medical documents, bills, and any other reports that are requested by the company.

    20. Are cancer care policies yearly renewable or can they be purchased for longer tenures?

      Insurance providers offer cancer insurance plans with policy tenures between 5 and 40 years. Thus, when you purchase a policy, you can opt for a policy tenure that is best suited to your needs.

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    News About Cancer Insurance

    • Survey reveals only 25% of women undergo regular breast cancer screenings

      Future Generali India Life Insurance, in partnership with Momspresso, recently revealed the findings of a survey that was conducted to understand the awareness of breast cancer among women in India. The survey was done across 10 metro cities with a sample size of 2,225 respondents.

      The survey found that around 60% of the women in the country are aware of the incidence of breast cancer in India, with 1 out of 2 women in the country felt like they were at risk for being diagnosed with breast cancer.

      The survey also found that although nearly 80% of the participants knew that they had to undergo regular screenings for breast cancer, only 25% of the respondents actually underwent check-ups. Further, nearly 75% of the women who participated in the survey did not undergo breast cancer tests simply due to inertia or ignorance.

      The survey revealed that 2 out of 3 women did not know that a self-examination could help detect breast cancer. Furthermore, 65% of the women were not aware of mammography, while almost 80% of the respondents were not aware of clinical breast examinations.

      The survey also uncovered that nearly 60% of the respondents were uncomfortable discussing the disease with their family and friends. 70% of the participants were found to be unaware of the various treatments for cancer. 12% of the respondents who participated in the survey had themselves suffered from breast cancer.

      It was found that 50% of the women assumed that that the cost to treat the disease would be under Rs.2 lakh and around 72% of the respondents were not aware of cancer insurance plans.

      16 October 2018

    • Apollo Munich launches all-new cancer insurance plan

      The well-known Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company has rolled out a new cancer insurance plan that not only takes care of the insured person’s financial needs but his/her family’s too. While the insured person will need financial assistance in order to pay for the treatment expenses, the family will need financial support during the time when the insured person cannot earn and contribute to the family. With this idea, the insurance company has launched two variants of the cancer insurance plan named iCan. iCan Essential is the basic plan that offers coverage for in-patient treatment, out-patient, and day care costs. Under this benefit, known as the MyCare benefit, conventional as well as advanced treatments are covered. Under the other variant named iCan Enhance, in addition to the MyCare benefit, a CritiCare benefit and a FamilyCare benefit are also offered. The CritiCare benefit pays out 60% of the sum insured amount over and above the original sum insured amount when the person is diagnosed with cancer of a specified severity. The FamilyCare benefit, on the other hand, provides 100% of the sum insured amount over and above the original sum insured amount in case stage IV of cancer is diagnosed or if the cancer recurs. This comprehensive cancer insurance policy is highly beneficial and has a waiting period of only 120 days.

      10 October 2018

    • A study reveals two out of five cancer patients borrow money, sell assets to cover the cost of hospitalisation

      According to a study by the Indian Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), two of out five cancer patients in India sell their assets or borrow money in order to cover the cost of hospitalisation.

      The study has also revealed that cancer causes the highest financial distress after heart diseases.

      The researchers used data from the National Sample Survey and studied 42,869 hospitalisation cases across India in 2014 in order to arrive at the conclusion. One of the reasons revealed why cancer patients suffer such high financial distress is due to prolonged treatment which increased the medical and non-medical costs.

      8 October 2018

    • Apollo Munich introduces new cancer insurance policy

      Standalone health insurer Apollo Munich has launched a new cancer-specific insurance policy named iCan. This policy provides coverage for all stages of cancer and ensures that the insured gets adequate coverage for various medical treatments arising out of cancer. Various conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy are covered by this policy. It also provides coverage for any organ transplant requirements arising out of cancer.

      In addition to the basic treatments, advanced medical treatments like stem cell transplant, hormonal therapy, immunotherapy, proton beam therapy, etc., are also covered under this plan. This policy comes with flexible options like CritiCare and FamilyCare that provide lump sum benefits upon diagnosis of cancer at various stages.

      This policy offers lifelong coverage option with the possibility of annual renewal. With this cover, policyholders can take care of their medical needs as well as the financial requirements of their families. One of the notable features of this policy is that it can be renewed even after a claim made for the early stage of cancer.

      4 October 2018

    • Urologists in favour of the Ayushman Bharat scheme

      The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi recently announced the launch of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, which has been labelled ModiCare by the media. Rolled out under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), the Ayushman Bharat scheme is all set to be the biggest healthcare scheme in the world and will offer health cover to more than 500 million individuals and 10 lakh families. The scheme will assure health cover to the poorest of the poor in the country, up to Rs.5 lakh per family per annum. Commenting on the scheme, top Urologists are in favor of the scheme as they believe that the scheme will help the rising cases of prostate cancer in the country. According to urologists, following cases of oral cancer, prostate cancer is the highest amongst males. Commenting on the scheme, Dr. Anup Kumar, Head of Department of Urology and Renal Transplant at Safdarjang Hospital, said that the PMJAY, the government, in consultations with healthcare providers, has fixed up charges for treatment for all urological disorders and that will be reimbursed by the insurers. Due to lack of awareness in rural areas people tend to ignore prostate problems and now with PMJAY in place, a large number of people can avail treatment for prostate cancer which is the second largest cancer in the country.

      26 September 2018

    • Hospitalisation not required for cancer patients under Ayushman Bharat

      Under the new universal health insurance scheme, National Health Protection Scheme, funded by the government, cancer patients need not be hospitalised to avail benefits. They can utilize up to Rs.5 lakh for chemotherapy, diagnostics, and medicines without having to be admitted to a hospital to avail such treatments. The health ministry released the anti-fraud guidelines, information security policy, and data privacy on Monday much before the launch of the much-awaited health scheme – Ayushman Bharat. The launch is to be held on September 25. The government eased the hospitalisation clause for cancer patients keeping in mind the guidelines of the tumour board. Health Minister JP Nadda, while launching the logo of the scheme, stated that a total of 94 controls have been put up at various levels to ensure security of personal data. He said that beneficiaries of the scheme need not go through any kind of enrolment process and don’t need to pay any charges to avail services at network hospitals. Also, he emphasised the fact that fraudulent agents and websites will face criminal charges if they are found collecting money from beneficiaries towards the health insurance scheme.

      14 September 2018

    • PM announces the launch date of Ayushman Bharat during Independence Day speech

      During the Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government’s ambitious health insurance program Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan (Ayushman Bharat) will be launched on September 25th of this year. This scheme will provide health insurance coverage worth Rs.5 lakh to nearly 50 crore individuals living in the country.

      In his speech, the Prime Minister stated that the poor people of this country can be freed from poverty only through their empowerment. Hence, it is high time that they have access to affordable and quality healthcare.

      The scheme was originally announced by Finance Minister during the last budget session. Some of the existing schemes such as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana will be subsumed by the Ayushman Bharat scheme. This scheme will be valid in any part of the country, and all enrolled policyholders can get cashless treatment in any empanelled hospital located in the country.

      16 August 2018

    • Life Insurance Corporation’s Cancer policy gets a grip over the nation

      With Cancer being known as one of the most deadly diseases across the globe affecting over 2 million in the country every year, it was just about time that citizens of the country got their hands on a cancer policy. One of the main problems with the diseases is that it runs one’s bank account bone dry and for this very reason, having a cancer policy will help the individual save a lot of money as it will cover the cost of the treatment. According to one of India’s leading insurers, LIC, apparently the insurer has already managed to sell 1.25 lakh policies since its launch, and the number increase by the day. As per the policy wordings, any individual below the age of 65 years old is eligible to purchase the policy. The policy comes with a sum assured of Rs.50 lakh, and if the policyholder is diagnosed with cancer and it is in its initial stages, then 25% of the sum assured is paid as lump sum and if it is in its progressive stage then 100% of the sum assured is paid to cover treatment costs. If the disease leads to death of the policyholder, then 1% of the sum assured is directed to the nominee for a period of 10 years.

      8 August 2018

    • Apollo Hospitals to offer 100 free cardiac surgeries for underprivileged children

      Apollo Hospitals has launched a new initiative to provide free cardiac surgeries for 100 underprivileged children in the country. This initiative is a part of the hospital’s tie-up with the Lions Club International, and it will focus on treating the 100 most critical cases among children.

      This initiative was announced by Apollo’s Founder & Chairman Dr. Prathap Reddy during an occasion where he was honored with the ‘Lions Humanitarian Award’ for his incredible contribution to healthcare in India. In 2010, Dr. Reddy was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan Award by the Government of India for his achievements in the healthcare industry.

      Apollo Hospitals was established in the year 1983, and it is the first ever corporate hospital network in India. Apollo has its presence in different parts of the country, and it is the world’s largest cancer care service provider in the private segment. Apollo is also renowned for running one of the world’s leading organ donor program.

      2 August 2018

    • Five cancer institutes sanctioned for Jammu in 2013 still pending construction

      Five cancer institutes that were sanctioned for Jammu and Kashmir in 2013 are still pending construction. 2 state cancer institutes and 3 tertiary cancer care institutes were approved by the previous UPA-II government to be constructed at a cost estimation of Rs.375 crore. Each of the 2 state cancer institutes were sanctioned to be set up at the expense of Rs.120 crore at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), respectively. While the tertiary cancer care institutes were sanctioned by the Centre for Kishtwar under the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke at the expenses of Rs. 45 crore each. Of the 5 cancer institutes, the Union Health Ministry in February 2015 issued Rs 47.25 crore for the construction of SKIMS, which is the first installment alone. The head of radiotherapy department at GMCH, Dr Ashutosh Gupta, recently stated that the government has yet to offer the funds required for the construction of the state-level cancer institute.

      16 July 2018