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.
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.
Following are the different kinds of cancer covered by cancer insurance plan:
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|
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 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
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 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 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
Following are some of the features and benefits of cancer insurance 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.
Following are the exclusions in a cancer insurance plan:
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:
The main point to consider before purchasing a cancer insurance plan is the risk factor stemming from the health history of your family. In case your family has a history of caner, it makes sense to purchase cancer insurance. Given the increase in pollution and other environmental hazards, the number of individuals who are diagnosed with cancer is constantly on the rise. If you are concerned that you may also contract the condition, it is better to be safe by purchasing a cancer insurance plan.
Individuals who purchase a cancer insurance policy will have to be informed that having two policies will not offer double coverage. A cancer insurance plan in addition to a comprehensive health insurance plan will not mean double the benefits. Since most insurance plans have a clause for the coordination of benefits, once your expenses have been covered by one plan, the other plan will not cover the same.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you can claim tax benefits for premiums paid under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
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.
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.
Yes, cancer insurance plans come with a free-look period. The free-look period is usually either 15 days or 30 days.
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.
Policy buyers might have to undergo a pre-policy medical test on the basis of their age, sum insured, lifestyle, and other factors.
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.
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.
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.
The Consumer Forum recently ruled that insurance providers selling insurance policies need to ensure that buyers undergo a medical examination before letting them purchase the policy, in an effort to reduce instances of claims being rejected as a result of concealment or non-disclosure of vital health-related data on the policy buyer’s part. Thus, the Consumer Forum has now said that insurance providers have to make sure that all policy buyers meet the eligibility criteria and parameters that are specified under the policy, including the screening of previous medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc.
15 January 2018
Cytecare, which currently runs a Cancer Care centre/hospital in Bangalore, is looking to raise a sum of $75 million in an effort to expand their chain of cancer care hospitals. Cytecare had previously raised $30 million from high net worth individuals to build their Bangalore hospital. It was also reported that their Bangalore-based hospital, which launched just a year ago, will break even in the near future. Cytecare is trying to identify a location within the country to launch their second hospital, at present.
29 November 2017
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will be launching a cancer care policy as part of their health insurance offering. The sum assured for the said policy will range between Rs.10 lakh and Rs.50 lakh. The cancer care policy is a non-linked insurance plan and the premiums are payable on an annual or bi-annual basis. Any individual between the ages of 20 and 65 years can purchase this policy, which is also available digitally on the insurer’s website.
Upon the diagnosis of early-stage cancer, the insurer will pay the policyholder 25% of the payable benefit and future premiums will be waived for the next three years. If the policyholder is diagnosed with major-stage cancer, the insurer will pay 100% of the sum assured. In addition, an income benefit which will amount to 1% of the overall sum assured will be paid every month for the coming 10 years, regardless of whether the policyholder survives this period or not. Future premiums will also be waived off.
15 November 2017
Star Health Insurance and Allied Insurance have launched an insurance plan especially catered for individuals diagnosed with Cancer – the Star Cancer Care Gold. The insurance plan has a sum insured up to Rs.5 lakh, and can be purchased for anyone between the ages of 5 months and 65 years, provided they have been diagnosed with either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the disease. The policy can be purchased by individuals without undergoing a pre-policy medical screening.
The policy also covers the risk of disease recurrence, spread of the disease, and a second diagnosis of cancer. Hospitalisation expenditures, surgical/non-surgical treatment, and interventional treatment for non-cancer related diseases and ailments are also covered under this policy. Just like a regular health insurance policy, this plan also provides members an accident cover. The insurer also has a pan-India network for easy accessibility.
25 October 2017