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Business News/ Insurance / News/  Which is the right insurance plan to cover cancer treatment expenses?
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Which is the right insurance plan to cover cancer treatment expenses?

By 2050, over 35 million new cancer cases are expected to be reported across the world. Cancer-specific insurance and critical illness insurance can help cover the massive cost of cancer treatment

14.3 lakh new cancer cases and 9.16 lakh deaths were reported in 2022. Right healthcare insurance plan can help in managing cancer treatment cost.Premium
14.3 lakh new cancer cases and 9.16 lakh deaths were reported in 2022. Right healthcare insurance plan can help in managing cancer treatment cost.

With the rising number of cancer cases, a person is just one illness away from blowing off all their savings and moving into debt. Hence, it is important to be financially prepared for such fatal diseases with health coverage. Protection from cancer treatment costs demands an additional health insurance cover above standard health insurance.

Also Read: Focus on essential features when choosing health insurance, says Vivek Chaturvedi

By 2050, over 35 million new cancer cases are expected to be reported across the world. According to the World Health Organisation’s latest report, the number of new cancer cases will increase by a massive 77 per cent in 2050 from the estimated 20 million cases in 2022. In India, 14.3 lakh new cancer cases and 9.16 lakh deaths were reported in 2022.

On World Cancer Day, know about the insurance options that can help in covering cancer treatment expenses. 

Also Read: The Role of Cancer Insurance in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Is standard health insurance enough for cancer treatment expenses? 

A large number of standard health insurance cover expenses that are related to cancer treatment like hospitalisation expenses. People can also opt for riders with their standard health insurance cover for cancer treatment. However, standard health insurance might not cover all the expenses of treatment.

Also Read: 9.3 lakh lives lost to cancer in India, urging the need for comprehensive health insurance

Cancer insurance

There is also another option of opting for cancer-specific health insurance which covers the expenses after a person is diagnosed with cancer.

“A cancer-specific insurance is focused on expenses directly associated with cancer, covering diagnosis, treatment, hospitalisation, surgery, and medication costs. It provides coverage at both early and advanced stages of cancer," explains Business Head of Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com, Siddharth Singhal.

Critical illness insurance

One of the ways to guard against the financial burden of cancer treatment is to opt for a critical illness insurance plan. Such plans offer fixed benefits that provide coverage for a specific list of illnesses, including cancer, heart attack, kidney failure, liver disorders, etc.

Also Read: Here’s why doctors should consider professional indemnity insurance

“A critical illness cover acts as a top–up to your basic health insurance, providing a lump sum payment upon the diagnosis of critical illnesses like cancer, heart attack, organ failure, paralysis, etc. In contrast to typical health insurance plans, which reimburse based on hospital bills, critical illness coverage guarantees a fixed sum, regardless of treatment costs," noted Singhal.

Critical illness plan or cancer insurance?

A critical insurance plan provides cover for nearly 30 life-threatening illnesses, including cancer.

Underlining the benefit of a critical insurance plan, Singhal adds that it “offers a more versatile solution for individuals seeking comprehensive protection against various serious health conditions".

However, a cancer plan is relevant for a person with a family history, as it covers the expenses after a person is diagnosed.

“A cancer plan is more relevant if you have a family history. If not, it is better to first buy a critical illness plan. Regular health plans also cover cancer, so the principal advantage with an indemnity cancer plan is that OPD expenses are covered and a sum assured is set aside for cancer," Co-Founder SecureNow, Abhishek Bondia earlier told Mint.

Things to look into while opting for critical illness insurance

Sum Insured: It is important to be mindful of the sum insured in illness insurance coverage. In most of the life-threatening illnesses, the associated treatment cost can soar to 30-40 lakhs. Opting for a policy with a coverage range of 50 lakh to 1 crore becomes vital to ensure adequate financial protection, according to Siddharth Singhal.

Diseases covered: The number of critical illnesses covered varies in different plans. “Hence, policyholders should verify that their policy extends coverage to at least 30 critical illnesses and has a survival period requirement of 7-15 days to avail of the benefits," said Singhal.

In addition to this, it is equally important to compare and analyse various cancer coverage plans online for an informed decision. Moreover, it is a must to have a better understanding of the exclusions in the policy.

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Published: 04 Feb 2024, 07:57 PM IST
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