Some standalone health insurers have specific products for cancer patients
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Is there any insurance for cancer patients or those who have already been diagnosed with cancer or have been treated for it?
—Name withheld on request
Disease management products are rare in India. Historically, insurers have been reluctant to issue even normal health insurance products to people who have suffered a major critical illness. However, of late, some insurers are experimenting with products for people with specific ailments such as cardiac or cancer issues. Some standalone health insurers have specific products for cancer patients. This would work similar to a regular health insurance. So, it will not cover pre-existing ailments including cancer for a specific waiting period. The principal advantage of this plan is that it is much more likely to get issued to a person with a history of cancer, than a regular health insurance plan.
I hold one health insurance. I will be hospitalized. I do not want to make a claim on my insurance now; however, if it occurs again after 3-4 years, I will go for a claim. I want to do this to safeguard the bonus accrued on my insurance, I do not want to forego my bonus insurance now. Am I doing something wrong?
I want to know if I will still be required to inform the insurer of this hospitalization and treatments?
In the year 2025 (I will still be paying my premiums) what will happen when I make a claim on my insurance for the same treatment/disease? Will my claim be rejected because I did not inform the insurer now about it?
Unlike in a motor insurance, the no-claim bonus in health insurance is offered by virtue of higher sum assured, and not reduction in premium. Rather than try to predict future claims and match that with no-claim bonuses, you should just buy a higher sum assured through a top-up insurance. Another option is to increase the sum assured in your existing policy on renewal. Many insurers offer this facility without additional underwriting. Another reason why you should not hold back from filing a claim is that no-claim bonuses in health insurance generally does not become zero when you make a claim. So, in case of a claim, your bonus will come down by one level. Such a loss would be restored in the following year, if there is no claim. Unless the medical cost of the hospitalization is very low, my recommendation would be to file a claim. Insurers generally require you to disclose all medical conditions before policy issuance. There is no specific requirement to inform the insurer about medical issues after you have bought the insurance, if you do not intend to make a claim.
Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in.