The number of people diagnosed with cancer every year in India has doubled in less than three decades, according to a report released by the Indian Council of Medical Research. The report goes on to mentioning that around 14 lakh people were diagnosed with this dreaded disease in 2016.
What is equally alarming is that the expense of cancer treatment has also skyrocketed, making it unaffordable for most. Depending on the stage of the disease and treatment alternatives, the cost could range between ₹2.5 lakhs and ₹20 lakhs over just six months. This is where cancer insurance comes to the rescue, so that people can focus on the treatment and on getting better, rather than having to worry about huge medical bills.
What Should a Cancer Insurance Policy Cover?
A cancer protection plan keeps you financially prepared to combat this disease. There are cancer insurance policies available with special features and high covers and it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
To begin with, it’s important to ensure that the cancer protection plan supplements your existing medical insurance policy and that all benefits and pay-outs from the cancer plan are independent of any other health insurance plans that may be held by you.
Secondly, a typical policy will provide cancer cover for minor stage and major stage of the disease. An enhanced plan will cover advanced stage cancer.
Minor Stage Cancer
Select a policy that:
- Covers Carcinoma in Situ, which is also known as pre-cancer.
- Offers a significant pay-out (like 30%) on the diagnosis of either pre-cancer or early stage cancer.
- Offers double the pay-out on diagnosis of both pre-cancer and early stage cancer.
- Includes a waiver of premiums for five years from the date of diagnosis.
Major Stage Cancer
Select a policy that:
- Offers a complete pay-out on the diagnosis of major stage cancer. Of course, the benefits already paid out on diagnosis of early stage cancer will be deducted from this amount.
- Offers the option of taking the sum assured as monthly income benefit over a period of time and the remaining amount as a lump sum. Such a monthly income benefit is paid for the predetermined period even if the patient succumbs to the disease and the policy contract is terminated. Offers premium waiver for the next five years from the date the disease is diagnosed
Example of a Typical Cancer Insurance Policy
Here is an example to understand the working of a typical cancer protection plan:
Let’s say, Mr. Virat took a cancer insurance cover for a term of 30 years with a Sum Assured (SA) of ₹10,00,000 on November 1, 2018. He opts for a yearly premium mode.
On November 26, 2028, he is diagnosed with pre-cancer. The policy makes a pay-out of ₹3,00,000 (30% of SA) to Mr. Virat. Additionally, for five years, Mr. Virat would not need to pay any premium towards the policy, while continuing to be covered. After five years, he would have to pay the premium as applicable from November 26, 2034.
Suppose, he is further diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer, a further pay-out of ₹3,00,000 (30%) would be made. Subsequently, on the diagnosis of major stage cancer, the remaining 40% of the SA, or ₹4,00,000 would be paid to him, and the policy will terminate.