How to Cancer Proof your Health Contingency Plan


Cancer is one of the things easily swept and kept under the carpet just because it’s unpleasant to talk about. Whether you want to talk about it or not, cancer remains one of the top dreaded illnesses in India and the world. In India itself, the numbers have been consistently rising. As per the figures revealed by NICPR (National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research), in 2016 alone there were about 3.6 Million cancer cases.

The stats also revealed, that more than 40% of these cases were preventable, possible to diagnose early and treatable. Despite all of that, people either did not get adequate medical attention within the right time or simply ignored the disease until it was too late. A large portion of this population falls into the affluent section, which can easily afford at least a health insurance plan.

Can Cancer Happen to You?

Although smokers and tobacco users are more likely to contract cancers of the lung and oral, other common cancers, do not differentiate between people. Though few lifestyle habits like binge drinking, etc. can elevate the chances, even a person with relatively healthy life is at risk.

The fact is, the causes could be even natural substances like air pollution, dust and radioactive agents found naturally in the surrounding environment.

Why is Cancer Scary?

There are many reasons that make cancer scary, not only for the patient but also for the family members. For patients, it may be the most painful experience of their lives. Whereas, for family, it could emotionally and financially draining experience.

The treatment cost of cancer is high. By any standards, even when India is one of the best and inexpensive places for cancer treatment, the cost of treatment is high. Even in the initial stages the cost of medicines, daycare therapies and surgery could go up to Rs. 10 Lakh. That is more than 10 times the average annual savings of an Indian household.

Getting the second opinion is important in cancer cases. But this could delay the treatment and cause a significant escalation in costs.

Can’t Your Family Health Insurance Help?

Only a little. The fact is cancerous tumours need surgical removal. Your normal health insurance plan can reimburse a large portion of that cost. Even many health insurance plans include chemo and radiotherapy under the covered daycare treatments. This can be helpful but does not offer adequate financial support for the family.

No Income Replacement

Cost of the fight against cancer does not just include the cost of treatment, but also the cost of household expenses etc. If family’s primary breadwinner suffers cancer, the family may be at loss of income for some time. A family floater health insurance plan does not have provisions to offer income replacement.

No Recovery Expense Support

Even after a successful treatment, it is possible that the patient will need some time to recover their lost earning potential. If the family does not have an outside financial support their lifestyle and goals will stand completely altered.

Cancer Insurance as a Solution

Cancer insurance plans are a relatively new phenomenon, but one that holds a lot of promise. For one, cancer insurance plans offer financial support to the insured, regardless of diagnosis stage. The plan may exclude a certain type of cancers which are not easy to spot or treat, for example, blood and skin cancer. But apart from these, a cancer plan will cover all other types of cancers.

The only catch is that except cancer, it will not cover anything else, though this also brings down the premiums lower than even the term insurance.

How Much Does Cancer Insurance Cost?

For a 30-year-old insured a cancer cover of Rs. 40 lakh can cost anywhere between Rs. 2000 per annum to Rs. 3000 per annum.  So, the cost of the plan is equivalent, even less than, a critical illness insurance. Also, while a normal critical illness plan will only cover the stage 4 of the disease, cancer insurance will cover all the stages.

For example: If a person is diagnosed in the initial stage of lung cancer. The plan pays a part of the sum assured to the family to cover the cancer treatment and household costs. Say if you bought a cover of Rs. 40 Lakh the plan will pay you Rs. 10 Lakh to cover the treatment costs, and will continue for Rs. 30 lakh only.

Special Feature – Premium Waiver

You can check with the insurer if their plan allows a premium waiver after the claim. Many insurers do offer a waiver of premium. That means, once a claim arises, insured need not pay future premiums to continue the cover.

Cancer Treatment with Cancer Insurance

Cancer insurance may not offer relief from the pain or emotional support but definitely makes winning the fight against it easier. Also, people living in metro cities, or near mining areas are more prone to the disease. Regardless of your tobacco or alcohol usage habits, staying safe from cancer is important. Therefore, cancer insurance is an important part of your health contingency plan.

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