In today’s day and age, it is not uncommon to hear the case of a person suffering from cancer in our friend or family circle. The cases of cancer are on the rise due to adulteration in food, air pollution, water pollution, harmful chemicals getting mixed in drinking water, food, etc. Also, due to fast paced life, most people are eating processed food or unhealthy food resulting in increased chances of critical illnesses like cancer. Cancer is the most notorious of all illnesses as it can strike upon any person, irrespective of age, and may even result in the death of the person if proper treatment is not taken in time. The treatment for cancer is also extremely expensive as it requires months of hospitalisation and post that, months of medical attention to ensure that cancer cells are eradicated fully from a person’s body.
A good cancer insurance plan will not only take care of you financially, but will also ensure you get good medical attention to cure this life threating disease.
Important points to note for choosing a best cancer insurance policy in 2019-
Adequate Sum Insured
We all know medical inflation is in double digits, year after year. On an average, the cost of medical care increases by 15% annually. Cancer treatment requires months and years of medical attention and hence, it is advisable to go for a cancer insurance plan with high sum insured. This will give you adequate funds to ensure you get the proper medical treatment.
Longer duration of cover
With adequate coverage, it is also necessary to have protection against cancer over a longer duration and if possible, with the same affordable premium. Cancer can strike anyone at any age and hence, more the amount of coverage, the better it is.
Cover for all stages of cancer in the plan
It is important that the cancer insurance policy covers you at different stages of cancer. Go for a policy which offers stage-based claim pay-out. Usually, the cancer plans provide a percentage of sum insured at different stages of cancer. A good cancer insurance plan should cover for all stages of cancer i.e. the initial stage and major stage. Usually, the policyholder gets 30% of the sum insured at the initial stage and 70% of sum insured at major stage.
Income benefit and waiver of premium benefits
If the insured gets diagnosed with cancer, their health will deteriorate due to the disease and the intense treatment. In such a case, the person won’t be able to go to work during this time and inevitably, the source of income will take a hit and the family will struggle financially. Hence, select a cancer insurance policy which provides a solution for these circumstances and can also offer much needed financial assistance. Waiver of premium feature will keep the policy active and regular income feature will keep the family members shielded due to loss of income.
Exclusions and other clauses of the policy
Go through the fine print of exclusions and clauses of the policy. Check on the waiting period and survival clause of the policy. Initial waiting period clause is the amount of time the insured has to wait before the coverage starts under the policy. Survival clause is the number of days the insured has to survive after getting diagnosed by the disease in order to make a claim in the policy.
Let us have a look at the health insurance service providers which offer plans specialized in taking care of this disease called cancer.
Star Cancer Care Gold Policy
This policy was a pilot product, which means that it is offered for a limited period of 5 years. The insured will be covered for a period of 1 year and then this policy can be renewed every year. The sum assured starts from Rs. 3 lakhs to Rs. 5 lakhs. This policy covers individuals who have been diagnosed with 1st and 2nd stage of cancer. A medical check-up is not required. Enhancement of sum insured is not permissible under this plan, which means that even at the time of renewal of the policy, the sum insured will remain constant.
Future Generali Cancer Protect plan
The Sum insured starts from Rs. 10 lakhs and goes up to a maximum of Rs. 40 lakhs. Options are provided to make a payment towards premium which is either lump sum or annually. A policyholder can take the policy by paying a lump sum money at one point of time or can pay money annually like other health insurance plans.
ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan
This plan covers the 2 stages of cancer i.e. early and major. Other benefits include waiver of premium, income benefit and a bonus of 10% on renewal, if no claim is made during the last policy year. Sum insured ranges from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 50 lakhs.
Many other companies like PNB MetLife, HDFC bank, Aegon life have come up with plans, especially for cancer treatment. With so many varied options available, cancer is no longer a disease which can create a financial crisis for you, if planed properly.