World Cancer Day 2022: Why health insurance should be a top priority to access quality healthcare | The Financial Express

World Cancer Day 2022: Why health insurance should be a top priority to access quality healthcare

Individuals who are either uninsured have lower rates of cancer screening, less optimal cancer treatment patterns, and worse cancer-related outcomes, as compared to those with a health insurance policy that covers the individual’s unique healthcare requirements at different life stages. 

World Cancer Day 2022: Why health insurance should be a top priority to access quality healthcare
The fear of out-of-pocket expenditure deters those without a health insurance policy from going for further screening and tests when the primary ones show signs and symptoms of cancer. 

Buying a health insurance plan is of paramount importance in today’s times. With a sharp uptick in diseases, people are increasingly spending more money on healthcare. 

So, this World Cancer Day, let’s delve into why a flexible and comprehensive health insurance policy with adequate sum Insured is worth considering to ensure all-around protection and what you should look for when zeroing in on one.

Regardless of what the numbers or our genetics say, there’s no denying that nobody wants to entertain the possibility of ever being diagnosed with this dreadful disease. Why, then, should one get a comprehensive health insurance plan? 

Majorly because both diseases and medical inflation is on a continuous rise than ever. Treatment remains expensive and not having a health insurance policy that takes off some of the financial burdens is in no way a smart option. 

Multiple studies show that uninsured people face massive barriers in terms of preventive services and treatment for chronic illnesses, such as cancer. Not just that. Individuals who are either uninsured have lower rates of cancer screening, less optimal cancer treatment patterns, and worse cancer-related outcomes, as compared to those with a health insurance policy that covers the individual’s unique healthcare requirements at different life stages. 

Unsurprisingly, the fear of out-of-pocket expenditure deters those without a health insurance policy from going for further screening and tests when the primary ones show signs and symptoms of cancer. 

Moreover, in the long run, this leaves uninsured individuals with no option but to go to safety-net hospitals, which might not always be equipped with the best technology and treatment, in turn leading to a painful and difficult life post-diagnosis. While having a comprehensive health insurance plan or critical illness rider can help take away the stress of unpaid bills and the mental trauma that comes from having to settle for below average treatment options. 

What to look for when investing in a comprehensive health insurance plan?

The only thing that can be worse than not having a health insurance plan is having invested in the wrong one. So, when settling in on a comprehensive health insurance plan, ensure it ticks the below boxes:

Should provide a high level of protection: One of the fundamental mistakes one makes when buying a health insurance plan, is to take a basic plan with a low sum insured. Instead of taking this approach, you should seek out a comprehensive health insurance plan from a good insurance provider – which come with future proof high range of sum insured options ranging from Rs 50 lakhs to Rs 3 crore for treatment in India and abroad while offering value-based affordable premium. 

It is also prudent to consider a critical illness cover that pays a pre-defined sum for critical illnesses and can add as income supplements to support the loss of income.  

Should cover several kinds of illnesses: It is important to have a health insurance plan that will see you through a lifetime. That’s why it is wise to speak to the insurance provider about what all kinds of major illnesses their policies cover and go for the one that gives lots of in-built benefits and optional packages that can be customized to secure not only the current health care needs but also the ones that may arise at different stages of life. 

Should cover a wide range of treatment and screening programs: Recovery from cancer can often include the need for more than one kind of treatment. While chemotherapy could work for one patient, another could need a combination of surgery and radiation. 

It is always safe to go for a health insurance plan that allows patients and their families to choose from the wide range of treatment options available, provides access to the screening programs for various cancers and stands with them no matter what they choose.

Should provide an exhaustive network hospital coverage: Cancer is harrowing and has a major impact on the patient’s mental health. Hence, it is only natural for patients to look for plans that give access to quality healthcare in renowned domestic and international hospitals. Also, check for cashless treatment and hospitals in the insurer’s network.

In addition to this, it is also important to look for additional benefits such as loyalty bonus, premium waiver, restoration benefits, cumulative bonus booster, ease of claim process (cashless and reimbursement), annual health checkup amongst several others.

To sum up, a cancer diagnosis is often a horrific experience, but being regular with treatment, eating clean, and keeping one’s spirits up, is all one needs to fight this dreadful disease. With the right comprehensive health insurance plan and the will to fight this disease, there’s nothing that can stop a patient from recovering and leading a healthier life. 

by, Priya Deshmukh Gilbile, Chief Operating Officer, ManipalCigna Health Insurance

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First published on: 04-02-2022 at 12:10 IST