World Cancer Day: Know which cancer plan is better for you

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February 04, 2020 1:39 PM

Along with the alarming increase in its number, the expenses for the treatment of this disease are exorbitant. Having a health insurance policy helps but not many health insurance policies provide cover for such critical illness.

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According to industry reports, cancer is the second leading cause of death after heart disease in India. Also, because of our fast-paced and unhealthy lifestyle, experts say the incidence of this disease is set to increase. With its scary track record, this dreaded disease strikes fear in even the most strong-willed.

Though there is no absolute prevention against cancer, however, following a healthy lifestyle can help in the long run. Also, cancer is usually treatable if diagnosed early. Along with the alarming increase in its number, the expenses for the treatment of this disease are exorbitant. Having a health insurance policy helps but not many health insurance policies provide cover for such critical illness. Hence, in case this dreaded disease strikes, a cancer policy, in such a case, can soften the financial blow.

Benefits of Standalone Cancer care plans

Various insurance companies offer standalone cancer covers, such as the Max Life Cancer Plan, ICICI PRU Heart+Cancer cover, Future Generali Cancer protect plan, Aegon life iCancer plan, HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan, and LIC Cancer Cover Plan. These insurance policies are disease-specific policies that come with a sum assured of a higher range, unline normal health insurance plans.

One of the main reasons for opting for these plans is that it makes payouts at various stages of the disease. For instance, if the policyholder is diagnosed with cancer at the early stage, around 20 to 25 per cent of the sum assured is paid out depending on the insurer. However, if the disease reaches its critical stage, the balance amount is paid. If the insured is diagnosed with the disease, some insurers also waive future premium payments of these policies.

The income benefit option under these plans is one of the major benefits. Under this option, on the diagnosis of a major stage of cancer, the policy pays a monthly income to the policyholder equivalent to 1 per cent of the chosen sum assured for a period of 3-5 years. Some insurance policy also pays for this benefit over and above the chosen sum assured.

Alternative to Standalone Cancer care plans

Critical-illness policies can be opted for as an alternative to cancer covers. These policies provide coverage for around 10-35 major ailments. The illnesses covered under this policy vary from insurer to insurer. On diagnosis of any of the diseases on the list, the insurer pays the policyholder the amount for which they are insured.

With critical illness plans, the insurer does not make stage-based payouts, unlike cancer policies. With the lumpsum payout, the patient can utilize the money for loss of income and expensive medicines, expenses of hospitalization, supplemental care or nursing, which start from day one.

Premiums

Even with a higher sum assured, the premiums of disease-specific policies are lower as compared to critical-illness covers. This is because a disease-specific policy only provides cover for a single disease. However, a critical illness plan provides cover for up to 37-40 illnesses. For instance, the premium for a critical illness policy covering 37 diseases can cost up to Rs 4,500, for a 35-year-old, whereas the standalone Cancer Plan will cost as low as is Rs 1,500.

Most people depend on their employer’s group health policy. These policies come with a lot of limitations and tend to have a low sum insured as they are planned for a large group of policyholders. If you are one of them, you can supplement your employer’s cover with a disease-specific policy, or a personal health cover along with a critical illness policy.

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