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Decoding the Limitations of Cancer Insurance.

Over the last two decades, these have changed considerably:

Your point of view towards life.

People who visited Spiti Valley.

Standard of Living.

Food habits.

Case of Cancer.

If you zero down everything that is mentioned above, you can realise that a few things here are for pleasant experiences while a few are not.

Well changes are bound to happen and at times they are inevitable.

Whether you like it or not. Life brings with it different challenges that you may not always be prepared for.

Behind many of the things mentioned above, there has been an exponential shift because of the drastic changes in how individuals treat themselves. Either they follow fashion trends or are taking facilities too much for granted.

Well! The fact of life is with good things, sometimes damage comes. Of all situations described above, Cancer is one example that brings irreversible effects. It is a critical illness that has increased due to rapid shifts in lifestyle patterns. People may attribute the occurrence of illness to numerous causes, but the fact is that a disease happens. Cancer knows no bars of age, gender, or financial status. We can only take precautions to avert it by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

According to recent studies, nearly 10 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer every year in India alone, and about six lakh people die due to cancer. It is estimated that by 2035, the number of cancer patients will increase to 17 lakh new patients and 12 lakh deaths per year. The number can scare anybody, but will that solve anything?

Fearing danger does not forestall it! 

If you know that by your heart, the next thing you would understand is you need to prepare yourself for the worst. Speaking of cancer, these are the few things you can do and prepare a cushion for yourself:

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Include exercise regime
  3. Keep the carcinogens away
  4. Buy a cancer protection plan. 

Except the 4th point, the rest is all in your hand. Why and how the policy will help let us see that further.

What is a cancer insurance plan?

A health plan that pays you in lump sum right after a cancer diagnosis is called a cancer insurance plan. The life insured do not have to submit the medical bills for the claim disbursement. Some of the common forms of cancer covered by a cancer insurance plan include breast cancer, lung cancer, ovary cancer, hypopharynx cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer.

The cancer insurance plan covers you for all stages of cancer. It helps you steer financially through the medical emergency and gives you confidence. No one ever dreams of suffering from a disease like cancer. But nothing much can be done when the dreaded illness knocks on the door. Not only does the condition leave you with emotional turmoil, but it also breaks down the financial backing.

The treatment cost of cancer in India is estimated to be as high as Rs.25 lakhs. Not everyone can always have this huge amount of savings. This is where an insurance policy plays.

How does a cancer insurance policy help?

A cancer insurance policy pays a lump sum amount to the life insured after the disease is diagnosed. The amount of claim is pre-defined in the policy issued by the insured, which often goes like this:

  1. On diagnosis of the early stage of cancer, the life insured will get 30% of the sum assured. The remaining amount of 70% will be paid on the diagnosis of the major stage of cancer. 
  2. If the major stage of cancer is diagnosed, the life insured will get 100% of the sum assured.

There are other benefits associated with the cancer protection plan. Let us look at those first.

Benefits of Cancer Insurance Policy.

A cancer insurance plan offers the following benefits:

  1. Pays in lump sum: The cancer insurance plan pays the life insured a lump sum amount when diagnosed with cancer. About 100% of the sum assured is paid if a major stage diagnosis is confirmed.
  2. High cover at an affordable premium: A cancer insurance plan of Rs.10 lakhs is available at Rs.4/day for a policy term of 20 years. The sum assured offered by the insurance companies can go as high as Rs.50lakhs.
  3. Waiver of Premium: The insurance company waives off the future premiums after the cancer is diagnosed.
  4. Long-term policy: A cancer insurance plan is a long term policy that keeps you protected for years. Some insurance companies offer the cancer plan for a minimum policy term of 5 years and a maximum of 50 years.
  5. High-quality treatment: The most important benefit of the cancer policy is that the life insured can take high-quality treatment without compromise with the lump sum amount. With the proper treatment at the right time, the chances of survival can be improved.
  6. Saves tax: The premium paid under the cancer insurance policy is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Apart from the benefits the insurance policy offers, it comes with limitations. It is relevant that you understand those limitations as then you will be able to best utilise the policy’s benefits.

Cancer Insurance Limitations.

Every insurance policy comes with limitations that prevent forgery and irrelevant expectations.

  1. Medical Condition

The policy may cover you for all stages of cancer. But the insurance company will pay the claim only if the malignant tumour shows uncontrolled growth with invasion. (Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tdmc/your-money/why-you-should-consider-a-cancer-insurance-policy/articleshow/48359687.cms )

  1. Exclusions:

The cancer insurance plan at times do not pay the benefit under the policy in respect of any major cancer, carcinoma-in-situ or early-stage cancer resulting directly or indirectly from or caused or contributed by (in whole or in part) :

  • Carcinoma in-situ of skin and Melanoma in-situ
  • Any pre-existing condition
  • Intoxication by alcohol, narcotics, voluntarily taking or using any drug, medication or sedative unless it is an ‘over the counter’ drug, medication or sedative has been taken according to package directions.
  • Nuclear, biological or chemical contamination (NBC)
  1. Age Barrier:

The entry age under the cancer insurance plan is from 18 years to 65 years. Unfortunately, cancer does not happen to see age. At times children below 18 can also get cancer that can shake a family. But the age limitation keeps the family away from availing the benefit of the policy. Also, anyone beyond 65 can also acquire cancer, but that person may not be given an insurance policy.

  1. Premium
  • The premium under the cancer insurance plan gets affected by age. At a lower age, the insurance policy is low-priced. 
  • Similarly, the insurance premium for men is higher because females are believed to live 5 years more than men. 
  • With pre-existing diseases, the insurance company that offers the critical illness insurance cover will deny the condition. Or they will issue the policy at a higher premium.
  • Occupation also affects the critical illness insurance premium. Individuals working in coal mines or construction sites will have a higher premium.

Conclusion:

Critical insurance policies like cancer insurance plans are growing more popular in urban India. Over 44 percent of the population has chosen a cancer insurance plan in some time. The number of covered people is fast increasing. Only a few years ago, only 24% of the population bought health insurance because it was never considered as an asset. Individuals thought of it as an expense. Given the continuing health pandemics that the world is experiencing, the escalating increase is understandable. More and more people are buying health insurance along with the critical illness policies like cancer insurance plans. For more details on how the plan will help, read here.

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