The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) predicts more than 17 lakh new cancer cases in India by 2020. The astronomical costs associated with cancer treatment has the potential to derail a family’s finances and wipe out a lifetime of savings. To prevent this, it’s important to opt for a dedicated cancer insurance policy. However, before availing it, there are certain things to consider:
Before buying a cancer insurance plan, it’s essential to consider the sum insured, which is essentially the coverage amount offered by your policy. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, treatment costs can vary and run into several lakhs of rupees. Also, cancer treatment entails pre- and post- hospitalisation care including diagnostic tests and visit to doctors among others.
All of these can put immense pressure on your finances. Therefore, it’s essential to opt for a cancer insurance with a high sum assured, giving you the financial muscle to tackle these costs.
- Pay-out structure
This is another crucial thing to watch out for before opting for a cancer insurance plan. While some plans offer a lump sum pay-out on diagnosis, some pay a certain portion of the sum insured while paying the rest in instalments. It means a certain percentage of the sum insured is paid as a lump sum while the rest of the payment is made over a period of time.
Note that cancer entails a prolonged treatment. Also, the disease impairs a person’s ability to earn. A staggered pay-out helps you not only meet the high costs during treatment but also take care of expenses when discharged from hospital.
While the best cancer insurance plans in India offer coverage against all types of cancer, there are certain exclusions. Note that most cancer plans don’t provide coverage against certain types of skin cancer and the one caused due to HIV-AIDS.
Therefore, before buying a policy, it’s essential to watch out for these specific exclusions. It’s prudent to go for a policy that offers coverage against most types of cancer.
- Waiting period
Waiting period refers to the time during which you will not receive coverage from your policy. In other words, even if you are hospitalised and incur expenses for the same, your insurer will not pay for them. Just like a health insurance, even a cancer policy has a waiting period.
The waiting period differs across plans. While some policies can have a waiting period of 90 days, for others it can be 180 days. Hence, before buying a cancer insurance plan, it’s essential to check out the waiting period of the policy and opt for the one with the least waiting period.
- Add-on benefits
While a cancer insurance plan gives you the desired funds to battle against the disease, it’s important to look for the add-on benefits on offer. For instance, waiver of premium feature ensures that all your future premiums towards the policy are waived off by your insurer while you continue to receive the benefits of the policy.
Similarly, a higher insured sum ensures that for every claim-free year, the coverage amount is increased by a certain percentage. Income benefit feature comes handy during the recovery phase as your family receives a pre-defined amount each month to take care of daily expenses.
A cancer insurance plan is your most trusted ally to fight against the dreaded disease. It not only ensures that you receive the desired funds, but also keeps other financial goals on track and prevent you from slipping into a debt trap.