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Cancer Health Insurance Policy

Cancer health insurance policies typically cover hospitalisation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and medication costs. The coverage can also include expenses related to pre- and post-hospitalisation, doctor consultations, and diagnostic tests.

  • 28 Apr 2023
  • 2 min read

What is cancer health insurance?

Cancer is a life-threatening disease requiring extensive medical treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. The financial cost of cancer treatment can be significant, and cancer insurance helps to ease the financial burden by covering some or all of the medical expenses related to cancer treatment.

Cancer health insurance policies typically cover hospitalisation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and medication costs. The coverage can also include expenses related to pre- and post-hospitalisation, doctor consultations, and diagnostic tests.

How does cancer insurance work?

When the policyholder purchases a cancer insurance plan, he/she pays a premium to the insurance company. In return, the insurance company provides coverage for the expenses related to cancer treatment up to a predefined limit. The amount of coverage and premium depends on the cover chosen.

Let's consider an example to understand how cancer policy works. Mr A, a 30-year-old working professional, purchases a cancer insurance policy for a 20-year term with a sum insured of Rs 10,00,000. At 40 years of age, he gets diagnosed with the first cancer stage. In this scenario, the insurer will pay 25% of the sum insured, which amounts to Rs 2,50,000. As a result, the coverage under the policy will reduce to Rs 7,50,000.

After seven years, Mr A's cancer progresses to a severe stage. At this point, the insurer will pay the remaining sum insured amount of Rs 7,50,000, and the policy will terminate. It's important to note that the payout from the plan is made based on the stage of cancer diagnosed.

Once the policyholder receives the lump sum payment, the person can use it to cover any expenses related to the cancer diagnosis, including medical bills and treatment expenses, and to replace lost income. The payment is typically tax-free, and one can use it as one sees fit.

Types of cancer covered by cancer insurance plans in india

The list of cancer that insurance companies cover is quite extensive. The most common types of carcinomas are listed below.

• Bladder cancer:

The malignancy in this cancer begins in the bladder lining, commonly causing blood in the urine. 

• Colorectal cancer:

This type of carcinoma affects the colon or rectum, often causing changes in bowel habits or rectal bleeding. 

• Breast cancer:

A malignant tumour that develops in breast tissue, usually detected through a breast lump or mammogram. 

• Lung cancer:

Carcinoma that forms in lung tissue, commonly caused by tobacco smoke exposure. 

• Kidney cancer:

It is a cancer that develops in the kidney cells, often resulting in flank pain or blood in the urine.  

• Lymphoma:

It is cancer that begins in cells of the immune system, causing swelling in the lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissues. 

• Oropharyngeal:

Also known as oral cancer, these are cancers that develop in the tissues of the throat or mouth, often causing persistent sores or difficulty swallowing.

• Prostate cancer:

This forms in the prostate gland, commonly leading to urinary problems or discomfort in the pelvic region. 

• Pancreatic cancer:

This type of cancer forms in the pancreas cells, often causing abdominal pain and unintended weight loss. 

• Uterine cancer:

It is cancer that develops in the uterine tissues, causing abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge.

• Thyroid cancer:

This kind of cancer forms in the thyroid gland, often leading to lump development or swelling in the neck.

Benefits of a cancer insurance plan

• Covers multiple stages:

The health insurance for cancer policy covers various stages of cancer and provides a lump sum amount to the insured upon a cancer diagnosis. 

• Premium waiver:

Medical insurance for cancer patients may include premium waiver benefits. The waiving of premium payment happens in certain circumstances, such as a cancer diagnosis in its early stages.

• Increase in sum insured:

If the policyholder does not make any claims during the year, the sum insured can increase by a percentage mentioned in the policy wording.

• Tax benefits:

The premiums paid towards the cancer insurance policy are eligible for tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. 

• Continuing benefits:

The beauty of a cancer cover policy lies in its coverage continuity. Even if the policyholder is diagnosed with cancer several times, the policy will continue offering coverage without interruption.

Also read:

Why do you need a cancer insurance plan?

Cancer can be an emotionally and financially draining health condition that often requires frequent medical visits, chemotherapy sessions, and hospital stays. As the treatment procedure is an ongoing process that can last for years, the costs can quickly pile up, making it difficult to manage them. 

Furthermore, as cancer progresses, working and earning an income becomes impossible or difficult, making it even more challenging to manage treatment costs. However, with the help of a cancer insurance plan, one can avoid all these challenges. Cancer cover provides financial assistance in the form of a lump sum pay-out to cover the high costs of cancer treatment. It ensures one can access the best medical care without worrying about the financial burden.

Who is eligible to buy health insurance for cancer treatment?

  • To purchase this policy, an individual must be at least 18 years old. However, parents can buy the policy for their newborn child as soon as they turn 91 days old.
  • The policy is available for a five-year period and offered on an individual basis.
  • The maximum age to purchase this insurance is 50 years old.
  • There is no medical assessment required to buy this plan.

How to buy cancer insurance online?

  • Step 1: Research and compare cancer insurance policies from reputable insurance providers.

  • Step 2: Visit the insurance company’s website. Next, fill out the online application form for quote generation.
  • Step 3: Provide accurate and complete personal and medical information, including your age, gender, medical history, and any pre-existing conditions.

  • Step 4: Choose the coverage amount and duration and review the policy details, including exclusions and limitations.

  • Step 5: Pay the policy premium through a secure online payment gateway.
  • Step 6: Once the payment is processed, you will receive an email with the policy document and a confirmation of the coverage.

Inclusions of cancer insurance

• Comprehensive coverage:

Irrespective of whether it is in the early or advanced stages, the policy provides comprehensive coverage against most types of carcinomas.

• In-patient hospitalisation:

Cancer treatment often necessitates extended hospitalisation. Given this, cancer insurance covers a wide range of expenses associated with the treatment, including charges for oxygen, room rent, prescription fees, and other related costs.

• Annual check-ups:

Early detection of cancer greatly improves the chances of survival. Bearing this in mind, many insurers offer annual check-ups to their policyholders.

• Pre- and post-hospitalisation:

  • The doctor may require several regular visits before admitting a cancer patient. Furthermore, as the treatment process can be lengthy, healthcare providers may need to administer medication and counselling to patients even after discharging them from the hospital. This plan’s lump-sum payout covers both pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses.

Exclusions of cancer insurance

  • Health insurance with cancer cover does not provide coverage if the policyholder has pre-existing cancer ailments.
  • Health insurance for cancer patients typically excludes coverage for carcinoma-in-situ and cancers caused by sexually transmitted diseases, primarily HIV or AIDS.

  • A congenital disease that progresses to form cancer would generally result in the policyholder being ineligible for coverage.

  • Regardless of the stage, cancer insurance policies do not provide coverage for cancers resulting from the unlicensed use of drugs or heavy use of alcohol.
  • These health insurance policies typically exclude coverage for cancer caused directly or indirectly by chemical, nuclear, or biological sources of pollution.

Difference between cancer insurance plan & critical illness plan


Cancer Insurance

Critical Illness Cover


It is a medical insurance that provides coverage for the expenses related to cancer treatment.

This insurance specifically provides coverage for the treatment expenses of critical illnesses listed in the policy.

Coverage scope

It encompasses all stages of cancer, including the early and advanced stages of the disease.

Provides coverage for specific, severe illnesses as outlined in the insurance policy.


The extent of coverage can vary depending on the policy. Typically, you may not get coverage for cancer resulting from pre-existing conditions and sexually transmitted diseases.

The coverage provided by insurance policies may differ, but situations such as self-inflicted injuries and health problems caused by heavy intoxication, among others, may not be included. Additionally, policies may only offer coverage for advanced stages of cancer, depending on their specific terms and conditions.

Premium waiver

Most companies provide a waiver of future premiums for a period of three to five years upon the diagnosis of cancer.

Depending on the circumstances, some companies may grant complete exemptions from future premiums, while others may provide premium waivers through riders' usage.

Things to consider before buying a cancer insurance plan

Numerous cancer insurance plans are available, each with different premiums, coverage, and features. Taking the time to compare each cancer plan is vital to find one that suits your budget. One of the most important factors to consider is the sum insured. As cancer treatment costs can quickly skyrocket, getting a rough estimate of the expenses you may incur at an advanced hospital and selecting coverage accordingly is crucial.

Since cancer is unpredictable and its treatment is often prolonged and recurring, ensure you buy a policy with a longer tenure. Furthermore, be sure to check with your insurer about the specific types and stages of cancer covered. It is essential to know if your policy only covers early-stage cancer or if it also provides coverage for advanced levels.

Frequently asked questions about cancer insurance

Can I get a cancer insurance policy for existing cancer patients?

No, getting a cancer insurance policy for existing cancer patients is not an option. Insurance policies aim to protect against future risks, and individuals with pre-existing conditions, including cancer, are considered high-risk and may not be eligible for coverage. Insurance companies typically require applicants to disclose their medical history and current health status during the underwriting process, and existing cancer patients would likely face coverage denial.

What stages of cancer get covered in a cancer insurance plan?

The stages of cancer covered in a cancer insurance plan may vary depending on the specific policy. Generally, most plans cover all stages of cancer, including early and advanced, but it is crucial to check the policy details for particular coverage. Remember to go through the terms and conditions of the policy before you decide to buy one. If you need further clarification, get in touch with the insurance provider to get a clear picture of the exclusions and limitations of the policy.

Are there any tax benefits associated with cancer insurance?

In India, there are tax benefits associated with cancer insurance under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. Premiums paid towards cancer insurance are eligible for tax deductions up to Rs 25,000 for individuals under 60 years of age and up to Rs 50,000 for senior citizens (above 60 years of age). Additionally, the benefits are usually tax-free if the insured person is diagnosed with cancer and receives a payout from the insurance provider who offers the cancer insurance policy.

Is chemotherapy covered by cancer insurance plans?

As one can tailor cancer insurance policies to meet the specific needs of cancer patients, they typically include coverage for chemotherapy.

Do I still need a cancer insurance plan if I already have health insurance?

Health insurance does not necessarily provide comprehensive coverage for cancer treatment, which can be costly. Therefore, having a cancer insurance plan in addition to health insurance can provide additional financial support and peace of mind in the event of a cancer diagnosis by covering expenses such as deductibles, co-pays, and non-medical costs associated with cancer treatment.

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