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What is Cancer Insurance

  • 10 Jan 2017
  • min read

Understanding cancer insurance and the need for it

Cancer insurance is a comprehensive cover that takes care of your expenses on being diagnosed with the killer disease. Your normal health insurance cover may cover cancer but the indemnity is only for hospitalisation expenses. Treating cancer involves a whole lot of non-hospitalisation expenses which are not covered under the usual health insurance policies.

Most cancer insurance plans offer a lump sum amount to the insured who is diagnosed with cancer. This payment helps the insured protect his savings.

The insured can spend the money however the insured chooses to. Out of pocket medical expenses are large for treatment of cancer. Also, the cancer stricken patient may have to consult a specialist outside of the network of specialists listed by your insurer. The normal health insurance does not cover many medical and non-medical costs, like experimental cancer treatment and travel & lodging.

Cancer in India

According to a report on ‘Risk of Cancer Development in India’ published on the website of US-government funded National Centre for Biotechnology Information, the probability of developing cancer of all sites from 35-64 years is 4.67% in males and 6.55% in females, while the life time risk is 9.05% and 10.2% respectively.

The greater risk in females was mainly due to the high risk of development of cancer of the uterine cervix and breast. When the age-period of 35 to 70+ years was considered, the probability percentage was found to be 9.94 % in males and 11.6% in females.

According to these estimates 1 in 10 men and 1 in 8 women in India can expect to develop cancer of any form, in their life span after the age of 35 years. The probability of developing tobacco related cancers from 35 to 70+ years was found to be 4.75% and 2.16% in males and females respectively.

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Need for Specialised Cancer Insurance

Every year about 10 lakh people are diagnosed with cancer and over 7 lakh die of the disease. In-hospital and domiciliary treatment for cancer is prohibitively expensive. It can lead to bankruptcy. Normal family health insurance that cover cancer will cover only hospitalisation expenses.

The treatment of cancer involves significant amount of expenditure outside of hospitalisation – both medical and non-medical. Having a specific cover for cancer protects you from catastrophic financial impact. The normal health insurance plans may cover cancer but fail to protect you from even hospitalisation expenses because of the sub-limits imposed.

If you do not have cancer insurance, you must get it right away!

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