Cancer Health Plans may be useful to consider!

A slew of niche healthcare plans have been launched recently. These plans cater to specific diseases only. Cancer Plans are one such category.

Key features which are common across various Cancer Plans are as follows:

  • Objective is to cover the expenses that arise out of diagnosis of any type of Cancer
  • Benefits are generally payable in parts basis the different stages of Cancer

Why should you buy these plans?

Well, there is no good answer to this. As we know, occurrence of Cancer is random and anyone could be a victim of the same. Some of the facts are worth being aware of:

  • India is the world’s largest contributor to Cancer deaths
  • 22 lakh Cancer deaths are reported every year
  • 71% of the Cancer deaths occur in the age group of 30 – 69 years
  • 15% of Cancer patients are children and young adults (as compared to the global average of 0.5%)

The geographic spread of Cancer in India is largely driven by the environmental practices prevailing in respective regions:

States Common types of Cancer Reasons
UP, Bihar, WB Gall Bladder, Neck and Head Polluted water, diet rich in animal protein or fish
MP, Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan Oral High Tobacco and Pan Masala consumption
Punjab, Haryana, Delhi All Cancers are higher than average, especially, kidney, lungs, urinary, breast Pollution, pesticide, toxins in food
Goa Colon Cancer Red Meat, Alcohol, Tobacco
WB Lung, Urinary Bladder Air and Water Pollution
North East Highest Cancer Rate, especially of Oesophagus Tobacco, Household burning of Firewood
South & Coastal India Stomach Diet rich in spice, salt

Is Cancer not covered in regular Health Insurance Plans?

Regular health plans do cover hospitalization for Cancer. However, Cancer treatment costs often cost anywhere between 10 – 25 lacs and only go upwards for advanced treatments. Health Plans with such high sum insured can turn out to be very expensive.

Moreover, Cancer treatments tend to continue for years and the costs have only been rising.

What about Critical Illness covers?

Cancer is also covered under Critical Illness Plans, but only at advanced stages where a lump sum is payable. Generally, most Cancer specific plans tend to pay lumpsum at multiple stages of diagnosis, thereby protecting the continuous flow of expenses.

What is the alternative?

A decent size of Base Insured Plan + A large Top Up Plan + Critical Illness may be a good alternative. However, for those who have had a first – hand experience of Cancer treatments among friends and family, might want to insure themselves against the deadly possibility. The decision depends on affordability of every individual.

Read more on Top Up Plans here

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