Apollo Hospitals Finds Cancer Cases In India Rising, Know The Types Of Health Covers Against Cancer

India has now been dubbed as the “cancer capital of the world” by Apollo Hospitals, as cancer cases are skyrocketing across the country. Here are the types of insurance covers available against cancer.
Apollo Hospital, 
Apollo Hospital, Cancer, Health

On World Health Day 2024, Apollo Hospitals released a ‘Health of Nation’ report labelling India as the “cancer capital of the world”, citing alarming rates of the non-communicable diseases. It said it had identified a troubling surge in the non-communicable disease, as cancer cases are skyrocketing across the country.

According to findings in the report, the median age for cancer diagnosis in India was notably lower compared to other countries. Despite this, cancer screening rates in India remain dismally low, amplifying the urgency for proactive healthcare interventions.

The report said that the average age of breast cancer diagnosis in India was 52, significantly lower than 63 in the US and Europe. Similarly, for lung cancer, the average age of diagnosis at Apollo Hospitals stood at 59 years, compared to 70 years in the West. Further, 30 per cent of colon cancer patients were aged under 50 years.

The report said the most prevalent forms of cancers in occurrence were cancers of the breast, cervix and ovary among women. For men, the most common cases were those of the lung, mouth, and prostate.

The report further said that one out of three Indians were pre-diabetic, two out of three were pre-hypertensive, and one person out of 10 people are diagnosed with depression.

The huge expenses associated with cancer treatment can be unsettling for anyone. Standard insurance plans often fall short in covering such huge costs, which is also a reason why it’s important for people to have critical illness policies or cancer-specific insurance plans.

Critical Illness Policies

Cancer cure in a multi-speciality hospital can be very expensive and, therefore, beyond the scope of coverage provide by regular insurance plans. In such as case, a critical illness plan could be a necessity.

In India, insurance companies offer critical illness insurance policies either as standalone policies or as riders, or add-ons to existing health or life insurance schemes. Recognising that standard medical coverage are inadequate, especially when confronted with critical ailments requiring frequent hospital visits, individuals choose to have critical illness insurance for a better cover.

Critical illness insurance extends beyond standard health plans, and offers lump sum benefits required to manage such severe illnesses like cancer.

Standalone critical illness policies covers comprehensive cancer care, and typically spans over 40 specific ailments. While regular health insurance plans primarily address the hospitalisation expenses, a separate critical illness policy can cover any related costs related to the treatment involved.

Specific Riders For Cancer

If you cannot afford a critical illness policy, you can also go for cancer-specific critical illness riders. If you opt for such riders at a younger age, they will offer you good protection against cancer at a fairly low premium. They will provide crucial financial assistance in the event of a cancer diagnosis during the policy term.

One can also choose for riders of critical illnesses, such as kidney failure, cancer, and similar ailments. Critical illness riders are also available with term insurance policies as a rider.

Cancer-Specific Insurance Plans

To address the unique financial challenges posed by cancer, as sometimes even Rs 20 lakh may prove to be insufficient, many insurance companies have introduced specific cancer insurance plans. The treatment may require multiple hospitalisations, surgeries and chemotherapy. These policies cover all types and stages of cancer and offer a lump sum amount upon diagnosis.

The coverage limits typically range from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 3 crore. However, a waiting period is associated with these policies, often three years. Therefore, purchasing such policies at a younger age is ideal, typically between the age of 30 and 35 years. This will ensure timely coverage and safeguards against the claim getting rejected due to pre-existing conditions.

As individuals navigate the complex landscape of healthcare financing, the prudent choice of critical illness insurance emerges as a proactive measure to mitigate the financial repercussions of unforeseen medical emergencies, particularly in the realm of cancer care.

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