World Cancer Day: Cervical And Other Cancers One of The Biggest Killers In India; Here Is How To Get Covered

World Cancer Day: While general health insurance policies cover cancer, there are other options one can consider to get more comprehensive coverage against the disease
Health Insurance, 
World Cancer Day
Health Insurance, Cancer, World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day: India reported nine lakh cancer deaths and 14 lakh new cases of cancer in 2022. Cancer is not only one of the biggest killers, the financial damage it can cause is also very huge. Hence insurance against cancer is a must.

On World Cancer Day, we take a look at how one can get insurance to protect against cancer. “All insurance policies cover cancer by themselves- any generic health insurance policy which is sold in the market covers cancer provided that cancer occurs after the purchase of the insurance policy,” Dr. Dheeraj Krishna S, head of wellness, telehealth, preventive medicine and CSR initiatives, Star Health said. 

Critical Illness Policies 

“With the increased frequency of critical illness, cost of hospitalization, and cost of care also influence the decision to take covers like critical illness insurance, which extends coverage beyond the regular health insurance plans and provides one with lump sum benefits to manage the circumstances critical illness creates,” Bhaskar Nerurkar, head – health administration team, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said. 

Insurance companies in India provide critical illness insurance as standalone policies or as riders/add-ons to existing health/life insurance plans. In instances where a severe ailment necessitates frequent hospital visits, the conventional medical insurance plan might prove inadequate. 

“Therefore, in such circumstances, selecting a specialized critical illness coverage can prove advantageous in addressing the financial challenges associated with critical illnesses,” Nerukar said. 

A standalone critical illness policy typically encompasses a wide range of critical conditions including cancer care, often extending coverage to more than 40 specific ailments. While a regular health insurance policy primarily deals with medical expenses such as in-patient hospitalization, room charges, and pre- and post-hospitalization costs, opting for a distinct critical illness policy can augment coverage by offering additional benefits specifically designed for critical illnesses.

Critical Illness Riders

Customers can also opt for cancer-specific critical illness riders. When taken at an early age, these riders offer a good protection cushion against cancer at a fairly low premium. Offering financial assistance in the event of a diagnosis of a severe illness during the duration of the plan is a key feature. 

Critical illness refers to a hazardous and potentially life-threatening condition, including but not limited to stroke, kidney failure, cancer, and similar ailments. Critical illness riders are available with term insurance policies as a rider. 

Specific Cancer Insurance Plans

These policies not only cover all kinds and stages of cancer but also offer a lump sum amount upon a cancer diagnosis. 

“The iCan policy from HDFC ERGO covers conventional and advanced treatments along with in-patient and outpatient treatments. Besides, under this plan, one can renew the policy for a long time even after making a claim,” Parthanil Ghosh, president of retail business, HDFC ERGO General Insurance said.

Cervical Cancer

Companies in the industry offer specific services for cervical cancer prevention. “For instance, we provide annual preventive health check-ups to eligible customers with a sum insured of Rs 10 lakh. These check-ups, costing Rs 1000-500, include basic health examinations and pap smear tests, crucial for women aged 40 and above to detect cervical cancer early. Additionally, we cover the cost of pap smear tests as part of our preventive health check-ups. Given the significant issue of cervical cancer in India, we are also focusing on vaccination for women aged 9-18, as advised by the government, as a preventive measure,” Krishna S added. 

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