Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Why You Should Consider Cancer Plans

The dreaded C-word is in the d news after actor Sonali Bendre disclosed that she has cancer. Earlier, actor Irrfan Khan had made his fight against the disease public., adding to the awareness about cancer and its treatment. However, the level of preparedness for managing the financial aspect of the treatment remains low. This despite a clutch of life insurers actively promoting policies that offer targeted protection against cancer. Recently, health insurer Star Health also launched a policy aimed at cancer survivors. "The sensitivity towards buying insurance to cover this disease is low. Distributors do not sell these policies as much as they promote policies with a savings element,". 

Cancer is now responsible for almost one in six deaths globally. Though medical advancements have increased the chances of early detection and successful treatment, the treatment costs are huge. This is where cancer policies can play a role. The sum insured can be as high as Rs.60 Lakh. These policies cover  cancer right from the early stages to the advanced ones. Future premiums are waived  off on detection for three to five years depending on the plan to ease the burden on policyholders.

The claim settlement process is simple, as these are fixed benefit policies that handout a pre defined sum on diagnosis. As a regular health insurance cover reimburses only hospitalization costs, the cancer policy payout can be used to meet any recuperation-related expenses as well as to make good any shortfall due to loss of income during treatment. Also on offer are increased sum assured options under premium variants, where the cover increases by 10% for every claim-free year. Income benefit is another feature that can be of help during the recovery phase, Particularly If the health condition is debilitating enough to force a break from employment. Despite the benefits, the policies have met with moderate response. "In  India  a number of cancer products have been launched and uptake of cancer cover over time may increase  with Increasing awareness levels, higher incidence of the disease, improving medical support and higher cost of treatment,".

Unlike life insurers' cancer covers. Star Health's Cancer Care plan extends cover to those who have been diagnosed with cancer (stage 1 or 2). Launched as a pilot, the product covers the risk of recurrence, metastasts, second cancer as well as second malignancy unrelated to first cancer, apart from regular hospitalization expenses.

Beware of the exclusions
Study the exclusions and restrictions before you take a call. Cancer policies from life insurers restrict coverage for early-stage cancers to 20-25% of the sum insured. Later-stage cancer claims will be eligible for the entire sum assured minus claim paid cut, if any, during initial stages.

However, some plans also provide a sum assured of 150% in case of major stage cancer. Check if any particular cancer and recurrent claims of cancer affecting the same organs are excluded. Aegon Life's policy, for instance, does not cover skin cancer.

The policies come with waiting and survival periods of 180 days and seven days respectively.
Standard exclusions like pre-existing  illness apart, Cancer caused by sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, or AIDS or arising out congenital condition and contact with radiation or radioactivity, are not covered under these policies.

Therefore, you will have to make a choice on the basis of your health condition as well as family health history. Also ensure You have a basic health insurance policy in place to cover hospitalization.

Read full articles visit: LifeLine Insurance & Financial Expert

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