Health Insurance

Are Cancer Specific Health Plans More Beneficial Than Critical Illness Policies

Nov 16, 2021

The hectic life we all are living in today has made mankind prone towards several dreadful diseases. Two such major illnesses are critical illness and terminal illness. While it is quite difficult to fight against these diseases, we can at least make an attempt to financially secure our families against the harmful impact caused by these illnesses.

Cancer-Specific Health Insurance Plans

Cancer-Specific health insurance plans are those health care policies that would provide coverage against the various risks associated with cancer. Cancer-related health plans would provide cover for different types of cancer i.e. stomach cancer, lungs cancer, hypopharynx, prostate, breast cancer, etc. On the diagnosis of the illness, the policyholder would be provided with the payout that can be used in his medical treatment procedures.

There has been a lot of medical advancements which has led to an increase in the survival rate of people after one year of being diagnosed with cancer. However, the costs of these advanced medical facilities are very high and the course of treatment is also for a long duration. This can drain a person out of his savings leaving him distressed. So, cancer-specific health plans would help in mitigating the risks related to the illness. 

 Features and Advantages of Cancer-Specific Health Insurance Plans

The cancer-specific health plans can be of great help for everyone and primarily for those who have a family history of cancer.

The major features and benefits of the Cancer-related health insurance plans are:-

  1. Lump-Sum – The cancer-specific health insurance plans help in providing a lump sum payout on the diagnosis of the illness. This will ensure that medical treatments can be done properly without any financial stress. 
  2. High sum insured – The minimum sum insured is around INR 5 lakh and the maximum sum assured is INR 50 lakh.  The cost of treatment related to cancer can be very expensive. So, the insurance plan can be selected according to the requirements and financial needs.
  3. Waiver of premium – Some of the health insurance companies provide the benefit of a premium waiver on the early detection of the illness. This can help the policyholder to continue the policy without any stress about the premiums.
  4. Free check-ups – Health insurance companies also provide the benefit of free cancer check-ups during the tenure of the policy to identify the involved risks.
  5. Affordability – Cancer-specific medical insurance plans are nominally priced as compared to the various benefits they offer.
  6. Tax benefits – Under the provisions of Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 the premium paid for these plans are eligible for tax deductions.

What are Critical Illness Policies?

Critical illness policies are those health insurance policies that help in providing cover against the expenses incurred in the treatment of various critical illnesses. These critical illnesses can include kidney ailments, cancer, heart attack, coma, brain stroke, etc.  

The critical illness diseases are life-threatening and can cause mental and financial trauma to the affected person and his family. The cost of treatments can be too high to create a hole in your pockets. So, a good critical illness policy would be helpful in providing complete cover against these heavy expenses incurred during the treatment of these illnesses.

A policyholder must read his policy document carefully to have an idea about which critical illnesses are included in the policy coverage. Generally, critical illness plans would cover around 25-40 major critical illnesses; however, this might vary from one insurance provider to another.

Advantages of Critical Illness Plans

The major benefits of Critical Illness plans can be listed below:-

  1. Lump-sum payment – The policyholder would obtain a lump sum amount on the detection of the illness. This lump sum amount can be used according to the needs of the policyholder i.e. for medical treatment or recuperation, etc.
  2. Low premium – Even though critical illness plans offer a huge cover, they are relatively cheaper as compared to that of the comprehensive health insurance plans. 
  3. Flexible plan – By critical illness policies, policyholders can have the option of customizing their plans and maximizing their benefits as per your needs.

Disadvantages

However, Critical Illness plans have some disadvantages as well such as:-

  1. Critical illness policies would provide cover for cancer only when the illness is in its advanced stage.
  2. These policies come with a survival period of 90 days that might not be of any use in certain scenarios.
  3. Moreover, in a critical illness policy, the lump sum amount is paid after the detection of the illness and then the policy is terminated. However, in the case of diseases like cancer where there are very high probabilities of relapse this feature might not be very useful.

Major differences between Critical illness policies and Cancer Insurance

FeatureCritical Illness PoliciesCancer-Specific Health Plans
CoverageCoverage for different critical illnesses such as cancer, heart ailments, kidney ailments, etc.Coverage for all stages of cancer i.e. Early, Major and Advanced
SuitabilitySuitable in case of those individuals who have a very high probability of getting diagnosed with critical illnesses due to their work, lifestyle, family history, etc.Suitable in case of those individuals who have a family history of cancer 
ExclusionsPre-existing critical illnesses, self-inflicted injuries, etc.Skin cancer, pre-existing conditions, nuclear contamination, etc.
Benefit related to cancerNo coverage if cancer is at its early stageCoverage for cancer at all stages
PremiumMore than the Cancer-specific health plansLower than the Critical illness policies
Continuation of policyAfter the lump sum payout, policy lapsesPayout is done in stages and would be helpful in cases of relapse

Which one should you choose – Critical Illness policy or Cancer Insurance?

With such a large number of choices available in the insurance market, it is quite a challenging task to choose which one. According to insurance experts, the priority should be to purchase a regular health insurance policy with the right sum insured.

Afterwards, a critical illness policy can be chosen which has a very high cover and also is not restricted to a specific critical illness. A cancer-specific health plan would be advisable for someone who has a family history of being affected by cancer. Otherwise, it is much better to opt for a critical illness policy first. The regular or general health insurance plans also provide coverage for cancer; the major advantage of an indemnity cancer plan is that a sum insured is separately set for covering cancer expenses and the expenses of OPD are also covered.

Conclusion

So, health-related eventualities are unpredictable and can have a deep impact on our lives. The best method to be prepared for such criticalities is by the purchase of a health insurance plan with adequate cover. However, you must understand very well about which policy suits your requirements before purchasing it.

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