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HDFC ERGO’s iCAN Plan – Specially Designed for Protection Against Cancer

By Vikas Chandra Das
16 November 2022, 5:34 PM

Most regular health insurance plans do not cover cancer. Coverage for the same can be purchased as an add-on critical illness plan. As per the most recent statistics available from India Against Cancer, almost fourteen lakhs new cancer cases are registered every year in India alone, i.e. roughly 0.1% of the population. Thus, for the risk averse, purchasing a cancer specific policy makes practical sense.

HDFC ERGO’s iCAN is a health plan that financially protects the insured person if diagnosed with cancer. The plan comes in two variants – Standard Plan and Advanced Plan. Conventional treatment therapies such as onco-surgery, organ transplantation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are covered under Standard Plan while Advanced Plan offers additional benefits. Advanced Plan covers Proton Treatment, Hormonal Therapy/Endocrine Manipulation, as well as stem cell transplantation, bone marrow transplantation and immune therapy.

Main Features of HDFC ERGO iCAN Plan

iCAN Plan comes with the following features -

Lifelong Renewals: While there are several standard health insurance plans that offer lifelong renewals, iCAN Plan allows you to renew the same even after you have been diagnosed with cancer.

Treatment Stages Covered: All stages of cancer are covered under the plan.

CritiCare Benefits: Part of the uniqueness also comes from the fact that the plan is a mix of critical illness plan and a regular health insurance plan. It thus covers treatment costs, while simultaneously offering a lumpsum payout to take care of allied expenses. This payout is 60% of the SI.

iCARE Benefits: Apart from coverage of in-patient treatment costs, out-patient treatment costs are also covered. Pre and post hospitalization costs up to 30 days and 60 days prior and post the hospitalization period are covered under this plan.

Family Care Benefits: This feature provides the family of the insured a lump sum pay out of 100% of the SI if the insured person is diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. This benefit is also available if there is a relapse and the cancer is found to recur again after a period of time.

Follow-up Care: This feature provides INR 3000/- bi-annually for follow-up care that is inevitably needed.

Other Features

Premiums: Like most health insurance premiums, the iCAN premium is dependent on the age of entry, the lifestyle habits of the person covered, the city of residence and the sum insured (SI).

Second Medical Opinion: If the insured is diagnosed with cancer, she or he can seek a second medical opinion from the HDFC ERGO’s panel of doctors.

Reimbursement of Ambulance Charges: In case of emergency admissions, a reimbursement of INR 2000/- is provided against ambulance charges incurred. This amount is for every emergency hospitalization.

Cashless Treatment: HDFC ERGO has an impressive network of 13,000 plus hospitals pan-India, where one can avail treatment under iCAN plan. In case treatment is obtained at a non-network hospital, the same will be reimbursed as per the procedures stipulated by HDFC ERGO and as per the sub-limits mentioned in the plan opted for.  Treatment needs to be at a registered hospital in order for expenses to be eligible for coverage. HDFC ERGO promises a smooth reimbursement procedure by allowing one to track their claims online. It also provides regular updates on the mobile.

Waiting Period: There is a 4 month/120 day waiting period before an insured can seek protection from the policy.

Permanent Exclusions

Treatment Other Than Cancer: The plan is designed specifically to cover treatment costs of cancer. No claim will be entertained for any other disease.

Pre-existing Diseases: Any signs and symptoms, or ailments related to cancer that the policy holder displayed at the time of policy purchase will be treated as a  pre-existing disease. These will not be covered at any time during the tenure of the policy.

Conditions arising out of HIV AIDS: Much like most health insurance policies that do not cover conditions related to HIV and AIDS, any cancerous condition that is associated with HIV and AIDS such as lymphomas in the brain will not be covered under the iCAN policy.

Prosthetic and Non-surgical Devices: No prosthetic device, even if necessitated as a result of cancer treatment, will be covered under the policy.

Non-allopathic Treatment: Treatment costs of cancer will not be covered if treated under alternative streams of medicine such as Ayurveda, Siddha etc.

International Treatment: The policy only covers treatment costs inside India. No coverage is provided for treatment outside India.

Thus if you have a basic health plan or a critical illness plan, do check if it also covers cancer, If not, you may like to discuss the pros and cons of buying a cancer specific health insurance plan with your family members. HDFC ERGOs iCAN has several advantages over most critical illness plans when it comes to coverage of cancer treatment. It would be best to compare it with other plans that cover cancer treatment before making a decision.


1. What is a critical Illness?

A critical illness is generally meant to be a life-threatening illness, as a result of which the person diagnosed with it may need to make several lifestyle changes.  These are conditions such as cancer, kidney failure, bypass surgery, total blindness, etc.

2. What is a critical illness plan?

These are plans that are usually taken on as special add-on health insurance plans, that cover specified critical illnesses. Most usually provide a lump sum payment to the insured after she or he is diagnosed with any of the critical illnesses mentioned in the plan.

3. What is stage IV cancer?

Otherwise known as metastatic cancer, this is an advanced stage of cancer, where cancer has spread to other parts of the body. At this stage the prognosis is generally poor, but with treatment, one can live for several years even after diagnosis.

4. What is HIV AIDS?

The full form of HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus, while the full form of AIDS is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. The presence of the HIV virus is said to decrease the immunity of the person infected by the virus. AIDS is a critical stage of HIV infection where the body’s immunity is severely compromised, and the person falls prey to several diseases.

5. What is a waiting period?

This is the period between the start of the policy and the time before you can avail any benefits from the policy.

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