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Cancer Insurance

Cancer is a dread disease across the world today, which is expensive to treat that also causes an emotional drain on the sufferer. Changing lifestyle, eating habits, and the environment play a big role in inviting diseases, and Cancer is one such that can strike anytime.

Considering the soaring treatment costs of illnesses like this, it is imperative to look for a specialized Cancer Insurance cover, which no normal health insurance will fulfill. There are add-on critical illness riders in most health insurance plans. Still, they fall woefully short in covering the special needs of Cancer care, that only a specialized Cancer Insurance is capable of meeting. In the Indian context, where the incidence of cancer is quite high, and the treatment cost is anywhere between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh in 6 months, the need for Cancer Care Policy is all the more relevant. Thankfully, most Indian insurers have designed Critical Care Insurance Plans with an eye on health insurance for cancer patients.

What is Cancer Insurance Policy?

A Cancer cover policy may be termed as a Critical Illness Plan designed to support in times of medical contingency due to Cancer. It essentially pays a lump sum amount when Cancer is diagnosed or detected to cover for all the expenses for effective management of all stages of the disease. In the Indian context, purchasing a Cancer Insurance Policy, besides a usual health insurance, is relevant to help one be prepared for a deadly disease like Cancer and those unexpected expenses aligned with it.

As the name suggests, Cancer Health Insurance is a dedicated plan to insure oneself against Cancer. Considering the scenario in India, where it is widespread, it is wise to purchase a targeted Cancer Care Insurance to be adequately equipped to face its consequences.

Cancer Insurance in India: Reason to Choose

Recent studies have indicated that there is a steady rise of Cancer in India. From 14 lakh cases in 2016 to the indicated number of new cases to 17.3 lakh in 2020. The study has further attributed this rise to environmental factors in 70% to 90% of the cases, rather than the false impression of genetics playing a major role. It is assumed that there are approximately 200 types of Cancer with no clue to its stated cause as yet. The rate of fatality is high, with 71% of the deaths affecting individuals between the age group 30 to 69 years. In this scenario, the only effective way to combat the dreaded disease is adequate preparedness - physically, mentally, and financially. A protective cover can achieve this, eminently provided by a suitable Cancer Protection Plan, besides adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Cancer insurance plan provides the inevitable security of financial blanket to surmount the medical contingency from Cancer. Cancer insurance plans, by its very nature, pay out the sum insured right at the detection stage, even before it leads to eventual costly life-sustaining treatments and surgeries in hospitals. Thus, a Cancer Insurance Policy essentially provides sure-footed financial preparedness. Many insurers have combined Heart and Cancer Insurance as a dual cover at affordable prices to help effectively tackle these silent killers in the country. 

How to Differentiate between Health Insurance and Cancer Insurance in India?

Health insurance in general, along with critical illness riders as well as Critical Insurance and specific Cancer Insurance Policies differ in two major aspects.

Firstly, health insurance is an indemnity plan, which covers claims for hospitalization expenses in a medical emergency. In contrast, cancer insurance claim is paid out on the first diagnosis regardless of the expenses, in a lump sum or staggered, depending on the policy terms.

Secondly, health insurance is a continuing plan, where a claim can be partial vis-à-vis sum insured. The plan continues until the end of the policy term, absorbing multiple claims. In cancer insurance, on the other hand, the policy terminates on payment of the sum insured on the diagnosis.

Even critical illness plans may not fit the bill due to some Cancer-related exclusions. Some that may need mention are pre-malignant tumor, non-invasive cancer, Prostrate cancer Stage I.  That’s why dedicated Cancer insurance plans score over others being more inclusive.

Features and Benefits of Cancer Care Policy

There are some common and uniform features across all Cancer insurance policies:

  • Multiple stages of Cancer are covered.
  • Offers financial security to the family in the face of huge treatment cost staring in the face.
  • Waiver of premium on the first detection of Cancer, even in the early stage, if it is offered under a policy.
  • According to the IT Act.1961, the premium paid for cancer health insurance enjoys tax deduction in any given financial year in a range of Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh under Section 80D. However, tax benefits are as per the prevailing income tax rules.

Cancer Insurance Plans Comparison Table

The following is a grid containing all the insurers who offer Cancer insurance plans in India.

Insurer Name

Plan name

Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance

Cancer Shield Plan

Bajaj Allianz

Critical Illness Insurance Policy

Edelweiss Tokio

Criticare+

Future Generali

Cancer Protect Plan

HDFC Ergo Health

iCan Cancer Insurance policy

HFDC Ergo General Insurance

Critical Illness Insurance

HDFC Life

Cancer Care

ICICI Pru

Heart and Cancer Protect

Max Life

Cancer Insurance Plan

Manipal Cigna

Lifestyle Protection Critical Care

National Insurance

Critical Illness Policy

New India Assurance

Cancer Guard policy

Religare

Cancer Insurance Plan

Raheja QBE General Insurance

Cancer Insurance policy

Reliance Nippon Life

Cancer Protection Plus

SBI Life

Sampoorn Cancer Suraksha

Star Health Insurance

Cancer Care Gold

Tata AIG

Critical Illness Policy

United India Insurance

Criticare

Cancer Insurance Plans Explained:

It is also imperative to consider all the individual highlights of Cancer insurance plans offered in India to help compare various plans. Accordingly, all the plans have been explained in detail in the following section.

Aditya Birla– Cancer Shield Plan

Key Highlights:

  • Only Cancer of all stages are covered
  • Level or increasing cover option
  • Receive monthly income for 5 policy years on the diagnosis of a major stage of Cancer
  • Premium is waived for 5 policy years on the diagnosis of the early stage of cancer

Policy Benefit:

  • Early Stage: 30% of the sum insured paid on diagnosis
  • Major Stage: 100% of the sum insured paid on diagnosis

Sum insured:  Rs10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh

Bajaj Allianz – Critical Illness Insurance Policy

Key Highlights:

  • A Critical Illness Plan designed to cover Cancer of defined severity
  • 100% payout on diagnosis of critical illness, including Cancer

Sum Insured:

  • Rs 1 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for 6 years to 60 years of age
  • Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for 61years to 65 years of age

HDFC Ergo Health iCan Cancer Insurance

Key Highlights:

  • Criticare Benefit: On diagnosis of Cancer of specified severity, 60% of the sum insured is paid in a lump sum over and above the base sum insured.
  • Family Care Benefit: It protects the family on the diagnosis of Stage IV cancer with a lump sum payment of 100 % sum insured over and above the base sum insured.
  • Cashless Treatment: Treatment in 10000+ Network Hospitals
  • Coverage for Cancer Treatment: It provides lifelong treatment cover irrespective of health status and claims.

Plan Options: There are 2 plan options to choose from

  • Standard
  • Advanced

Sum Insured: Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 Lakh

Edelweiss Tokio – Crticare+ Plan

Key Highlights: 

  • It is primarily a Critical Illness Plan covering 17 illnesses.
  • Multi claim options provide 3 times the sum insured in specific conditions.
  • The submission of hospital bills is not mandatory for raising a claim.
  • All premiums are waived after the first claim.
  • A higher sum insured attracts discounts.
  • A survival period of 28 days is required to be served along with the initial waiting period of 90 days to claim the policy.

Sum Insured: Rs 5 lakh to Rs 1 crore

Future Generali – Cancer Protect Plan

Key Highlights:

Coverage Options:

  • Minor Stage Cancer Diagnosis:
    • Lump-Sum Cover: 25% of sum insured in a lump sum plus waiver of premium
    • Lump-Sum with Income Cover: 25% of sum insured in a lump sum plus waiver of premium
  • Major Stage Cancer Diagnosis:
    • Lump-Sum Cover: 100% of the sum insured in a lump sum
    • Lump-Sum with Income Cover: 100% of sum insured in a lump sum plus 2% of sum insured for 60 months
  • Both Minor and later Major Stage Cancer Diagnosis:
    • Lump-Sum Cover: 25% of sum insured in a lump sum plus waiver of premium plus 75% of sum insured on the diagnosis of major stage
    • Lump-Sum with Income Cover: 25% of sum insured in a lump sum plus waiver of premium plus 75% of sum insured on the diagnosis of the major stage plus 2% of sum insured for 60 months
    • Sum assured: Rs 10 lakh to Rs 40 lakh/Minor- 10 lakh

HDFC Ergo General – Critical Illness Insurance for Cancer

Key Highlights:

  • Coverage of 15 critical illnesses
  • 2 plan options available:
    • Silver: Rs 1 lakh to Rs 50 lakh
    • Platinum: Rs1 lakh to Rs.50 lakh
  • Policy term options for 1 or 2 years
  • Lump-sum payment in one transaction on the diagnosis of critical illness

HDFC Life Cancer Care Plan 

Key Highlights:

  • Comprehensive cover for all stages of cancer

Plan Options:

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum: Regular income for 5 years
  • Waiver of premium on detection of Early Stage Cancer
  • No pre-policy medical test required

Plan Benefits:

  • 25% of sum insured at Early Stage of Cancer
  • 100% of sum insured at Major Stage of Cancer

Sum Insured: Rs10 lakh to Rs 40 lakh

ICICI Prudential - Heart and Cancer Protect

Key Highlights:

  • Coverage for both Heart and Cancer conditions
  • All stages of Cancer are covered
  • The payout on the first diagnosis regardless of the claim and the premium is waived for future major expenses
  • An additional daily cash allowance of Rs 5000
  • Family Floater Plans earn discount in premium
  • Incremental sum insured at 10% every policy anniversary
  • Payout in both minor and major stage diagnosis.
  • The loss of income is compensated.
  • There is no provision for co-payment

Policy Benefits:

  • 25% of SI in Minor Stage
  • 100% of SI in Major Stage

Sum Insured: Up to 50 lakh

Max Life – Cancer Insurance Plan

Key Highlights:

  • Comprehensive protection in all stages of Cancer
  • The payout on diagnosis independent of the stage of Cancer
  • Sum insured is increased at 10% for the first 5 claim-free years at no cost
  • If the diagnosis is at the minor stage, 20% of the sum insured is paid, and all future premiums are waived
  • For diagnosis in the major stage, the full sum insured is paid and 10% additional income is paid for the next 5 years
  • Coverage continues till 75 years of age

Sum Insured: Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh

Manipal Cigna – Life Style Protection Critical Care

Key Highlights:

  • Flexibility to seek second expert opinion
  • Access to customized online wellness programs to assist in health needs
  • Plan Options:
    • Basic: Cover for 15 critical illnesses
    • Enhanced: Cover for 30 critical illnesses

Payout Option:

  • Lump-Sum
  • Staggered over 60 months with 10% additional benefit

Sum Insured: Rs 1 lakh to Rs 25 crore

National Insurance – Critical illness Policy

Key highlights:

  • Plan Options:
    • Plan A: Covers 11 critical illnesses including Cancer
    • Plan B: Covers 37 Critical illnesses
  • Pre Policy check-up: It is applicable for the following conditions:
    • Proposers over 45 years of age
    • Sum insured opted greater than Rs 25 lakh
    • Non-working spouse with a sum insured greater than Rs 5 lakh
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered with additional premium.
  • Cover for self, spouse, children, and parents
  • Sum Insured: Rs 1 lakh to Rs 75 lakh

New India Assurance Cancer Guard Policy

Key Highlights:

  • Treatment Covered:

Conventional:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Organ Transplant
  • Onco surgery

Advanced:

  • Proton treatment
  • Personalized and targeted therapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Stem Cell therapy
  • Bone marrow Transplant
  • Cancer Care Benefit: in addition to the admissible claim, 50% of the sum insured will be paid on the first diagnosis of Stage IV Cancer.
  • Daycare covering 58 procedures
  • Second opinion facility up to Rs 5000
  • Post-treatment follows up covered up to Rs 10000
  • Ambulance charges are covered up to Rs 3000 per hospitalization.

Sum Insured: Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakh

Religare Critical Illness Insurance Plan

Key Highlights:

  • Covers Cancer at all stages
  • A cashless Cancer treatment facility
  • It is an indemnity based plan
  • Pre and Post Hospitalization expenses for 30 and 60 days respectively
  • Daycare, alternative treatment cover available
  • Global coverage with air ambulance cover
  • Lifelong renewability
  • OPD expenses are allowed
  • No pre-policy medical screening required
  • Unlimited room and ICU rent charges

Sum Insured: Rs10 lakh to Rs 2 crore

Raheja QBE General Insurance – Cancer Insurance Policy

Key Highlights:

  • Comprehensive cover for all stages of Cancer
  • 50% of sum insured or Rs 2.5 lakh, whichever is less, is paid on diagnosis of Cancer on the admission of the claim.
  • Treatment costs reimbursed for the full sum insured.
  • Pre policy medical check-up is required for insured above 50 years of age.

Sum Insured: Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh

Reliance Nippon Life – Cancer Protection Plus

Key Highlights:

  • Comprehensive Cancer cover for all stages of Cancer
  • The lump-sum payout on diagnosis of Cancer regardless of actual treatment expenses

Plan Options:

  • Silver Option

On early Stage diagnosis:

  • Lump-sum benefit
  • Relapse of cancer Benefit
  • Waiver of premium benefit

On major Stage diagnosis

  • Lump-sum benefit
  • Income benefit
  • Gold: Available to 18 years and above only with increased sum insured

 On early Stage diagnosis:

  • Lump-sum benefit
  • Relapse of cancer Benefit
  • Waiver of premium benefit

On major Stage diagnosis

  • Lump-sum benefit
  • Income benefit
  • Little Star: The option is available for ages between 5 and 17 years with a sum insured Rs 10 lakh

On early Stage diagnosis:

  • Lump-sum benefit
  • Relapse of cancer Benefit
  • Waiver of premium benefit

On major Stage diagnosis

  • Lump-sum benefit
  • Income benefit
  • Sum Insured: Rs 10 lakh to Rs 40 lakh

Star Health Insurance- Cancer Care Gold

Key Highlights:

  • First policy for persons who are already diagnosed with Cancer
  • Lump-sum payment of 50% sum insured on recurrence, metastasis and second malignancy
  • Indemnity health cover for accidents and illnesses other than Cancer
  • No pre-acceptance medical test
  • Indemnity Covers:
    • In-patient treatment in hospital
    • Pre and post hospitalizations expenses
    • Daycare procedures
  • Sum Insured: Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh

SBI Life – Sampoorna Cancer Suraksha

Key highlights:

  • Comprehensive cover for all stages of Cancer
  • Payouts are independent of actual treatment expenses
  • Option for choose monthly income benefit
  • Choice of 3 benefits structure
  • No pre-policy medical screening
  • Inbuilt waiver of premium facility
  • Second opinion facility available
  • Sum insured reset benefit
  • The fixed premium for 5 policy years

Sum Insured:  Rs10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh

TATA AIG – Critical Illness Policy

Key Highlights:

  • Covers for Cancer of specified severity
  • Second opinion benefit available
  • An initial waiting period of 90 days
  • The survival period of 30 days

United India Insurance – Criticare

Key Highlights:

  • Comprehensive cover for 11 critical illness including Cancer of specified severity
  • Lump-sum payment of the sum insured
  • The initial waiting period is 90 days
  • Survival on diagnosis is 30 days

Sum Insured: Rs 1 lakh/3 lakh/5 lakh and 10 lakh

Types of Cancer Insurance Plans in India

Indian insurers have designed a range of Cancer insurance plans catering to the needs of different individuals in terms of treating cancer. One vital medical terminology often encountered in Cancer insurance is stages of cancer. To instill greater clarity about its meaning and impact, it is necessary to learn what they mean. 

Different Stages of Cancer

There are primarily four stages of cancer, which are broadly stated in common parlance as Early and Major. But they are non-specific as such.

  • Carcinoma in Situ (CIS): It is the initial stage, where the cancer cells are yet to penetrate the basement membrane or invade the surrounding tissues, despite histological evidence.
  • Early Stage: It is when the specified malignant conditions can invade and destroy surrounding tissue.
  • Major Stage: It is characterized by malignant tumor presence, which shows uncontrolled growth with invasion and spread of malignant cells, leading to the destruction of normal cells.
  • Critical Stage: An Oncologist determines it as a major stage that has reached Stage IV.

It is interesting to note that insurers club the first two stages as Early and similarly the last two stages as Major.

Inclusions and Exclusions in Cancer Insurance Plans

It is one of the most important aspects of Cancer Insurance Plans, which needs going through the fine print thoroughly.

Inclusions

  • Coverage for all stages of Cancer.
  • Payment of sum insured on the diagnosis of Cancer
  • Waiver of premium in case of detection of cancer in the first stage

Exclusions

Cancer insurance plan excludes the following:

  • Congenital diseases
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Infertility and Assisted Conception
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Self-Inflicted Injury
  • Nuclear, Radioactive or Chemical contamination
  • Skin cancer other than malignant melanoma in Major Stage
  • Intoxicant, alcohol, and drug abuse.

Eligibility Criteria of Cancer Insurance

Insurer Name

Plan name

Entry and Maturity Age in Years 

Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance

Cancer Shield Plan

18 to 65 and maturity 85

Bajaj Allianz

Critical illness Insurance Policy

18 to 65

Edelweiss Tokio

Criticare+

18 to 65  and maturity  70

Future Generali

Cancer Protect Plan

18 to 65

HDFC Ergo

Critical Illness Insurance

5 to 65

HDFC Ergo Health

iCan Cancer Insurance policy

5 to 65

HDFC Life

Cancer Care

5 to 65

ICICI Pru

Heart and Cancer Protect

18 to 65

Manipal Cigna

Lifestyle Protection Critical care

18 to  65

Max Life

Cancer Insurance Plan

25 to 65 and maturity 75

National Insurance

Critical illness Policy

18 to  65

New India Assurance

Cancer Guard policy

3 months to  65

Raheja QBE General Insurance

Cancer Insurance Policy

1 day to  70

Religare

Cancer Insurance Plan

5  to 50

Reliance Nippon Life

Cancer Protection Plus

5 to 65 and maturity  75

Star Health Insurance

Cancer Care Gold

5months  to 65

SBI Life

Sampoorn Cancer Suraksha

5 to 65 and maturity  75

Tata AIG

Critical Illness Policy

18 to 65

United India Insurance

Criticare

21 to 65

How to Choose the Best Cancer Insurance Plans in India?

Choosing the best insurance for Cancer patients in India is a daunting task, considering the range and number of plans available in the market. There are several factors that one has to consider to discern one from the other. Some key points to note are:

  • The range of benefits, including payouts the Cancer Plan offers and if it applies to all stages of cancer.
  • If the kind of benefit is spread across each stage as well as the entire plan.
  • How is the sum insured treated – whether it is level throughout, or is it incremental at defined percentages of 150% or 200% of the sum insured?
  • Is there a waiver of all future premiums on the diagnosis of cancer?

Having considered the above, there are also some other parameters, especially related to the reputation of the insurer that impact the quality of the Cancer insurance plan and help in plan comparison facilitating choosing the best. The parameters to evaluate are:

  • Solvency Ratio: It determines the capability of the insurer to settle claims of policyholders. IRDAI has prescribed 1.5 as the ratio for constant maintenance.
  • Persistence Ratio: It is directly related to the Claim Settlement Ratio determined by the number of claims settled as percentage juxtaposed with claims received. A higher percentage reflects greater trust, loyalty, and satisfaction among the policyholders.
  • Incurred Claim Ratio: As against CSR, it is determined by the value of claims paid in respect to the value of premiums received by the insurer. Higher ICR value is what one has to look for.
  • Customer Grievance Redressed: The reliability of the insurer is reflected in a lower number of complaints, which is symbolic of efficiency, quality of processes, and policy of the insurer.

Combining all these determining factors, it is inferred that some of the popular Cancer insurance plans in India currently are:

  • HDFC Life – Cancer Care
  • Manipal Cigna – Life Style Protection Critical Care
  • ICICI Prudential - Heart and Cancer Protect
  • Max Life – Cancer Insurance Plan
  • Religare Cancer Insurance Plan

Renewal Process of Cancer Insurance Plans

There are two methods of renewing a Cancer insurance plan. One is Offline, and the other is Online, through the insurer portal. Some insurers also offer discounts for online renewal of policies. 

Most insurers provide the "Premium Payment” Tab in their portals. The steps to follow are:

  • Invoke “Online Premium Payment”
  • Input Policy Number and the Date of Birth
  • Submit
  • Pay the premium digitally
  • Save acknowledgment for future reference

Claim Process for Cancer Insurance Policy

The treatment of the claim being different from usual health insurance, the claim process with Cancer insurance, is also somewhat different. The usual steps are:

  • Notice to the insurer on the diagnosis of Cancer within 15 days of the event for registration of a claim.
  • After the survival period is over, required documents, along with the duly completed claim form is to be submitted.
  • The documents needed are:
  • Certificate from the Medical Practitioner specifying the diagnosis
  • The discharge summary from the hospital
  • Diagnostic reports including radiological and pathological, confirming the diagnosis
  • Any other document sought by the insurer
  • Identity Card of the claimant
  • Bank account details, e.g. canceled cheque, copy of passbook etc.
  • Once documents are satisfactorily acknowledged, the claim is processed and approved.
  • The claim is settled through electronic remittance.

How to Buy Cancer Insurance Policy?

Gone are the days when people approach a broker or visit the insurer’s office to buy a policy. With a busy lifestyle, the digital method of buying overrides the traditional way of buying insurance. Having said that online purchasing is the most convenient way of buying insurance that facilitates handy tools like the premium calculator to compare plans online and get the best available option, along with the benefit of availing savings benefits on premiums.

As the option to locate a suitable Cancer insurance scheme has never been easier, all insurers have the "Buy Now" Tab in their portals to complete the process in a few well-defined steps. However, buying insurance through paisawiki.com is the easiest way to ensure the right plan. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Visit the portal of paisawiki.com and click on the ‘Get Free Quote tab.
  • Select the Cancer Cover Plan shortlisted for purchase from the given options.
  • Select the Sum Insured from the given options.
  • Choose the appropriate premium payment mode and the preferred policy term.
  • In the next step, select the payout option that will be of maximum benefit – lump sum or a combination of lump sum and monthly income.
  • It is followed by inputting personal details sought by the insurer, including the proposer's health profile.
  • Once complete, the next step is to receive the quote and pay it digitally, using the available options.
  • Upload the scanned documents, and the purchase is made.
  • Comply with medicals if required and, after processing, the policy document is ready and mailed eventually.

Documents Required to Buy the Cancer Insurance Plan

A standardized list of documents is mandatory for buying Cancer insurance plans across all insurers. The following list is not exhaustive but only indicative.

  • Identity Proof
  • Age proof
  • Residence proof
  • Income Proof
  • Medical test reports, if required.

Health Insurance FAQ’s

Written By: Paisawiki - Updated: 05 October 2020
Disclaimer: Paisawiki does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.