Personal Finance

How to pick the right cancer plan

Amit Chhabra | Updated on May 19, 2019 Published on May 19, 2019

With treatment being very expensive, investing in the right policy will help cushion the financial blow

Cancer not only worsens an individual’s physical health but also impacts the financial condition of the patient. The incidence of this disease is rising rapidly; according to a World Health Organization report, by the end of 2020, every Indian family will have at least one cancer patient.

Cancer is the uncontrolled development of cells and 70-90 per cent of all cancers are related to lifestyle and environmental factors.

Apart from this, there is the extortionate cancer treatment cost that usually goes beyond ₹15-20 lakh.

With such expensive treatment, one must invest in the right cancer insurance plan — either a standalone cancer insurance policy (fixed benefit plan) or an indemnity-based policy. A cancer cover is the best possible way to protect your assets and savings that may get eroded while treating this disease.

Indemnity-based plan

Apart from providing lifelong coverage, the indemnity-based cancer plan has the advantage of an annual renewal even after the claim.

Under this plan, the policyholder gets indemnified against the incurred hospitalisation expenses up to the total sum insured.

These plans pay only the money spent on the treatment within the limits of the SI.

For instance, if you have a plan with ₹15 lakh SI and the total expenses during hospitalisation work out to ₹6 lakh, the insurer will reimburse only ₹6 lakh and the balance will be utilised during hospitalisation within the policy period.

Under indemnity-based plans, you even have the choice of requesting for a second opinion, on first diagnosis of cancer.

The plans cover pre-hospitalisation expenses incurred in the 30 days before the date of hospitalisation, apart from post-hospitalisation expenses incurred during 60 days, post discharge from the hospital.

Fixed benefit plans

The sum assured is paid to the insured on detection of cancer.

Moreover, in most plans, no hospitalisation is required. The cancer insurance plan covers all stages of cancer and provides compensation at every stage.

The plan even offers some additional benefits, including premium waiver benefit on diagnosis of minor stage cancer, multiple unrelated cancers claims and minor life covered.

Apart from paying a fixed lump sum amount to the insured, fixed benefit plans cover non-medical expenses that usually arise due to loss of earnings or livelihood during the treatment and recovery time. For instance, in a cancer-based fixed benefit plan with a SI of ₹15 lakh, if you are diagnosed with cancer within the policy term, the insurer will pay a lump sum of ₹15 lakh as claim payout, regardless of the expenses incurred. After the payout, the policy gets terminated.

Fixed benefit plans generally include products like critical illness plan and personal accident plan.

The writer is Head - Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com

Published on May 19, 2019

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.