6 key factors to consider before buying a cancer insurance plan

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Coverage and benefits

When selecting a cancer insurance plan, carefully review the coverage offered. Ensure it includes a wide range of cancer types, stages, and treatments. Look for benefits such as early detection screenings, diagnostic tests, and follow-up care. Opt for a plan with flexible coverage options that suits your specific needs.

Ajay Shah, Head – Distribution, Care Health Insurance, says “Based on your medical history, it is advisable to look for comprehensive health insurance that covers your needs and includes expenses for hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation and critical illnesses like long tailed treatment of cancer. For typical cancer treatment coverage, various aspects like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and prescribed medications should be included. 

“One should also consider whether the health insurance provides coverage for domiciliary hospitalisation, ambulance charges, and alternative therapies. Oral Chemotherapy and Robotic treatments are also covered in some Health Insurance policies, under coverage for modern treatments. It is advisable to check if there are any limits on such treatments,” he added. 

Also Read: Which is the right insurance plan to cover cancer treatment expenses?

Waiting period and survival period

Familiarise yourself with the waiting period before coverage begins. Some plans have a waiting period ranging from a few months to a year after policy issuance. Additionally, check for a survival period clause, which typically specifies the minimum number of days the policyholder must survive after the cancer diagnosis for the coverage to be activated.

Policy limits and exclusions

Evaluate the policy limits to determine the maximum benefits available for various treatments, tests, and other related expenses. Be aware of any exclusions that may limit coverage for certain conditions or treatments, such as pre-existing conditions or experimental therapies. Understanding these limitations ensures you select a plan that aligns with your specific healthcare needs.

“It is equally important to evaluate a cashless network of healthcare providers associated with your insurer. Other benefits and features of your health plan like waiting period, co-payment and sub-limits are also considered. Some health insurance policies have waiting periods before coverage begins, while others may impose limitations on certain types of treatments like cancer or other pre-existing conditions, ” said Shah. 

Premiums and affordability

Consider the cost of premiums and ensure they are affordable for your budget. Take into account factors such as your age, health status, and family medical history, as these can affect premium rates. Compare different plans and their premiums to find the one that offers the best value in terms of coverage and cost.

Also Read: The Role of Cancer Insurance in Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Network of providers

Find out if the cancer insurance plan has a network of preferred providers, hospitals, and cancer centres. Choosing a plan with a broad network can provide you with access to quality healthcare and specialised treatment options. Check to see if your preferred healthcare providers are included in the plan’s network.

Policy renewal and payment terms

Carefully review the policy’s renewal terms, including the premium rates and any changes in coverage that may occur upon renewal. Some policies may offer guaranteed renewal, ensuring coverage continues as long as you pay the premiums on time. Be aware of any payment terms or options available to ease the burden of paying premiums.

When purchasing a cancer insurance plan, it is essential to consider various factors to ensure comprehensive coverage and financial protection. Remember that choosing the right cancer insurance plan can provide peace of mind and crucial support during challenging times.

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Published: 07 Feb 2024, 08:54 AM IST

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