Health Insurance for Cancer Patients in India

My lessons with Sana.Insure 2 – All about critical illness cover, Health Insurance for Cancer

In a previous article on critical illness, I told you about general critical illness plans. These cover a multitude of major illnesses such as kidney transplants, neurological issues and of course cardiac surgeries. In this article, I have chosen to focus on one of these diseases that we are very familiar with, namely Cancer.

Cancer is a deadly disease and one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide, including India. But the good news is that it is treatable if diagnosed early, thanks to rapid advancement in medicine and technology. Cancer therapy is a costly and long drawn process, whether it involves diagnosis, radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy. Its treatment can be emotionally, physically and even financially draining for the patient and family members. You can mitigate this financial burden to a large extent by purchasing a health insurance plan with cancer coverage.

Let’s look back at a few important points about any kind of critical illness cover

All comprehensive health insurance policies do cover critical illnesses that involve hospitalization

You may wonder - why do you need a specific policy with cancer coverage if you have a regular health insurance policy with critical illness cover. It is possible that your existing plan may cover certain cancer treatment costs, but it could be restricted to hospitalization costs. The complete treatment expenses may not be covered - there may be limitations with respect to co-payment, network hospital coverage and so on.

However, you may choose to take additional cover for critical illness, since these do involve much higher levels of expenditure that can come as an additional shock over and above the stress of the illness itself
Different insurers would cover different conditions in their respective critical care policies.

Why do you need a health insurance policy with cancer coverage?

People in their prime and pinkest of health don’t necessarily seek coverage for critical illnesses in general, and cancer in particular, when looking for a health insurance policy. The general assumption is that critical illnesses affect the older generation over a long period of time.  However, that is not always the case. These days many young adults and middle-aged persons get diagnosed with a life-threatening condition such as cancer early on. If detected on time and by a trained oncologist or specialist, chances are that these conditions could be overcome with the right treatment and care. The long-term treatment can get quite expensive, and the ideal means of funding the treatment would be to invest in a comprehensive health insurance policy that allows critical illnesses such as cancer to be covered.

Factors to consider before buying a Health Insurance Policy for Cancer

Whether you should go for a general cover or a Top-Up
A top-up policy, as is detailed in some other articles, allows you to get cost efficient additional cover over your base policy with a lower incremental premium payment.

Whether you want a lump sum or a reimbursement
In the case of a lump sum, the entire amount gets paid out to the policy holder when diagnosed with the condition and there are no subsequent payments. In other cases, the actual expense amounts are reimbursed as and when they occur.

Which specific types of cancer are covered
Do read the specifics of the cancer coverage in the product brochure. For e.g. one policy may cover only cancer of a specific level of severity, while another policy may cover leukemia but not skin cancer.

Higher Sum Assured

Choose an insurance plan with adequate cover for cancer care-related medical expenses. There are multiple coverage options available with several health insurance plans based on the market and the location. It is important to choose a sum assured that would cover at least 1.25 times the average treatment costs. If you are going for a family floater policy, you must increase coverage by minimum 50% as it is shared between family members.


Check if the health insurance policy requires co-payment, which may be a percentage of your claim. Although the co-payment feature is chosen to reduce the premium amount, it may become an expensive option if you incur huge expenses.

Waiting Periods

There is a waiting period for every health insurance, including those with critical illness coverage. Different insurance providers have different waiting periods, and hence, it is important to know the waiting period of the cancer cover insurance plan you have chosen.

Pre-existing Medical Conditions

It is imperative to inform your insurer about your entire medical history. If there is an existing cancer condition or a history, then purchasing a new policy may be prolonged due to pre-acceptance medical screening. After analyzing your health and needs, the insurance provider may offer the best financial protection, though at a higher premium.

Increase in Sum Assured via No Claim Bonus or Restoration Benefit

Look for a health insurance plan that allows the overall Sum Insured to be increased with time at no extra cost. For example, insurers offer No Claim Bonus by adding a certain amount (usually calculated as a percentage of Sum Insured) for every year that you do not raise any medical claim.

REMEMBER – It is critical to always thoroughly read the policy terms and conditions prior to finalizing any health insurance plan. Finer details of clauses such as sub-limits, co-payment, no-claim bonus, restoration benefits and others are covered in the Customer Information Sheet or Policy Wordings.

SANA.Insure helps individuals and families choose the Health insurance policy for Cancer care that is best suited to their needs. Visit for quick and easy access to policy information, perform comparative analysis and choose the optimum health insurance policy that best satisfies your requirements. SANA.Insure helps you understand complex health insurance concepts in easy terms. Simply click on the “i” button next to any policy feature to learn more.

You can in touch with us over WhatsApp chat on 8278271818, or call us on 1800 202 8118 to connect with a Health Insurance Expert at SANA.Insure.

Wish you a healthy and happy life!

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