Health insurance for cancer

Top Things to Note before Selection of Health Insurance for Cancer in India

The sound of cancer itself is scary for some people. During the previous decade, the majority of cancer disease occurrence was unknown for many reasons. Some got them due to genetic reasons in their family and some others due to unknown reasons.

But in recent years, things have totally changed. These days people get cancer due to many preventable lifestyle preferences such as smoking, obesity, etc.

As per ICMR report, around 1300 Indians die of cancer per day.

The major sad thing associated with cancer ailment is the treatment part. Depending on the type of cancer, the person has to undergo rigorous chemotherapy, etc.

And the cost of these chemotherapy drugs are skyrocketing each year, just like inflation.

So, it becomes a nightmare for a middle class person like us if we are not financially protected.

Hence, comes the need for having health insurance for cancer ailment to protect us from financial hardships because of the disease.

What is Health Insurance for Cancer ailment?

Health Insurance for Cancer

People take Health Insurance basically to cover the costs in case they get hospitalized in future.

The same concept applies to mediclaim for cancer patients, but there are two different categories in them.

What are the two categories of health insurance for cancer patients?

health insurance for cancer patients

The two types are: 

  1. Regular Health Insurance plans that cover including Chemotherapy and
  2. Critical Illness Health Insurance Policy

There is a minor third variant too, which is also mentioned below.

Regular Health Insurance Policy:

These are your regular health insurance policies that you take, which covers additionally for hospitalization for cancer ailment.

Though majority of the policy now a days cover for chemotherapy treatment under them, do cross check them before selection

Critical Illness Health Insurance Policy:

These are policies where they cover for certain groups of illnesses such as cancer, heart disorders, etc.

Once you get diagnosed for example with cancer, you will get the sum insured from the insurance company at once.

As soon as the payment is done by the insurance company, these policies become void and cease to exist.

Third minor variant – These are hybrid plans where they work like Regular Health Insurance plans but specifically for cancer disease. These plans provide extra treatment cover and do not cease to exist once you got diagnosed. They also don’t provide a lump sum on your diagnosis for cancer.

Pros and Cons of Best Cancer plan for patients:

Best Cancer plan

Now let’s see the pros and cons for selecting a best cancer plan below.

Regular Health Insurance Policy – In this type, cancer cover is just part of the cover, there will be sub-limits for chemotherapy treatment in general.

For eg. If you are in a situation to go for multiple Chemotherapy sessions, these policies might cover for a few sessions that are too up to pre-fixed permissible limits.

If you are getting treated under a cashless option, then the process would be a little smooth.

But if you use reimbursement options for claiming expenses, we need to provide proper documents for the ailment to recover the expenses. This is a tedious process for normal people to understand the nuances of reimbursement mode.

Critical Illness Policy – These policies are highly recommended to opt, if you are having family history of cancer ailments, etc. 

And they are simple in functioning, once you get diagnosed and the insurance company pays the insured amount by you.

So it’s better to opt for these policies in the early years of your life when you are healthy.

Hybrid Insurance Policy – These policies don’t pay a lump sum, but cover the hospital expenses from treatment to OPD visits, etc.

This type is advisable if you want to opt for long term coverage instead of one-time settlement and it depends on each person’s personal choice.

Plus these policies might have additional extra premium since the risk is higher if you got diagnosed with the ailment.

Best health insurance for cancer survivors:

If you are thinking of opting for a cancer cover, then you should opt for a combination of above plans if you are comfortable in paying the premiums and at the same time to have maximum benefit.

If you are low on budget – Best option is to opt for a critical illness plan that covers maximum ailments at an affordable premium price.

If you are ready to spend a little extra – Opt for Regular Health Insurance Policy + Critical Illness cover option.

On choosing the above option, you will be having a regular health insurance policy which covers your basic hospital expenses. In addition to it, if you get diagnosed you are getting a lump sum without any hassles.

The catch in these combos is deciding the sum insured. If you choose a low sum insured and you are getting the ailment in future means, you might be cash crunched if you are not financially well settled.

If you are ready to spend more – Opt for cancer specific Hybrid covers. But the major drawback is, they wont cover for other ailments unrelated to cancer.

So, review your decision multiple times before opting for them.

Things to note for selecting health insurance for cancer patients in India:

In cancer specific plans, there might be additional unnecessary riders such as personal accident cover, etc.

If you are having high chances of getting diagnosed with cancer or any other critical illness, just opt for plain critical illness policy.

Do read the policy terms and conditions before finalising your choice and don’t go by the agent’s words.

Due to recent COVID-19 pandemic, Insurance companies are planning to redesign their policy and simultaneously raise the premiums.

So, make a quick decision and don’t delay them

Tip: Just make an excel sheet for future premiums if you are confused between two company policies. Compare their policy features and the total premiums you might be paying for a long term. This might be helpful to arrive at a decision point.


You might have been thinking that I didn’t list down the cancer care insurance cover policies of various companies.

Though I would definitely be happy to do them, let’s keep them for future posts with detailed analysis.

Another closing remark from my side. In this branded hospital chains era, it would be beneficial if you would stick to a family doctor who might suggest the right doctor at affordable fees.

Let me know your thoughts above this article, what more points you needed to be covered, etc pen down them in the comments section below.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t read my previous post on types of health insurance plans in India, do give it a read here.


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