Young adults in their mid-20’s are often assumed to be headless chickens about money. Mindless shopping, lavish dinners and night-out’s and add to that the pressure of keeping up with an urban lifestyle and there comes the verdict – their survival seems to be hinged on the last paycheck. Let me burst the bubble. I have a job which provides me with a steady income, which has over the years taught me to be prudent about my finances.

Certain thumb rules to be followed (however small or large your pay packet is) are: Pay your taxes diligently (and actually take a personal effort to understand how tax calculations are done), keep securing a chunk of your monthly salary through saving schemes, keep a strict eye over your credit card statements and never let them lull you into a false sense of monetary security and if you are feeling adventurous enough, try your hand at buying low risk, slow-yield stocks. This lets me confidently say that I have taken certain significant steps towards securing my future.

Roughly 10 lakh Indians are annually diagnosed with cancer. An alarming 60% to 70% of them succumb to this illness.

However, one aspect of security that I had missed or rather dismissed as being a not-so-necessary step in this phase of my life was – Insurance. After all, I’m in my 20’s in the prime of my health, what’s the hurry to buy insurance now? This was my belief until I came across a special report published in the Lancet Oncology Journal stating that roughly 10 lakh Indians are annually diagnosed with cancer. An alarming 60% to 70% of them succumb to this illness. It further stated that these numbers would almost double by 2035, with over 17 lakh new diagnosis and 12 lakh annual deaths due to cancer. These are scary numbers, and hence worth taking a deeper look into…

As the number of cancer patients increase, the treatment costs are also on the rise. Along with life and term insurance, a complete medical insurance plan including cancer has become very important. Such a plan is able to provide some financial support to the patient and family while dealing with the illness.

Understanding Cancer Insurance

Why have a cancer-specific insurance policy, when I can have an overall health coverage? The reason being that Cancer is one of the worst afflictions to befall a person, in terms of the long term expensive healthcare required. A cancer insurance policy complements the health plan coverage and is useful in managing cancer-associated risks. It is beneficial in providing financial support for patients who are faced with huge treatment costs.

Insurance companies offer different benefits on such policies. Therefore, users must do their homework and extensively research before zeroing in on a particular company.

Benefits of Cancer Coverage

Availing cancer insurance in India has several benefits especially for those individuals who are at a high risk due to their family history.

Here are six benefits of such policies:

1. Payment on diagnosis

The insurer provides a lump sum amount to the policyholder in case of a positive diagnosis.

2. Premium waiver

Under certain conditions, such as early stage illness, the insurance company may waive off the premium payment.

3. Insurance coverage

Users are able to avail the coverage as per the policy terms and conditions. This is beneficial in mitigating the high treatment costs.

4. No claims bonus

The sum assured may annually increase by a certain percent when no claim is made by the policyholders.

5. Tax benefits

The amount paid on the cancer policy is eligible for tax benefits under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

6. Others

The insurance provider may offer monthly income for the policyholder under certain conditions like the diagnosis of major cancer. Some insurers may offer a discount on the premium amount if the person chooses for a higher sum assured.

Understanding Critical Illness Insurance

While cancer is a critical illness, there are several other medical conditions falling under this category. A critical illness cover provides a lump sum payment to the holders if they are diagnosed with a serious medical condition. Some of these include heart attack, major organ transplantation, paralysis, kidney failure, coronary artery bypass surgery, stroke, and many more.

A cancer insurance policy manages not only cancer-associated risks but also overall health plan coverage.

Higher the number of cancer patients, higher the need for medical insurance. | Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

Most people avail health insurance plans but ignore including critical illness insurance.

Here are four benefits of such insurance plans:

1. Lump sum payout

If the policyholder is diagnosed with any condition that is listed in the policy document, he would receive a lump sum payout. This amount is useful in reducing the financial stress faced by patients and their families during the treatment period.

2. Extensive health conditions coverage

When compared to a regular health policy, a critical illness cover includes more medical conditions as well as several surgical procedures. This offers relief to the policyholders in case they are diagnosed with the conditions included in the policy.

3. Daily hospital cash

Insurance companies offer a certain percent of the sum assured in case of hospitalization for treating the covered health condition.

4. Flexibility and convenience

To maximize the benefits, users have the option of customizing the plan as per their personal requirements. Moreover, the procedure to avail of critical illness plan is simple and does not require undergoing medical tests. Users also have the option of paying a single or regular premium as per their financial availability and convenience.

Every aspect of a person’s life depends on good health. Unfortunately, the stress and hectic lifestyle has increased the instances of critical illnesses even among young adults. Moreover, the healthcare costs are escalating at unprecedented rates. This makes it imperative for every person to be pro-active and secure his/her life with health insurance coverage.

Featured Image Credits: Pexels

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Posted by The Indian Economist