Can Health Insurance Be Used To Fight Cancer?

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Cancer is a major cause of death in India, affecting millions. This severe illness is characterised by the uncontrolled division and growth of cells in the body. The impact of cancer extends beyond physical health, affecting patients and their families emotionally and financially. The high cost associated with cancer treatment can be overwhelming, making health insurance specifically for cancer an essential consideration. Read on to understand the significance of cancer health insurance coverage options and the financial support they offer.

Are There Health Plans for Cancer Treatment?

Various specially designed health plans offer targeted medical coverage for cancer and related treatment. With cancer health insurance, policyholders can receive prompt access to healthcare at reputable cancer treatment facilities without worrying about financial strain. This insurance can be bought either as a standalone plan or as an add-on to the existing plan. Upon cancer diagnosis, the insurance provider will give the policyholder a lump-sum amount for covering medical costs associated with treatment.

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What Do Cancer Health Insurance Plans Cover?

Cancer health insurance plans typically cover various common forms of cancer, including ovarian, breast, lung, hypopharynx, stomach, and prostate cancers. However, skin cancer is usually excluded from coverage. These plans offer substantial coverage with a sum insured ranging from ₹10-50 lakh, sufficient to cover high medical costs associated with cancer. Cancer-specific insurance covers a wide range of cancer-related expenses, such as hospitalisation, diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. This ensures that patients receive comprehensive cancer treatment without the burden of financial strain.

The plans cater to both early and advanced stages of cancer, providing financial support throughout the treatment process. The insurance payout is determined based on the stage of cancer and any previous insurance claims made under the policy. A specific percentage of the policy's sum insured is granted as a lump sum, based on the severity of the cancer as defined by the policy terms and conditions. Many cancer health plans include free regular cancer check-ups during the policy term, aiding in early detection and treatment.

Why Purchase a Cancer Health Insurance Plan?

There are several good reasons for investing in a cancer health insurance plan. These include:

  • Medical Coverage for All Stages of Cancer: Top cancer health plans cover all stages of cancer. Some policies offer a portion of the initial cover amount upfront and waive all future premiums.
  • Dual Benefit: Many cancer insurance plans provide a lump sum payment as well as income support in case of a major stage diagnosis.
  • Premium Waiver: In many cancer health plans, premium payments are waived after a cancer diagnosis (major or minor), yet the policyholder remains covered for the entire policy term.
  • Choice of Treatment: Many cancer health insurance plans allow policyholders to choose their hospitals, doctors, and treatments without being restricted to network hospitals.
  • Family History of Cancer: Individuals with a family history of cancer are at a higher risk of developing the disease. Having a comprehensive cancer insurance plan is crucial for such individuals.
  • Financial Support: Cancer treatment can be extremely expensive. Investing in a robust cancer insurance policy ensures that individuals have adequate coverage without depleting their life savings.
  • Treatment Affordability: With the increasing prevalence of cancer in India, the cost of related medical treatments is also rising. A good cancer insurance plan helps manage these expenses effectively.
  • High Coverage at an Affordable Premium: Top cancer insurance plans offer substantial medical coverage at relatively affordable premium rates, making it a cost-effective choice for safeguarding against cancer-related financial burdens.

How to Choose the Best Cancer Health Insurance?

Even if you already have basic health insurance, it’s wise to purchase standalone cancer insurance, especially if there’s a family history or personal health record of cancer. Basic health insurance may not provide adequate coverage for the extensive and expensive treatment that cancer often requires. A standalone cancer insurance policy is crucial for handling challenging situations with ease and protecting your finances. Here are key factors to consider when buying a cancer insurance policy:

  • Claim Settlement Ratio: Always check the claim settlement ratio when purchasing health insurance. This ratio indicates the number of insurance claims settled by the insurance company compared to the claims made by policyholders. Opt for an insurer with a high claim settlement ratio.
  • Cancer Insurance Payout: Cancer treatment involves different stages, from early to advanced. Choose a plan that offers substantial coverage or payout for the early stages of cancer.
  • Waiting Period: Select a plan with a shorter waiting period to minimise delays in receiving payouts.
  • Affordable Premium: While cancer treatment costs are high, you can still find health insurance policies with affordable premiums. An affordable plan saves you from financial strain during medical emergencies. Ensure the policy offers comprehensive coverage despite being cost-effective.
  • Coverage Term: Consider the insurance term provided by the policy. Cancer treatments often extend over a long period, so the best health plans are those with longer terms, offering financial protection for an extended duration.
  • Policy Renewal Terms: Check the renewal terms and age limits of the policy. This ensures that you can continue to benefit from the coverage for as long as possible against any unfortunate events.


Cancer is a devastating illness that affects millions in India, bringing significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Health plans specifically designed for cancer provide comprehensive patient support, safeguard your finances, and ensure access to quality treatment without overwhelming financial strain. Prioritise your health and peace of mind by choosing a cancer insurance plan that meets your needs and provides adequate coverage for future uncertainties.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I buy cancer health insurance?

It’s best to buy cancer health insurance early, preferably when you are healthy and have no signs of the disease. Early purchase ensures coverage before any potential diagnosis, providing financial protection and peace of mind in case of future cancer-related health issues.

No, cancer health insurance specifically covers expenses related to cancer diagnosis and treatment, whereas critical illness plans provide a lump-sum payout for a range of serious illnesses, including heart attack, cancer, and stroke. Cancer insurance offers targeted support, while critical illness plans cover multiple diseases.

Typically, you are not eligible to get a cancer insurance plan after you’ve already been diagnosed with cancer. These plans are designed to provide coverage before a diagnosis. It's important to purchase cancer insurance while you are still healthy to ensure financial protection in case of future illness.

The survival period in a cancer insurance plan is the minimum number of days you must survive once you’ve been diagnosed with cancer to be eligible for the insurance payout. This period usually ranges from 7 to 30 days, based on the policy, ensuring that benefits are provided to those who survive the initial diagnosis period.

Yes, cancer insurance plans usually come with a waiting period, which is the time you must wait after purchasing the policy before making any claims. This period can range from 30 to 180 days, depending on the insurer. Claims made during the waiting period are generally not covered.

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