Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and accounted for 8.80 million deaths in 2015. According to WHO (World Health Organization) nearly 10 Lakh new cases are reported every year in India. Unfortunately, nearly 5 Lakh people annually die due to cancer and this number will go up and projected to rise five folds by 2025, according to WHO.
How dreaded is Cancer
During 2016, estimated 1.5 lakh new breast cancer cases have been registered (over 10 per cent of all cancers). BreastCancer is the number one cancer overall. The next is Cancer of the lung with estimated 1.14 lakh (83,000 in males and 31,000 in females) according to a premier medical research organisation.
According to The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Cervix is the third most common cancer with estimated 1 lakh new cases reported in 2016.
These are some of the alarming statistics which can make any one stressed and anxious. The fact is, Cancer is now a common disease globally and different types of cancer are being diagnosed every day.
Can cancer be curable?
With advancement of medical research and new drug discoveries, survival rates have increased. One can see a lot of awareness about Cancer and how people are pro-actively taking medical advise and going for check-ups etc. to ensure early detection. According to WHO, if it can be detected at an early stage it can effectively reduce the mortality associated with this dreaded disease.
Can you afford the cost of cancer treatment?
The treatment of Cancer can wipe out your family’s savings and ruin future financial goals as the treatment cost is quite huge and recurring. Though the cost of treatment depends on the type of cancer, the stage at which it is detected is very important as the cost varies. The other factor is the institution where one is getting treated for Cancer. Following are some minimum broad cost ideas –
- Chemotherapy – The cost depends on the number of sessions and drugs. However, approximately Rs 30,000 – 100,000 is the cost per session
- A PET-CT Scan can alone cost Rs 25,000 – 30,000
- Targeted therapies – These can cost approx. Rs 20 lakh for 5-7 sessions
- Radiation – This therapy can cost Rs 125,000 – 150,000 per cycle
- Breast cancer surgery can cost Rs 250,000 – 300,000
How to protect yourself financially from cancer
As we discussed earlier, the Cancer can wipe out the family’s savings and ruin the financial future of your and your children and put lot of stress on family’s finances.
The treatment of cancer can be very costly and exhaustive as not only it takes a toll on your finances, it also affects your emotions and precious time. Thinking about all these makes you feel anxious about your financial future. However, there are ways and mean by which you can protect yourself financially from Cancer.
If you have a regular health insurance plan, it pays for the hospitalization cost within the sum assured limit. Also, if you have taken a critical illness rider, the life insurance company pays the rider amount on diagnosis of the disease. However, as we know the cost of treatment is quite high in case of Cancer, therefore, a regular health plan may not be enough to recover the cost. Similarly, the coverage in a critical illness rider is limited and therefore may not be sufficient to carry on the cost of the prolong treatment.
The answer to this problem lies in taking an exclusive cover through Cancer Protection Plan. An example of a Cancer Protection plan could be as follows – These plans are normally offered from age 18 to 65 years and it can be taken for 10, 15 or 20 years or 80 year minus age at entry. Sum assured taken can be from 10 Lakhs to 40 Lakhs maximum.
It comes in many variants – For example – Lump sum cover and Lump sum cover with income benefit. In ‘Lump Sum Cover’ the fixed payout is made on diagnosis and in ‘Lump Sum Cover with Income Benefit’, one can receive a fixed percentage of cover amount per month for few years apart from getting a lump sum amount on diagnosis.
The other benefits of Cancer Protection Plan are – low premium cost, in most of the cases no medical examination is required, the plan is available for all types of cancer and stages and that it is also available for minors.
Though there has been a rise in demand for health insurance products due to growing awareness, India continues to be one of the most under-penetrated country in the world, with not even 1% of the total population insured for health. Since cancer care is long term in nature, it also translates into a recurring expenditure and loss of pay / earnings due to a prolong illness. This is the reason why one must have an exclusive Cancer Protection Plan to fight with this dreaded disease.