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Cancer Insurance Plans

Cancer Insurance Plans

Cancer insurance plans are specially formulated health plans providing financial assistance to those diagnosed with this critical illness. While there are health insurance policies that cover cancer, among other critical illnesses, as an add-on benefit, it is always advisable to have a separate health plan that covers cancer treatments in particular. The cost of cancer treatment is known to be high. Therefore, a dedicated cancer insurance plan enables prompt access to quality healthcare while mitigating the associated financial pressure to some extent.

Types of cancers covered under cancer insurance plans


Here are the types of cancers commonly covered under cancer insurance plans.

  1. Lung cancer
  2. Breast cancer
  3. Ovarian cancer
  4. Stomach cancer
  5. Prostate cancer

How does cancer insurance differ from a critical illness plan?

Cancer insurance plans, also known as cancer protection plan or cancer care insurance, is a type of health-care policy that aids in the management of cancer-related health risks. This type of plan protects the policy buyer financially in the event of a cancer diagnosis. A cancer insurance plan pays out a lump sum amount to the insured after a cancer diagnosis, which he or she can use to cover cancer treatment expenditures such as hospitalisation, chemotherapy, surgery, and so on. The policy distributes compensation based on the stages of cancer, such as minor, major, and critical.

Critical illness insurance offers financial security and protection against a variety of life-threatening illnesses. It pays a lump sum payment to the insured if he or she is diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The following are examples of these conditions:

  • Heart attack
  • Cancer
  • Major organ transplants
  • Kidney failure
  • Coma
  • Bypass surgery
  • Stroke

A critical insurance plan is beneficial since it protects the policyholder against a variety of terminal/uncertain conditions, whereas a dedicated cancer policy can assist the policyholder by covering solely the costs associated with cancer treatment. Both programmes offer financial protection in the form of a one-time lump sum payment.

Why should you buy cancer insurance policy along with a simple health insurance policy?

The majority of people believe that having cancer insurance is unnecessary because they believe that their current health insurance will suffice. Although a comprehensive health insurance policy offers critical illnesses cover, it may not be enough to cover the high expenses of cancer treatments. A cancer insurance policy goes a step further by providing comprehensive coverage at a moderate cost.

Here’s why standalone cancer insurance policies make a better choice.

  • It covers cancer-related consequences.
  • The policyholder can avail of the coverages offered under the policy if he/she develops cancer symptoms during the first 90 days (which is normally the waiting period given in most policies). However, this may vary from insurer to insurer.
  • Cancer-specific plans cover early-stage of cancer, whereas cancer insurance plans may not cover the same.

Why do you need a cancer insurance plan?

A cancer insurance plan is vital because of the physical, emotional, and financial consequences that this disease can have on families. Furthermore, even the finest health insurance policy may not cover all cancer-related expenses, and even if it does, there may be criteria for coverage at certain stages. Therefore, having the best cancer insurance policy in India will cover all the expenses related to cancer.

Here is why you need a cancer insurance plan:

  • If there’s any medical history of cancer in the family.
  • If you believe that you are at a higher risk of developing cancer owing to environmental or other factors.
  • Need sufficient financial back-up for medical emergencies.
  • The current health insurance policy of the policyholder does not provide enough coverage.
  • If you are sole-earner of the family.

Things to consider before buying a cancer insurance plan

Here are the things you must consider before buying a cancer insurance plan:

Weigh the risk factors

Cancer insurance plan makes a lot of sense for those with a strong family history of cancer. Review the current health insurance plan and consider how a cancer insurance policy can supplement it. It's also worth remembering that a cancer insurance policy only kicks in if the policyholder is diagnosed with cancer; it won't cover any other chronic illness.

Coverage of types and stages of cancer

Cancer insurance covers all stages of the cancer. However, it is best to verify the cancer insurance plan to understand which type and stage of cancer is covered under the plan. Some may have waiting period implied before offering the full benefits of the plan.

Sum insured

Ensure the chosen cancer insurance policy covers all the related treatments of cancer like chemotherapy sessions, surgery, pre-and post-hospitalisation, hospitalisation, doctor consultancy fees, etc.


It is important to be aware of the list of exclusions mentioned in the cancer insurance plan. This will help you stay updated about the offerings and its clauses, avoiding any confusions and disappointments at the time of claim process.

Some of the exclusions are:

  1. Skin cancer is not covered under cancer insurance plan
  2. Cancer resulting from any pre-existing conditions is excluded.
  3. Cancer caused due to biological or nuclear contamination or contact with radiation is also excluded.

Claim process for cancer insurance plan

One can claim the sum insured by your cancer health plan in a hassle-free manner by following these steps:

  1. Promptly inform your insurer if a medical emergency requires hospitalisation, either directly or through third-party administration (TPA).
  2. Submit the required documents and duly filled claim form that your insurer will provide upon being intimated of your hospitalisation. These will be verified, and the insurer will evaluate the reimbursement amount. 
  3. Submit hospital bills along with the other documents.
  4. Claim scrutiny will be conducted by a surveyor appointed to verify the case’s authenticity.
  5. Claim approval/ rejection of your cancer health plan will be based on the provided documents and findings of the surveyor. If the claim is rejected, the insurer may ask for more documents to proceed further.

Documents required for claim processing

Some of the documents you will need to furnish to claim for a cancer health plan are:

  • Claim form, duly filled in and signed
  • Medical certificates
  • Medical prescriptions
  • Medical investigation reports
  • Reports of other procedures like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, etc.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about cancer insurance plan

Can a cancer patient take cancer medical insurance?

Cancer medical insurance plan is specifically designed to meet the insurance needs of a cancer patient. Investing in a cancer health plan to safeguard oneself against such a life-threatening illness is highly recommended. However, if you have cancer as a pre-existing condition or have been treated or diagnosed with cancer, then you may not be eligible for the cancer medical insurance plan.

Which health insurance covers cancer?

Most health insurance policies for critical illnesses cover cancer and can be bought either as an individual plan or as a rider with your comprehensive health insurance cover. However, investing in a dedicated cancer health plan or cancer medical insurance is always advisable as these are formulated keeping in mind the unique requirements of a cancer patient.

Does a cancer insurance plan cover chemotherapy?

Since cancer insurance plans are particularly designed keeping in mind the needs of cancer patients, they cover the various expenses associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment. This includes chemotherapy, hospitalisation, radiation, surgery, etc.

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