health insurance for cancer patients
Health Insurance

Health Insurance for Cancer Patients

Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Another commonly used term is malignant tumours. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, says the World Health Organization (WHO).

Treatment of cancer can leave you financially exhausted as it costs lakhs of rupees. Many patients leave treatment half-way because they cannot afford the high cost anymore. However, a right cancer health insurance policy can help you surmount this challenge.

Unfortunately, there are not enough insurance providers in the market who want to cater to this category as the claims could be really high. For the same reason, purchasing insurance for cancer patients is a challenging task.

Critical Illness Cover or Cancer Specialist Plans

Cancer is categorised as a critical illness. It is a chronic condition in which death is possible or even imminent. Many people buy a critical illness rider along with a basic life insurance policy to safeguard against the possibility of being diagnosed with cancer later in life. However, if you are already suffering from cancer, you cannot get the critical illness. In fact, if you get diagnosed with cancer within 90 days of purchasing a critical illness cover, it will stand terminated. Moreover, if your diagnosis happens after the waiting period has lapsed, your insurance provider will still hold the right to only provide coverage in the advanced stages of cancer. Hence, a cancer specialist plan is a better bet over a critical illness rider.

Survival Period

An important facet in chronic diseases such as cancer is the concept of survival period. A health insurance for cancer patients will always have a provision for survival period which must be considered before purchasing the policy. In regular insurance policies, a waiting period exists which essentially means a time period after which the insurance provider will start entertaining claims. In cancer health insurance, since death is a big possibility, the insurance provider is only liable to provide compensation if you have lived through the survival period. Hence, it remains an important check to ensure this period is reasonable in your policy details.

Basic Features of Cancer Specialist Plans

While it is difficult to find a customised health insurance that covers cancer treatment , there are certain cancer specialist plans available which have the following features.

  • Eligibility Age: 91 days to 70 years

  • Policy Term: Usually annual, but could be for three years and five years as well

  • Sum Assured: Typically ranges from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 crore

  • Waiting Period: Usually 60 days or 90 days. In some cases, it can also extend up to 180 days.

  • Survival Period: Ranges between 7 days to 30 days, ideally.


Diseases like cancer are unfortunately becoming quite common nowadays. As per the Cancer India statistics, every year there is an addition of over 11,50,000 people diagnosed by cancer.

While early detection can help defeat cancer, the cost of treatment can eat up your savings. Cancer insurance policies can be of great help in such situations.

Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.

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