A cancer diagnosis can come as a setback to your life plans. It takes medical attention, time, and even significant lifestyle changes for some patients before they can claim a full recovery. The condition affects not only the patients but the lives of their near and dear ones as well. From a financial angle, cancer insurance can help lessen the burden of this terrible medical disease.
How Does Cancer Insurance Help?
Along with taking up most of your time and strength, cancer can also be financially demanding. Treatments are only one aspect of the associated cost. Healthcare during recovery, drugs, specialist fees, new lifestyle adjustments, and even loss of income, in some cases, are some of the other hidden costs we often forget to account for. If you want to avoid financial struggles waiting for you after you have defeated cancer, having a cancer plan can help. The sum assured or cover provided by cancer plans can help meet the aforementioned expenses.
Cancer progresses in stages, getting more serious as it grows from one stage to the next. Noteworthy signs and symptoms of cancer may not always appear in the initial stages. The medical attention required at each stage is varying. Insurance providers also recognise these stages of cancer, so that apt financial benefits can be claimed by the person insured.
To better understand how cancer insurance plans offer pay-outs based on stages, it would be wise to know about the four stages of cancer.
- Stage 0
This stage is also known as CIS, or carcinoma in situ. The Latin phrase ‘in situ’ refers to ‘the original position’. In this stage, the cancerous cells are found only in their place of origin and have not spread any further. The growth may not be malignant or cancerous yet. Hence, the patient is at risk of developing cancer unless the growth is taken care of.
In this case, the cancer insurance benefits extended to the patient would be limited to 30% of the sum assured as a lump sum benefit. A stage 0/CIS claim can only be made once.
- Stage 1
At this stage, the cancer is present but limited to a small, single area. This stage exists before the malignant growth has had a chance to spread to the lymph nodes or attack other areas of the body. The type of treatment required at this stage may differ according to the type of cancer you have (e.g., lung cancer, cervical cancer, and others) and what is the best course of treatment to help you regain your health.
For the purpose of insurance claims, stage 1 is given the same importance as CIS. 30% of the sum assured can be received from the claim, and such a claim can only be made once.
- Stage 2
Stage 2 is considered a major stage. Most cancers at this stage are said to be curable but may need multiple modes of treatment. At this stage, the cancer may not have reached other parts of the body but may have affected the lymph nodes.
Pay-outs from your cancer plan at this stage will be the remainder of your sum assured if you have availed of any previous claims. The benefits can be disbursed as a lump sum. Alternatively, 40% can be taken as monthly pay-outs for three years, while the rest is accepted as a lump sum.
- Stage 3
This stage is similar to stage 2, except that the cancer may have spread over a larger area. For the purpose of insurance claims, this is also considered a major stage and the parameters of stage 2 will apply.
- Stage 4
Also known as ‘secondary’ or ‘metastatic’ cancer, this is the most advanced stage of cancer. At this stage, cancer has affected more than one organ. While cancer this advanced is likely to be fatal, treatment and recovery vary across types and grades of cancer.
Upon receiving a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, a patient with cancer insurance can receive up to 150% of the sum assured, sans any previous claims. This pay-out is given as a lump sum.