Health Insurance for Breast Cancer: Important Things You Must Know

5 min read

Health Insurance for Breast Cancer

With breast cancer claiming the life of a woman every 13 minutes, it has definitely emerged as a critical illness in recent times. Does health insurance cover for breast cancer treatment?

Among the various women centric diseases that are prevalent globally, breast cancer is one that is rising exponentially. In India also, breast cancer is growing at a fast pace taking many lives of women every year.  If diagnosed on time, breast cancer can be cured with the help of your health insurance policy, which helps in getting you the compensation for the treatment.  Thus, it is very important for every woman to have health insurance with breast cancer cover.  Let us learn about the various important things about breast cancer and health insurance in this blog.  Also, we will learn if breast cancer is covered under health insurance plans.

What do you know about Breast Cancer?

It is a malignant tumour that grows in the breast as a result of uncontrollable growth of the mutating breast cells. This tumour might also spread to the rest of the parts of the body through other organs. Ductal Carcinomas or milk ducts are the areas where most cancers of the breast occur. However, 10 % of breast cancer occurs in lobular carcinomas or milk glands.

Below are some breast cancer symptoms that can indicate cancer in a woman’s breasts:

  • Discharge coming from nipples of your breast
  • Changes in the shape of the nipples
  • Itching and pain in your breasts
  • The texture of skin might also show changes such as puckering, dimpling, etc.
  • Swelling in the breasts
  • Pigmentation in skin might also appear
  • And you may also experience peeling off of your skin

Breast Cancer Treatment in India

Talking about breast cancer, if you know the breast cancer stages you will be aware that if breast cancer is detected in its early stage, it has more chances of getting cured. But, if the cancer of the breast is identified late, the survival rate becomes low by three percent to 17 percent.

To cure breast cancer, therapies that can be used are:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Hormone therapy

But you must note that the cost of treatment for breast cancer is expensive, and it takes about rupees 2 to 4 lakh to receive good treatment in India.  In case of some private hospitals, this treatment charges can be around 6 lakh rupees or more depending on the treatment. Thus, it is important to have health insurance to cover breast cancer for each woman.  It is also important to know if genetic testing of breast cancer covered under health insurance.

Below are certain things that are important to know regarding Health Insurance for Breast Cancer.

Points regarding Breast Cancer Health Insurance

Below are some important things to know before you purchase a health plan to cover breast cancer:

  • Breast Cancer protection is available under Critical Illness Insurance – Breast cancer is a disease that is covered under critical illness policies. Being a critical illness, you do not get coverage for this disease under regular plans. Even if some regular insurances do offer certain coverage against breast cancer, they just provide the costs for hospitalization charges. On the other hand, a critical illness plan is crafted in a way that it covers such diseases by offering lump sum money to the insured to help in getting the treatment done. This amount helps in taking care of the expenses incurred in getting the treatment of breast cancer of the insured.
  • Breast cancer protection is also available as add-on cover with regular Health Insurance Plans –Most of the regular insurance plans do not offer protection against breast cancer. However, some of them might allow an add-on rider for critical illness. This rider can be availed along with your regular health insurance. However, you will have to pay an extra premium for this cover.
  • Breast Cancer has a waiting Period  – Irrespective of the health insurance plan – whether you buy it as an add-on cover with a regular plan or as a critical illness plan –  you have to wait till the waiting period is over before you could use coverage against breast cancer. Moreover, even if you raise a claim during the waiting period, it will be rejected by the insurer.  90 days is the minimum waiting period that one needs to wait before availing compensation for breast cancer. In case of regular insurance, this waiting period is over 2 years.
  • Survival Period also needs to be considered under Critical Illness Insurance – Survival period of 30 days is also levied on breast cancer together with the particular duration of waiting period as per the terms of the insurer.  So, the insured has to wait till the completion of the survival period before getting compensation for breast cancer coverage. Once the insured survives through the survival period, the insurer proceeds to compensate the insured with a lump sum amount for the treatment. However, if the insured dies from the disease within the first one month of diagnosis of the disease, the insurer will not make any claim payment.
  • Can incur expenses made out of your own pocket – There are many expenses that an insured needs to carry on from his/her own pocket while getting treatment for breast cancer. Like the cost that you have to incur on traveling to the location where your treatment is going on. Also expenses incurred for chemo sessions, for procuring medical equipment, diet plans, etc. All these expenses will not be compensated by the insurer under your regular insurance plan. But in case you opt for a critical illness plan, you can get coverage against such costs by means of the lump sum money that you receive from your insurer.
  • Breast cancer policy might allow preventive health check-up of the insured -If you opt for a plan that allows you to avail free yearly precautionary health check-up, you can benefit from it to detect breast cancer in advance. Further, as you already know the screening for such diseases is very expensive so with free health check-up you can save money.

Read More: Best Health Insurance Plans for Cancer Patients.

To Conclude

Breast cancer is a common disease among women in the present time, and although if detected early treatment is possible, the cost of treatment is very high. So, it is advised to buy a critical illness health plan to ensure that the insured receives better treatment. Also, be aware of the symptoms and causes of breast cancer so that you can keep away the disease.

Remember to keep in mind the points mentioned above before you purchase a policy on breast cancer. Further, it is advised to undergo a screening of breast cancer each year so that you can identify the disease as early as possible.

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Gayatri Prabhu, Head-Digital Business at Mahindra Insurance Brokers Limited (MIBL) is one those few digital leaders who has the width and depth that is required to execute an ROI driven holistic digital strategy. She cuts through the noise, identifies the critical levers and leads her team to successful execution of the defined strategy. Her core mantra to win new and retain existing customers is: understand the consumer behavior and craft experiences around it.

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