NEW DELHI (INDIA): There are several things more alarming than battling cancer. One is not holding the money for its treatment. Given the recent spike in the occurrence of cancer and its treatment expenses, this could soon be a fact than mere consideration. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 10 lakh new cases are reported in India each year.
More disturbingly, nearly 5 lakh patients die annually of cancer, and WHO assumes the number to go up to 7 lakh by the end of 2019. The trend is projected to rise 5-fold by 2025 and the prevalence is likely to rise to 19% in males and 23% in females by 2020.
What are the RISK
While the risk of plunging from cancer before the age of 75 years is only 7.10%, through the Globocan 2012, an international cancer research outline, insurers claim that one in 5 cancer cases is by those between 36 and 45 years of age. This means that the disease is set to agitate the family’s finances due to the failure of a source of income.
According to a 2004 research on the economic burden of cancer on Indian households—by Ajay Mahal, Anup Karan, Victoria Y. Fan and
Michael Engelgau—the spending in a cancer-afflicted home was 36-45% more than in other households with comparable demographics.
Their borrowings and debts were also distinguished. In the last 10 years, these costs have grown significantly (see Rise in treatment cost),
which means that cancer care expense is likely to shoot out of reach for millions of Indian patients. “The costs have moved up due to more expensive infrastructure, new technology-based research costs, and innovative drugs,” says Naresh Parmar, CEO, Karnataka region, Apollo Hospital.
How to Prevent the Cancer
A skewed doctor-to-patient proportion (one for 2,000 patients) worsens the situation. Specialists are expensive and hard to find also. The high-risk synopsis not only calls for ways to prevent the disease and undertake regular check-ups for early detection. But also satisfactory financial security to tackle the treatment costs, both in early and late stages. While there are numerous players in the insurance market offering a variety of products to combat the expenses. It is not easy zeroing in on a singular product. Further, we shall not discuss only providing the insurance options that can help you cover the disease, but also the ones that will suit your primary healthcare needs the best.
WHY OPD CARE IS ESSENTIAL
Though there has been a rise in demand for OPD Care products. India continues to have the highest levels of under-penetration in the world, with only 0.16% of the total population covered for health, as per IRDA. Little wonder then that 70.00% of healthcare costs are met from one’s pocket. Since cancer care is extended term in nature, it also translates into a recurring outgo. The Cancer expense can decrease with OPD Care plan. This has a huge financial implication for the family, making it imperative to buy OPD Health plan. Keeping pace with the surge in the incidence of cancer, new products with special features and higher definition.
You can pick from the regular OPD Care plans, that covers preventive expenses for a critical illness that ensure a range of diseases, including cancer, and lastly, specialized with cancer care products. However, before we list the benefits and drawbacks of each option, it is important to consider the advantages of preventive check-ups or screening for cancer.
IMPORTANCE OF SCREENING
If detected in the early stages, cancer diagnose is not only effective, but the costs are cheaper too. You can additionally avail of the tax deduction of up to Rs 5,000 per year under Section 80D for such lab check-ups (see Early screening, low cost). “Common cancers, such as breast, cervix, colon, prostate, ovary, lung, etc. It can be discovered through routine screening. A definite improvement in endurance has been established due to screening plans in case of cancers like cervix, breast, and colon,”.
Typically, nevertheless, patients approach a doctor or an oncologist only when the disease has a forward stage. Making treatment more costly and survival less likely. In India, 70.00% of cancers are detected in difficult stages. Intentional screening is abysmally low even amid the educated,” says Root India Healthcare Ltd, New Delhi India. Genetic screening, the consequence of technological advancement. It has made it reasonable to avail of targeted therapies that are much more powerful.
Why Primary Care Require
However, these are also more costly. For example, the average cost of treatment for breast cancer through a private doctor would be ₹5-6 lakh, including investigations, operation, and radiotherapy. However, with targeted therapy, 6 cycles of chemotherapy can cost up to ₹20.00 lakh. More the reason that you consider the different insurance options accessible to you.
TYPES OF OPD CARE PRODUCTS
Innovative OPD-CARE Plan
A regular health plan, be it individual or family floater, is an indemnity policy that covers the medical expenses incurred during Doctor visits. So it pays for the costs as long as it is within the sum offered limit. It covers all major critical illnesses, including cancer. Plan feature active upon purchasing wherein no waiting period has to be served by the patient.
OPD Care has the following drawbacks:
- The cover on MBBS Category doctors only.
- No Hospitalization covered
- Cashless facility is not applicable
- Ayurvedic or Homeopathic cover not available.
- Dental & Physiotherapy based treatments excluded
Drawbacks of Insurance Health policy
Insurance Policy provides good cover in case of hospitalization while there are some drawbacks:
- Cancer cover has the waiting period which is usually 3-4 years of continuous policy renewal.
- Congenital disease never covered
- Maternity coverage generally covered after 5 years of successful regular policy renewal.
- One month notice period after first purchase for fever, cold, flue, etc, Only accidental case can be covered
- Premiums are very costly. and it increases after every 4 years
- The waiting period is very high for the pre-existing disease.
- Drugs & consumable items hardly covered.
- Terms and conditions are very complicated to understand.
- Life long renewal options are not available.
- After 45 years, Insurer asks for pre-medical checkups.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BUY?
How should you guard yourself facing cancer treatment costs?
While a health insurance scheme will not be adequate, one needs to buy it
to cover hospitalization risks for other ailments. So, you can depend on it for paying the beginning generic and surgical treatment costs. But for primary care, you should buy an OPD health plan. The best part is that it comes with a lifelong renewal option. However, you’ll need a Classic or Gold cover at least if there is a need for specialized treatment.
If you have a huge burden of doctors visit than you may go for customized OPD. Although it will be a little expensive than Packaged OPD Care plan. Cancer is not the only disease that threatens us. Lifestyle-related risks include diabetes, heart ailments, kidney, and liver-related illnesses. Hence, a wider cover based OPD Care plan would be a wiser pick.
You could buy a dedicated OPD Care plan only, even you do not fall in the high-risk category suffering from cancer. It should be mandatory for who those with a family history of the disease or those who are heavy smokers or tobacco users. About thirty-forty percents of cancers are linked to the use of tobacco. In such a case, paying an additional premium a year for primary care / OPD care, may be worth it. Currently, the only notch in the product range is a policy that covers one after the detection of the disease.