Stages of Cancer: Claims and Payouts in case of Cancer Insurance Plan

Stages of Cancer: Claims and Payouts in case of Cancer Insurance Plan

Cancer Insurance

There are over 100 types of cancers which can affect human beings. Any part of a body can be affected at any time and without any warning signals. The incidence of cancer is on the rise in India. National Cancer Institute AIIMS projects that India is likely to have over 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8.8 lakh deaths due to the disease by 2020 with cancers of breast, lung and cervix topping the list. Another study (ascopubs.org) the projected incidence of patients with cancer in India among males was 679,421 (94.1 per 100,000) and among females 712,758 (103.6 per 100,000) for the year 2020. One in 68 males (lung cancer), 1 in 29 females (breast cancer), and 1 in 9 Indians will develop cancer during their lifetime (0-74 years of age). The projected 5 most common cancers in 2020 for males (lung, mouth, prostate, tongue, and stomach) constitute 36% of all cancers and for females (breast, cervix uteri, ovary, corpus uteri, and lung) constitute 53% of all cancers. A 2012 WHO report has indicated that India has the largest number of cancer-afflicted patients globally after the USA and China. Studies underline that 70-90 per cent of all cancers are due to lifestyle changes and environmental factors, and not genetics, as presumed by people in general.

Some facts for you to ponder:

  •   There are over 100 types of cancers which can affect human beings.
  •   Any part of a body can be affected at any time and without any warning signals.
  •   The incidence of cancer is on the rise in India. Various studies claim that there were about 14 lakh cases in 2016 and the figure is projected to rise up to over 17.3 lakh by 2020.
  •  A 2012 WHO report has indicated that India has the largest number of cancer-afflicted patients globally after the USA and China.
  • Studies underline that 70-90 per cent of all cancers are due to lifestyle changes and environmental factors, and not genetics, as presumed by people in general.

Stages of Cancer

Typically, there are four stages of cancer: carcinoma in situ (CIS), early stage, major stage and critical stage. As far as payouts are concerned, insurers normally treat the first two stages in the same way and the last two similarly.

  1. Carcinoma in situ (CIS): In the first-ever diagnosis of a histologically proven stage, the cancer cells have not yet penetrated the basement membrane or invaded the surrounding tissues.
  2. Early stage: In this stage, there is presence of any of the specified malignant conditions that can invade and destroy nearby tissue. (Payment of lump sum ranging from 20 per cent to 25 per cent of sum insured is made at this stage.)
  3. Major stage: This stage is characterised by the first-ever malignant tumour with uncontrolled growth and spread of malignant cells, with invasion and destruction of normal tissues. (Lump-sum payment of up to 100 per cent of sum insured is paid at this stage.)
  4. Critical stage: Any cancer that meets the definition of ‘major stage’ and where the insured individual’s oncologist has determined that the cancer has progressed to Stage IV is the critical stage. (Payment of lump-sum amount ranging up to 150 per cent of sum insured is possible at this stage.)

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Cow Ghee – How pure is your ghee?

Cow Ghee – How pure is your ghee?

Cow Ghee

Indian cuisines are famous for its delectable taste and aroma. Thanks to our age-old cooking tradition that uses a lot of spices and desi ghee. Desi ghee or cow ghee makes our tadka dal savory, mutton biryani lip-smacking and our paranthas complete. Besides the taste and aroma, cow ghee is good for health too.

During the lockdown, Indians had been busy experimenting with different cuisines and one item that has been used vigorously is cow ghee. It is a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins including A, D, E and K, which our bodies need in very small quantities but can’t make for itself. These vitamins perform many essential functions.

These vitamins perform many essential functions. Similarly, the essential fatty acids, which cannot be synthesized in our body, are also supplied by ghee. Cow ghee is the pure clarified fat-derived solely from milk or curd or desi butter or from cream to which no colouring matter flavor or preservative gets added. Ghee is an important dairy product that enters inter-state trade too. Due to variation in its composition from region to region and season to season and also because it depends on the type of animal and the feed given, the establishment of its purity often involves elaborate analysis, as well as tests for its keeping quality.

Why cow ghee is more yellow?

Cow ghee is more yellow because of the pigment (the natural colouring matter of animal or plant tissue) beta-carotene. Beta- carotene comes from the cows’ diet, which consists mostly of dried grass, grass, grains and cereals. The amount of beta carotene in the cow ghee depends on a few factors:

Cow feed is the most important (grass-fed dairy products contain more beta carotene than cows who are fed grains).

Cow’s breed.

The season of the year is also important. The biological makeup of milk changes throughout the lactation period.

Disclaimer:

As there is no validated test method to authentic cow ghee, we could not carry out authentication tests. Comparative testing was conducted as per prescribed parameters in national standard for Ghee.

Consumer VOICE team this time singled out 11 popular /regular selling cow ghee brands and tested on different parameters including vitamin A, milk fat, adulteration, flavor and taste among others.

So the next time you are going to buy your cow ghee, make sure you are acquainted with the correct information. To know what constituents make the cow ghee brand best for you, get a copy of the report from the Consumer VOICE magazine.

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Best Health Insurance Cover for your Family

Best Health Insurance Cover for your Family

Health Insurance

The importance of Health Insurance is undisputed.  It gives one respite during times of emergency. Some of the benefits of health insurance which can’t be ignored are cashless treatment, Pre and post hospitalization cost coverage, No Claim Bonus and Tax benefit among others. However, with a number of insurance companies in India having their own health insurance policies choosing the right one could be a tricky task.

No one thinks about taking a health insurance until they are hit badly by a need. However, given the spurt of diseases, everyone should take a suitable health insurance cover to meet the medical care expenses. You must know a health insurance is an agreement between an insurance provider and an individual wherein the former guarantees to take care of certain medical costs of the latter based on the premium paid without default.

In today’s time buying a health insurance policy for yourself and your family is extremely important. Medical care is very expensive, especially in the private sector. Hospitalisation can burn a hole in your pocket and ruin your finances for a lifetime. So a health insurance policy will lessen your stress in case of medical emergencies.

Now, choosing the health insurance that meets your need is not easy and most of the time we consult our friends and colleagues to understand what kind of plan to choose. To make it a hassle-free exercise, Consumer Voice team has evaluated 6 health insurance companies and reviewed them on parameters including pre-hospitalization (days), post-hospitalization (days), day-care coverage, domiciliary treatment, maternity treatment among others and identified the best one for you.

To know the best health insurance policy, get the latest copy of Consumer VOICE

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Stages of Cancer: Claims and Payouts in case of Cancer Insurance Plan

How to buy the best cancer insurance policy

Cancer Insurance

Did you know that the existing health insurance cover by way of a critical illness plan does not fully cover the costs of cancer treatment (which may stretch for a longer time). Once a person is diagnosed with cancer, there are insurance  policies that cover treatment only in advanced stages of the ailment. The  additional   financial burden   that cancer brings  may be more than  what the patient/ patient’s family is able to bear, even after taking their existing insurance policies into account.

 When buying a policy, the insured sum and the premium to be paid are decisive factors. At the same time, a host of other factors also come into play, such as the type of plan chosen; the age of the individual buying  the same; and one’s expectations from the plan.

As of now, only five life insurance companies offer cancer  insurance plans. Almost all of them offer non-linked (not  linked to market for growth as indicated in units) and non-participating (no bonus or any other benefit)  insurance plans.

How Are The Payouts Done Or Claims Paid In Case Of A Person Is Afflicted With Cancer?

  • All  policies  offer lump-sum  payouts once the policyholder is afflicted with the disease.
  • Lump-sum payouts are given at early stage (also called minor/mild stage), major stage (also called moderate  stage), and severe stage (also called critical stage) of cancer. 
  • The lump-sum payout at any stage will be reduced to the extent of any payouts at an earlier stage. For example, if 25 per cent has been paid in the early stage,  the same will deducted and only 75 per cent of the sum insured will be get paid at another stage.
  • There is an initial waiting period of 180 days from the date of commencement of the policy or from the  date of reinstatement of the policy, for the diagnosis and valid claim to be admissible under this policy.
  • There is no death benefit. If a patient dies within the waiting period, 100 per cent of the premium is refunded to the family.
  • In  some plans  there is a mandatory  seven-day survival period,  according to which a cancer patient has to survive for seven days from the date of diagnosis to make an insurance claim.
  • While some plans offer waiver of future payouts of premium (also called waiver), some offer death benefit to the nominee.
  • While most of the companies also offer surrender benefit  (after a specific lock-in period), some offer a loan  on assignment basis to meet the insured individual’s need  (for which they could be surrendering the policy).
  • Once  a lump-sum  payment has been  made for treatment (for any stage of cancer), the policy gets extinguished.
  • Some  companies  offer a combination  of heart diseases cover and cancer cover, with the option to receive monthly income for prolonged treatment for both ailments.
  • No  claim  is entertained  within 180 days  of the policy date – this is called the waiting period and it starts immediately after the policy has been bought.
  • The maximum entry age under this plan is 65 years.

What Is Not Included In The Cancer Insurance Policy Or What Are The Exclusions Of A Cancer Insurance Plan?

  •  Sexually  transmitted  diseases (STD),  AIDS or HIV
  • Any preexisting condition c)  Any congenital condition
  • Any critical illness or its signs or symptoms having occurred  within the waiting period of 180 days from policy commencement
  • Complications  arising due to  the influence of narcotic drugs, alcohol or other such psychotropic substance not prescribed by the treating doctor
  • Treatment for injury or illness caused by activities wherein  chances of getting injury are high. For example, injuries   caused during activities like hunting, mountaineering, racing, scuba diving, and aerial sports like hang-gliding and ballooning are not included under the cover
  • Unreasonable  failure to seek  or follow medical advice, or delayed medical treatment in order to circumvent the waiting period or other conditions

Takeaways For Consumers

  • Go for a plan that offers a combination of death/nominee benefit with maximum benefit during the three stages of the disease (such as gold/platinum plans).
  • Go for maximum sum assured with minimum exclusions and maximum inclusions.

 Not many know that the health insurance plan that you have does not cover cancer. Because of the high mortality rate, only 5 companies in India offer cancer insurance coverage. Consumer VOICE experts compared all of these and have built a comparative chart for you to know which is the best cancer insurance policy.

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7 Things you should know before buying a Health Insurance Policy

7 Things you should know before buying a Health Insurance Policy

Health Insurance

Life has its ups and downs and one needs to be prepared. Medical adversities can occur at any point in your life. Having a health insurance is very important, for both yourself and your family.

The main function of a health insurance is to safeguard you financially if any unforeseen medical adversities arise and not only for tax saving mode.

There are many health insurance companies in the market and that confuses the customer. One has to look into their own need specifically. Health policies provide several benefits such as maternity benefits, OPD cover, quick claim settlement etc. Moreover, insurance companies are now offering customised health insurance policies for individuals, families, senior citizens etc.

Here is a list of things that your should look at before buying a health insurance:

  1. Family requirement: A different plan exists for nuclear families and that of family with senior citizens. The age of family members have to be determined. Considering medical history is also important before taking up any insurance policy.
  2. Cover amount: The cover amount is for a year, so the insurance cover amount needs to be decided on the basis age, income level and the add-ons in the policies.
  3. Cashless Hospitalisation Option: Choose insurances that give the option of cashless payments. This helps the family, in case there is a medical emergency then members don’t have to get hassled with tedious paperwork.
  4. Maternity benefits: If you are planning a baby it’s best to choose a health insurance cover which provides maternity benefits. The pregnancy costs have already gone through the roof and the hospital bill for mother and baby care can become a real burden.
  5. Pre and Post Hospitalization: It is advisable to check if the health insurance covers the pre and post hospitalization charges. There are many tests, ambulance costs, consultation fees etc. This is a beneficial option.
  6. Claim Procedure: The claim process should be simple. If the claim doesn’t happen rapidly then it’s not a beneficial option. In case of an emergency, it will be a hindrance. Ensure that your health insurance provides easy and quick claim process.
  7. Cumulative Bonus: This means the increment in the sum insured if no claim has been made against the policy in the previous years. This amount is usually added to the sum insured at the time of policy renewal. It is advised to look at this point before purchasing your health insurance.

Always read the policy document thoroughly as it’s not possible for the agent to explain every single thing. It’s a good idea to look into online feedback from customers. It’s okay to ask all your doubts to an agent or the customer care department before purchasing your health insurance policy.

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Is there an insurance policy to cover the risk of Coronavirus?

Situation-1

If your insurance policy provides for a cover against this virus infected disease, then you must remember that claim would be entertained only if you are hospitalized (admitted as an inpatient) for a minimum of 24 hours before discharge from the hospital. If no hospitalization takes place, then your claim on the policy may not come to fruition, unless your insurance policy provides for outpatient cover.

Situation-2

In this critical situation, one should keep calm and stop panicking. Rather, think prudently and act. If you contract this Coronavirus during the waiting period of the policy, then you may not get any relief from the policy. Normally, health insurance policies provide for a 30-day window for covering respiratory diseases such as Coronavirus.

Situation-3

If you have traveled from a Coronavirus-affected country and diagnosed ‘positive’, chances are that you will be covered under the regular indemnity health policy as long as you are quarantined in India. But you should not be traveling from Coronavirus-afflicted countries such as China, Hongkong, Taiwan, Italy, Iran, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, etc. Your claim may also be rejected if you contract this virus from a family member who has traveled to these afflicted countries.

What does the IRDAI say?

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) has recently asked the insurance companies to come out with policies to cover treatment costs for Coronavirus infection.

The IRDAI Circular (IRDAI/HLT/REG/CIR/054/03/2020 dated 04th March 2020) says that insurers should expeditiously attend to claims for Coronavirus treatment. Wherever hospitalization is covered in an insurance product, insurers should ensure that the cases related to this disease should be expeditiously handled.

To get the full story, click here

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