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How cancer survivors can protect their finances

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breast-cancer-financial-ruin

Picture this scenario. Forty-year-old Ms. Kapoor, a resident of Mumbai, was out for a run on Marine Drive when she was suddenly overwhelmed by anxious thoughts about her future, the uncertainty of life. A few years ago, the IT consultant was diagnosed with breast cancer and although she made a full recovery, all her life savings were gone and now she constantly lives in the shadow of the dreaded disease. She asked herself: What happens if I have a recurrence? Can I go through chemotherapy and radiation again?

 The ever-present threat of her cancer coming back was giving Ms. Kapoor sleepless nights. So to fight the unforeseen future, she was now looking for insurance policies but to her dismay, discovered that none of them cover patients with pre-existing cancer disease.

 Fortunately now, there are specialized cancer insurance policies, to help cancer survivors combat a relapse or metastasis. In fact, the most advantageous aspect of some of these policies is that, they are offered without prior medical tests and just on the basis of one’s previous reports. In such a scenario insurers make a lump sum payment soon after the survivor is diagnosed with the disease for the second time, bringing instant relief for cash-strapped patients and their families. In addition to this, some insurers also provide the benefits of regular medical insurance, as well as interventional treatment for non-cancer linked diseases.

 Ms. Kapoor was not alone in feeling the way she did. It’s a normal part of surviving cancer. The harsh reality is that no one can predict that it won’t return. What they can do, however, is secure their financial future in the event of a relapse.

 While health insurance may not help to cure the disease itself, it will at least help in mitigating the prohibitive cost of treating it. Cancer survivors can thus do well to choose a health insurance policy that comes with a suitable insurance cover.

 Anand Roy

 (The author is Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer, Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd)

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