Cancer care can be extremely expensive: Here's how you can mitigate the cost
Cancer is an expensive disease to treat and manage. Aside from the emotional turmoil it brings with it, this master of all maladies is nearly always accompanied by a significant financial burden. Depending on the kind of cancer and the course of treatment adopted, the cost of cancer care can mount quickly, reaching as high as 30 lakhs. In some cases, it can go even higher. Read More
Aside from the expenses associated with cancer care itself, there are several other costs involved, such as diagnostic expenses, consultation fees, and of course, the loss of income if one of the earning members of the family is diagnosed with the disease. Since cancer care can be extremely expensive, it’s always judicious to have a backup plan, so you can be prepared to meet these costs in case you need to. Here are some tips to help you mitigate the cost of cancer treatment.
- Invest in health insurance
Investing in health insurance is one of the most effective ways to hedge against significant medical costs in the future. Most top banks and insurance service providers offer comprehensive health insurance plans that often include critical illnesses like cancer. Additionally, many insurers also offer exclusive health insurance plans tailored to cover the cost of cancer care. A cancer insurance plan can help you manage the expenses associated with treatment and management of cancer.
Cancer insurance can either involve a lump sum payout that you can use to handle the costs of cancer treatment, or it could qualify you to receive regular payouts on a monthly basis, so you can deal with the costs as and when they arise. In addition to this advantage, cancer insurance qualifies as health insurance, so you can claim the premium paid to obtain the cover as a deduction from your total income, using the provisions of section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
- Or opt for a critical illness rider
If a cancer insurance plan seems too expensive to you, or if you’ve already invested in a life insurance policy or a term insurance plan, you could opt for a critical illness rider. This is essentially a sort of add-on benefit that you can purchase for an additional cost, over and above the policy’s basic premium. When you have the benefit of a critical illness rider protecting your future, you can go ahead and get the best medical treatment without worrying about the mounting cost of cancer care.
Premium paid for obtaining critical illness insurance also qualifies for a deduction under section 80D. However, since this is essentially a rider (or an add-on benefit), you need to invest in a term insurance plan or a life insurance policy first. Thereafter, you can go ahead and add a critical illness cover to your basic plan. The good news is that the premium paid for the term insurance plan on which you buy a critical illness rider is also deductible, as per section 80C. You can learn more about Term Insurance by browsing the website for the various Term Plans offered by PNB MetLife.
- Ensure you have an emergency fund
Besides having a specific cancer insurance plan or a critical illness rider on your life insurance policy, it’s also essential to have an emergency fund. This way, you’ll have a safety net that you can tap into in case life throws a curveball your way. If you haven’t started building up your emergency fund, it’s advisable to begin with a target that equals around six months of your monthly income. Once you’ve reached that target, you can continue to contribute to the fund over the years, in case you receive a bonus payment or a sudden windfall.
- Take help of a personal loan
Sometimes, the cost of cancer care can be too steep to be covered by a combination of insurance and an emergency fund alone. This is especially true in the case of advanced cancers, where the treatment can be expensive and lengthy. In such a situation, you could avail a personal loan to help meet the additional costs. These loans are easier to obtain if you have a good credit profile, so ensure that you keep your credit score high enough. This way, your loan can be processed faster, and you’ll have the funds needed to meet the cost of cancer care in time.
All things considered, cancer care can be extremely expensive, and you can never be too prepared. If your finances permit, it’s always advisable to obtain medical insurance in addition to a critical illness rider on your term plan. Timely diagnosis can help lessen the costs of treatment if the cancer is detected early. So, it’s also advisable to get a periodical health checkup twice a year.
*Tax benefits are subject to conditions and other provisions of the Indian tax laws and are subject to amendments made thereto from time to time.
The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice from before you take any/refrain from any action. Tax benefits are subject to changes in tax laws. Please contact your tax consultant for an exact calculation of your tax liabilities.
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