Unheard Stories from Cancer Warriors!


Open conversation is one of the key ways to make people realize that Cancer is not a full stop but just a comma; because “picture abhi baaki hai dost”.


Here is our step in closing the gap, we are hoping you also take the next step forward.


This National Cancer Awareness Day, it is time to hear how some of the cancer survivors have fought this disease head-on. This will give you an insight into their situation and help you better appreciate their challenges.

Importance of Budgeting for buying Term Insurance

This National Cancer Awareness Day, it is time to hear how some of the cancer survivors have fought this disease head-on. This will give you an insight into their situation and help you better appreciate their challenges.


Some projections, like the one by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), suggest that by 2040, the number of new worldwide cases of cancer may rise to an estimated 28.4 million. This is largely attributed to changing environmental factors and an injurious lifestyle.

As per a report from National Cancer Registry Programme of India:

  • 1 in 9 Indians is likely to develop cancer during their lifetime3
  • 36-44% by which Cancer increases your expenses4
  • ~6.8 Lakh males and ~7.2 Lakh females were diagnosed with cancer in 20204
  • 68% Higher survival rate in case of early detection4

Cancer and humour

Laughter is the best medicine. No matter how serious the condition, keeping a cheerful attitude is a statement that we will not let cancer defeat us. Opt for comprehensive cancer coverage using the ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan today to help you through this difficult journey and assist with your medical expenses.

Importance of Budgeting for buying Term Insurance
Cancer Shield Plan - ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan - ABSLI

Cancer changes a person, but the spirit gets stronger

The strong human spirit cannot be defeated by a disease. Hear what some of the survivors have to say, as they continue their journey and make attempts towards getting back to a healthy life.

Importance of Budgeting for buying Term Insurance

Get cancer insurance of ₹10 lacs For Just ₹1201/month

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ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan


The medical expenses related to complicated diseases like cancer can have a big impact on your life and greatly reduce your savings. This can significantly limit your ability to achieve your various goals and dreams. ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan covers you financially through every stage of cancer and protects your savings against the expenses related to this disease. ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan is your partner in the journey of beating this disease and living your life to its fullest.

Key Features

  • Covers all stages of cancer
  • Option to choose level or increasing cover
  • 5 years premium waiver on early stage diagnosis
  • Option to receive monthly income for 5 policy years on major stage diagnosis

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Frequently Asked Questions on Cancer Insurance

  • I already have health insurance. Do I need to have a specialized cancer insurance cover?

    Of course. Getting a specialized cancer insurance cover over and above your health insurance plan is the right thing to do. Treating a deadly disease such as cancer can get quite expensive, and although your health insurance plan may cover cancer treatment costs, it may not always be enough to cover all of the expenses.

    Also, regular health insurance plans payouts are based on hospitalization bills, whereas in the case of a specialized cancer insurance cover, the payout is made as soon as you’re diagnosed with the disease.

  • Is cancer insurance worth it?

    Though you may be inclined to believe that cancer insurance is something that you don’t need right now, the fact is that the disease can affect anyone at any point in their lives. So, it is important to protect yourself from the financial impact that cancer treatment can have on your hard-earned savings, especially since cancer treatment can be quite high.

    That’s not all. Cancer insurance is also very comprehensive and covers various stages of different types of cancers. And you also get the payout from your cancer insurance plan as soon as the disease is diagnosed. This gives you the necessary financial assistance needed to undergo treatment.

  • Can cancer patients opt for cancer insurance after getting diagnosed?

    Unfortunately, this is not possible. Since the sum assured under cancer insurance is only paid out to the individuals upon first diagnosis of the disease, patients who are already afflicted with the disease cannot opt for a cancer insurance plan.

    This is precisely why you should opt for cancer insurance while you’re young and healthy. Although people in their 20s and 30s do get diagnosed, the risk of developing cancer is still low in these age groups. This not only leads to lower premiums, but also helps you stay protected against future eventualities.

  • What are the tax benefits that cancer insurance offers?

    A cancer insurance plan is essentially a health insurance plan. So, by purchasing a cancer insurance plan, you get to claim tax benefits under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The premiums that you pay towards such a plan can be claimed as deductions from your total taxable income. This eventually has the effect of reducing the amount of tax that you need to pay.

    Here’s a quick look at the various tax benefits under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

    • Deductions up to Rs. 25,000 for cancer insurance plans taken for yourself and your family, if the policyholder is below 60 years of age.
    • Deductions up to Rs. 25,000 for cancer insurance plans taken for your dependent parent, if the parent is also below 60 years of age.
    • Deductions up to Rs. 50,000 for cancer insurance plans taken for yourself, your family, if the policyholder is above 60 years of age.
    • Deductions up to Rs. 50,000 for cancer insurance plans taken for your dependent parent, if the parent is above 60 years of age.
  • Can I cover my family under the same cancer policy?

    Unfortunately, no. You cannot opt for coverage for your entire family under the same cancer insurance policy. Cancer insurance is an individual insurance plan that’s designed to provide coverage for only a single individual. However, if you wish to cover your entire family, you could always choose to opt for independent cancer plans for each member you wish to protect.

  • What cancer types are not covered under the cancer insurance policies?

    The types of cancers that are not covered under a cancer insurance policy tend to vary from one plan to another. For instance, the ABSLI Cancer Shield Plan covers all kinds of cancers, subject to the following exceptions:

    • Tumors in the presence of HIV infection
    • Urinary bladder tumors classified as TaN0M0
    • Gastro-Intestinal Stromal tumors classified as T1N0M0 or below
    • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia less than RAI stage 3
    • Thyroid cancers classified as T1N0M0 or below
    • Prostate tumors not having a Gleason score greater than 6 or classified as less than T2N0M0
    • Malignant melanoma that’s not invaded beyond the epidermis
    • Non-melanoma skin carcinoma without lymph nodes or distant metastasis
    • Tumors showing malignant changes of carcinoma in-situ
    • Tumors described as pre-malignant or non-invasive

    It is advisable to always read through the policy brochure or policy document extensively to get a better idea of the types of cancer that are not covered under the cancer plan.

  • Which cancer policy is the best?

    There are many different types of cancer insurance policies available in the insurance market today. While one plan may be the best option for you, another plan may be better suited for someone else. The answer to which cancer policy is the best depends entirely on your needs. However, as a general rule of thumb, the best cancer policies give you the following benefits.

    • Long-term coverage
    • Coverage for multiple stages of cancer
    • A waiver of premium benefit
    • Option to choose income benefits
    • Coverage of medical and non-medical costs related to cancer treatments

    So, look for cancer insurance plans that come with these features, so you can secure your future financially.

  • What if cancer is diagnosed at a minor stage and later, a major stage cancer is diagnosed?

    Many cancer insurance plans, like the ABSLI Cancer Shield plan, offer comprehensive protection by covering both early stage and major stage cancers. For instance, in the case of the ABSLI Cancer Shield plan, you get payouts depending on the stage of cancer diagnosis.

    So, in this case, if a minor stage cancer is first diagnosed, you get to claim 30% of the total sum assured. And if you’re diagnosed with a major stage cancer later on in life, you can claim the remaining 70% of the sum assured.

  • What is the age limit for cancer insurance?

    The minimum and maximum age limits for opting for cancer insurance varies from one plan to another. In the case of ABSLI Cancer Shield plan, the minimum age of entry is set at 18 years, whereas the maximum age limit is set at 65 years.

  • How are the payouts disbursed under a cancer insurance plan?

    The policy payouts in a cancer insurance plan are generally made according to the stage of cancer diagnosis. Take the case of ABSLI Cancer Shield plan, for instance.

    • If you’re diagnosed with an early stage of cancer, you can claim 30% of the total sum assured right away.
    • And when your diagnosis progresses to that of a major stage, you can claim the remaining 70% of the total sum assured.
    • However, if your first diagnosis itself is of cancer of a major stage, then you can claim the entire sum assured.

    Additionally, if you opt for income benefits under a cancer insurance plan, you will also receive periodic income for a specified period, depending on the stage of cancer diagnosed.

  • Can I opt for additional riders after a certain period following the policy going live?

    Unfortunately, no. Riders can be opted for only during the time of policy purchase. Once you’ve purchased a policy, you cannot opt for any riders at a later point. So, before you make a policy purchase, ensure that you thoroughly read through the policy brochure and carefully choose the additional riders that you wish to add to your plan.

  • Is there a waiting period in cancer insurance? How does it vary as per the age of the insured?

    Yes. All cancer insurance plans come with a waiting period. However, it usually does not depend on the age of the insured person. For instance, the waiting period in the ABSLI Cancer Shield plan is 180 days from the date of commencement of the policy for all insured individuals, irrespective of their age.

    Since the waiting period varies from one cancer insurance plan to another, always ensure that you read through the policy brochure to get a good idea of the waiting period for your cancer insurance plan.

  • What is the average cost of cancer treatment in India?

    The cost of cancer treatment in India is dependent on a variety of factors such as the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, the treatment protocol being followed, and the healthcare provider that you opt for.

    That said, the 75th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) that was conducted during July 2017 to July 2018 stated that the average cost of cancer treatment in India was around Rs. 1.17 lakhs. Since then, the cost of cancer treatment has only gone up. This is precisely why you should opt for a dedicated cancer insurance plan.

  • What are deductibles in cancer insurance policy?

    The deductible in a cancer insurance policy is the portion of expenses that you’re required to bear out of your own pocket. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium rates will be. If your claim amount is higher than your deductible, the insurance service provider will step in to fund the remaining amount. On the other hand, if your claim amount is lower than the deductible, then you will have to bear the entire cost yourself.

    For instance, let’s say that you opt for a cancer insurance policy where the deductible is Rs. 50,000. Now, assume that the expenses for treating cancer come up to Rs. 2,00,000. In this situation, the insurance service provider is only obligated to pay Rs. 1,50,000. And you would have to pay the remaining Rs. 50,000 out of your own pocket, since that is the deductible that you opted for.

    Alternatively, if the cancer treatment cost is around Rs 45,000, you will have to bear the entire cost out of your own pocket. The insurance company will not step in to fund the expenses, since they are lower than the deductible that you opted for.

  • Why opting for cancer insurance is critical for women?

    Although opting for cancer insurance plans is a must for people of all genders, it is even more crucial for women. This is primarily due to the higher incidences of cancer occurring in women. As a matter of fact, 1 in every 28 women is at risk of developing breast cancer. Breast cancer accounts for 14% of all cancers among women, with more than 1.5 lakh new patients being recorded in the year 2018 alone.

    That’s not all. In addition to breast cancer, women are more prone to cervical and uterine cancers as well. This increased risk of developing cancer is exactly why women should opt for a comprehensive cancer insurance plan. This way, if they ever get diagnosed with any form of cancer, they can fund their treatment costs without any financial distress.

  • Does cancer insurance pay if you die of cancer?

    Since cancer insurance is a health insurance product, the payout is made on first diagnosis of the disease and not on death due to cancer. Once the individual receives a payout from their cancer insurance plan, they can use it for covering their treatment expenses and hospitalization bills. That said, some benefits under a cancer insurance plan, like the income benefit, continue for the specified period even if the policyholder passes away due to the disease.

  • How does cancer insurance work in different stages of cancer?

    It depends on the type of cancer insurance plan that you opt for. For instance, with the ABSLI Cancer Shield plan, the payouts that you get to receive are as follows.

    • If your cancer diagnosis is classified as early stage, you get to claim 30% of the total sum assured under the plan.
    • If your cancer diagnosis subsequently gets classified as a major stage, you get to claim the remaining 70% of the total sum assured under the plan.
    • If your initial cancer diagnosis is itself classified as a major stage, you get to claim the entire sum assured under the plan.
  • What’s the benefit of buying cancer insurance at an early stage of life?

    Cancer insurance plans cannot be purchased after an individual is diagnosed with the disease. And considering the fact that the risk of contracting this disease goes up as you age, it is recommended to purchase it while you’re still in the early stages of your life.

    Another major benefit that you get to enjoy by purchasing cancer insurance during the early stages of your life has to do with the premiums. Since the risk factor tends to be low when you’re in your early stages, the premiums for the cancer insurance plan also tends to be minimal. The longer you delay your purchase, the higher the premiums that you will have to pay.

  • Is it alright to buy cancer insurance online?

    Yes. Purchasing cancer insurance online is perfectly safe and secure. In fact, it comes with several other advantages as well. Here’s a quick look at the benefits you get to enjoy by purchasing cancer insurance online.

    • You get to save time and resources
    • You get to compare multiple plans real-time
    • You get complete access to all information related to cancer insurance
    • You get to enjoy lower premiums
  • Which one is better - purchasing a cancer insurance plan online or offline?

    The answer to this depends greatly on what you find convenient. If you are tech-savvy, an online purchase may be ideal for you. However, if you prefer to get things done in person, an offline purchase may be more suitable.

    That said, purchasing a cancer insurance plan online comes with many advantages. It not only helps you save time and effort, but it completely cuts out the need to visit a physical branch. Also, by purchasing a cancer insurance plan online, you get to enjoy the following benefits.

    • Lower premiums and higher discounts
    • Ability to compare various plans real-time
    • Instant policy issue
    • Access to all cancer insurance plan-related information
  • Can I opt for additional riders after a certain period following the policy going live?

    No. Individuals who have already been diagnosed with cancer cannot purchase a cancer insurance plan. That’s why it is crucial and prudent to purchase cancer insurance earlier in life, when the risk of getting cancer is low.

  • Are cancer insurance benefits taxable?

    No. The benefits of a cancer insurance plan, such as the payouts you receive when you are diagnosed with the disease, are not taxable in your hands. Since these payouts are made according to the expenses you incur for treatment and other accompanying costs, they do not count as income in your hands. Your insurance provider does not pay out amounts in excess of the costs incurred. So, the benefits are not taxable.

  • Why buy cancer insurance?

    Thanks to increasing healthcare facilities, most cancers can be treated if diagnosed early on. However, the cost of cancer treatments can be quite steep. That’s not all. With each passing year, the cost seems to only increase. Considering the expensive nature of cancer treatments, it may not always be possible to fund them out of your own pockets.

    Here’s where cancer insurance comes into the picture. Cancer insurance plans are designed to offer a certain predetermined sum of money as a payout to the insured upon first diagnosis of the disease. The insured can then use this payout to help fund their cancer treatment, thereby lessening their financial burden significantly. This is one of the most important reasons why you should purchase a cancer insurance plan for yourself and your family.

  • How much does cancer insurance cost?

    The premium that you need to pay for a cancer insurance plan varies from one plan to the other. Also, it is dependent on various other factors such as your age, the tenure of the plan, the sum assured under the plan, and your lifestyle habits, among others.

  • What is the difference between cancer insurance and a critical illness plan?

    The difference between a cancer insurance plan and a critical illness plan lies in the scope of coverage. A cancer insurance plan is a specialized health insurance plan that covers only one type of disease - cancer. A critical illness plan, on the other hand, covers multiple other terminal and non-terminal illnesses in addition to cancer, such as kidney failure, cardiovascular diseases, and end stage liver disease, among others.

  • Does cancer insurance cover skin cancer?

    Cancer insurance plans typically do not cover skin cancers. However, there may be plans that may cover certain types of skin cancers. To get a better idea of whether a cancer insurance plan covers skin cancer or not, make sure to read the policy brochure and document thoroughly.

  • Does cancer insurance cover cancer caused from pre-existing conditions?

    No. A cancer insurance plan does not cover cancers that are caused either directly or indirectly by pre-existing conditions, ailments or diseases.

  • What is the Coordination of Benefits clause under cancer insurance?

    Coordination of Benefits (COB) is a clause that some insurers have in place for people who are covered by more than one health insurance plan. In case a person with multiple insurance plans raises a claim on their policies, the benefits under the various plans they hold are coordinated, so there is no case of over insurance or duplication of the benefits involved.

    The benefits will be restricted to 100% of the cost incurred for the treatment. And expenses that are not incurred will not be paid for or reimbursed.

  • Can NRIs purchase cancer insurance in India?

    Yes. Non-Resident Indians can purchase cancer insurance policies in India. However, to do so, they may have to produce additional documents such as proof of residence and Income Tax Returns (ITRs). It is advisable to read through the policy document to know the full list of documents that NRIs have to submit to purchase cancer insurance in India.

  • Can foreign citizens buy cancer insurance in India?

    An Indian citizenship is not a mandatory prerequisite to purchase cancer insurance plans in India. This effectively means that even foreign citizens would also be eligible to purchase such insurance plans in India.

  • Does cancer insurance purchased in India remain valid in foreign countries?

    Many cancer insurance plans come with ‘geographical restrictions’, which means that the coverage under the plans will not extend beyond the geographical areas covered under the policy. So, if you were to undergo cancer treatment in a foreign country, the expenses wouldn’t be covered by the plan.

    That said, there may also be a few cancer insurance plans that work in foreign countries as well. Check your policy document to find out if your cancer insurance plan works in foreign countries or not.

  • What happens if I need to visit a doctor in an out-of-network hospital?

    The network hospitals covered under your cancer insurance plan help you get cashless coverage for your cancer treatment costs. In case you need to visit a doctor who practices in a hospital that is not covered under the list of network hospitals, you can still claim those expenses under your plan. However, instead of cashless coverage, the expenses you incurred will generally be reimbursed by the insurer.

Disclaimer

1 Scenario for female Age: 21 years, level Sum Assured, Income Benefit: Yes, Premium paying Term: regular pay, pay frequency: monthly, policy term: 20 years, Premium: Rs. 119.70 monthly (excl GST)
2 As per annual audited figures submitted to IRDAI for the period FY 20-21 for individual death claims paid
3 source: https://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/GO.20.00122
4 source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/insure/can-you-bear-the-cost-of-cancer-treatment-find-out-how-to-buy-the-best-cover/articleshow/47744432.cms

This policy is underwritten by Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited (ABSLI). This is a traditional non participating health insurance plan. All terms & conditions are guaranteed throughout the policy term. GST and any other applicable taxes will be added (extra) to your premium and levied as per extant tax laws. This leaflet contains only the salient features of the plan. For more details on risk factors, terms & conditions, please refer to the sales brochure before concluding the sale. Tax benefits are subject to changes in the tax laws. For more details and clarification call your ABSLI Insurance Advisor or visit our website and see how we can help in making your dreams come true. UIN: 109N103V03
ADV/10/21-22/1281