Treatment Costs of Critical Illnesses
Apr 2, 2021

Common Critical Illnesses & Their Treatment Costs in India

The incidence of life-threatening diseases like cancer or heart ailments is on a rise. Over a million new cancer patients are identified in India each year, according to the Indian Council for Medical Research. For heart related ailments, the number of deaths in rural India has surpassed urban India, according to another study published by The Lancet.   While a healthy lifestyle can reduce the possibility of catching some life-threatening diseases like heart ailments, others like cancer can be extremely unpredictable. Earlier, the chances of an individual contracting such diseases were rare, but now things have changed. We get to hear more often about a person suffering from critical ailments like cancer, heart ailments, kidney diseases and more.   Moreover, the treatment costs for these critical ailments are skyrocketing and can be a financial drain for you and your family. In extreme cases, your savings can nullify further leading you to a debt trap or derailing you from your financial goals.   To avoid such dreadful situations, it is advised you to opt for a critical illness cover. In case you already have a medical insurance policy, you should further consider adding a critical illness insurance add-on to it. Also, critical illness insurance can be bought as a standalone policy too.   Here are some of the more frequently occurring critical illnesses and their treatment costs -   Cancer Cancer is a genetic disorder where the body experiences uncontrolled cell growth in a particular part or organ that can spread to other parts of the body. The carcinogenic cells are responsible for triggering such cell growth. Such an unregulated cell growth leads to the formation of lumps which are early signs of cancer.   Cancer is one of the fastest-growing diseases for which more and more people are opting a health cover. With its exorbitant treatment cost, it is a prudent thing to buy critical illness insurance for availing treatment. A study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) estimates that deaths due to cancer to cancer will cross the ₹8.8 lakh mark by 2020.   In case the breadwinner of the family is diagnosed with it, it surely is going to affect the finances of the family. Cancer treatment requires several visits for check-ups, along with chemotherapy and medicines. These medicines do not come cheap, and a critical illness policy plan comes handy. Chemotherapy cycles cost anywhere between ₹1 to ₹2 lakh whereas the drugs range between ₹75,000 to ₹1 lakh. All in all, cancer treatments can set you back by more than ₹10 lakhs depending on the severity of the disease. Heart Ailments There has been a significant rise in deaths due to cardiovascular diseases. One of the leading causes is stroke and ischemic heart disease. Unhealthy eating habits, consuming food with high cholesterol, stress, hypertension, obesity, and smoking are some of the primary reasons for the increase in the number of cardiovascular ailments. Coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, pulmonary stenosis, and dilated cardiomyopathy are some of the common forms of heart ailments prevalent in India.   The rise in heart ailments is primarily attributable to changes in lifestyle. The treatment of these cardiovascular problems is an expensive affair. It can start from ₹3 lakhs and upwards and depends on the complication of your heart condition. Moreover, there is consistent follow-up for these treatments, which can draw a hefty hospital bill. A critical illness cover will help you safeguard your savings at such times with the lump-sum payout facility. It can help you in getting the right treatment from a specialist medical professional at a specialised facility.   Kidney Diseases Studies indicate that one in ten people suffer from a disorder of the kidneys. While the treatment is possible, it is quite expensive when compared to other treatments. Dialysis and a kidney replacement are the treatments required to treat the disorder or dysfunctioning of the kidney. While not everyone who suffers from one can afford a replacement, only one in four can even afford dialysis too.   This may be a shocking number as the treatment cost of dialysis can start around ₹18,000 - ₹20,000 whereas a complete match for transplant is relatively difficult and can cost upwards of ₹6.5 lakh mark. Further, after a successful transplant, the dependency on steroids, supplements and immunosuppressants increases, which will recurrently cost around ₹5,000. These frequent medical expenses can burn a hole in your pocket and purchasing a critical illness insurance policy can cover most of your treatment cost.   Liver Cirrhosis The cases of liver cirrhosis are on the rise with around 10 lakh people being diagnosed with it each year. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this is the tenth most common cause of death in the nation. Once diagnosed with cirrhosis, a transplant of your liver is the only treatment available failing which the patient can die within a couple of years.   Since its treatment requires nothing but a transplant, it is an expensive treatment and ranges between ₹10 - ₹20 lakhs. Moreover, finding the right donor is equally tricky. Also, post-transplant, there is a requirement of immunosuppressants which further increase the cost and make having critical illness cover a boon.       Alzheimer’s disease With an increasing number of older people, the chances of an older person being gripped by Alzheimer’s is also increasing. India Ageing Report of 2017 mentions the rate of growth of the elderly population to be around 3%. This can mean more and more cases of Alzheimer’s coming up. The treatment for Alzheimer’s requires frequent and recurring doses of prescription drugs. These medications cost upwards of ₹40,000 per month. With the severity of the illness, the intensity of the medication needs to be increased and can shoot up the price of your medicines too.   Keeping in mind these skyrocketing costs of healthcare, buying critical illness insurance in India is recommended. Not only you can ensure the cost of treatment is covered, but also that your family gets the much needed financial support in a difficult time.

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