Cancer treatment can be expensive. That’s why the launch edition of Cancer Conversations—an initiative to spread awareness and not fear—brought to you by The Indian Express and Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance, delves into the expenses incurred so that you can plan for it.
Cancer not only impacts health, but it also takes a toll on your finances. The cost varies anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 50,00,000. It depends heavily on the stage and type of cancer, types of treatments, post-treatment care, and duration of hospital stays. Many inflicted by the disease struggle to pay their bills, file for bankruptcy, or stop treatment so that they do not burden their families. The good news however is that you can eliminate the financial burden by planning for it in advance. But before that you need to know about the expenses that you may face. The launch edition of Cancer Conversations, an initiative by The Indian Express and Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance, lists down the things to consider so that you can be on top your finances.
Loss of Income
Chances are that during cancer treatment, you may not have the strength to work as efficiently as you do right now. You may require a long leave of absence from work. Even your caregiver (who in most cases is a family member) may need to take time off. These leaves could very well be unpaid and can affect your treatment expenses as well as your household overheads.
This includes doctors’ fees, diagnostic tests, time spent in hospitals, and other medical services like oxygen and blood transfusion, as well as medicines. The doctors’ fees will depend on their experience and expertise. The cost of diagnostics varies as per the type of tests and the frequency with which you need to do them. Hospital costs in India depend on whether you choose a public or private hospital—the latter being twice as expensive or more. Apart from this, consider the cost of medication that will be used to treat you as well as prescribed to you to alleviate certain side effects. You should also factor in the cost of surgeries, prosthetics, and reconstruction.
Take into consideration that you and your caregiver may need to travel for treatment, either outside the country or to another city. So apart from medical costs, you will need to think about transport and stay. You may also need to hire an extra hand if you’re a parent or have old parents depending on you. During treatment, you may not have the strength to take care of them. These expenses also include other supportive therapies like palliative care and pain management, mental health support, physical therapy, and nutrition therapy.
What you should do
Instead of living from paycheck to paycheck, it would be wise to plan your finances as early as possible. Reaching out to a financial planner and investing in a health insurance policy, specially crafted for cancer, can go a long way. For instance, Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance offers comprehensive options with maximum coverage. It also has an efficient ecosystem that supports patients and their families.
Watch #CancerConversations all month long on www.indianexpress.com and all social media platforms. Follow and share the hashtag and do your bit to spread awareness.