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Critical Illnesses and Their Treatment Costs In India

As the name suggests, a critical illness considerably affects your lifestyle, impair your earning ability, and proves to be fatal. These illnesses need special care and treatment that makes them expensive. Organ transplantation or open heart surgery can cost you around Rs. 5-10 lakh. A lot of people believe that their regular health insurance policy is sufficient enough to deal with the impacts of critical illnesses. However, it cannot even take the expenses of half the treatment after the diagnosis. At this point, a critical illness insurance policy acts as a saviour to you. A critical illness policy offers a tax-free lump sum payout if a person is diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition mentioned in the policy documents. Having a CI policy is even more critical for individuals with a medical history of such disorders. Due to the massive expenditure involved in the treatment of these ailments, they can quickly put you and your family in a debt trap, derailing your life goals.

Here are some of the significant critical ailments and an estimated cost of their treatment in India-


One of the most common essential illnesses in India is cancer. It is slowing becoming a mass killer and has taken more than 17.3 lakh people under its grasp. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the number of estimated deaths due to cancer is more than 8.8 lakh by 2020. The treatment of cancer is emotionally and financially challenging.  If the family's breadwinner gets diagnosed with the disease, the suffering is never-ending.

There are several types of cancer such as liver cancer, colon cancer, blood cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, etc. Treatment expenditure involves frequent doctor visits, chemotherapy, medicine costs and pre- and post-hospitalization expenses. A single medicine can cost around Rs.75000 to Rs.1 lakh, and a single chemotherapy session can cost anything between Rs.1 to 2 lakh. All in all, the expenses can go up to Rs.10-15 lakh.

Heart-related diseases

Heart diseases have seen a considerable rise in India in the last few years. As per a study, there has been a 34% rise in the number of deaths caused due to cardiovascular diseases from 1990 to2016 in India. The leading cause of death was Ischemic heart disease and stroke. Some of the main reasons that increase the chances of heart ailments are- smoking, unhealthy food habits, obesity, hypertension, stress, and high cholesterol levels.

Just like cancer, the treatment of heart ailments is an expensive affair. The expenses depend on the type of disease and can easily range between Rs — 3-5 lakh or even more.

Kidney diseases

In India, 1 out of 10 people suffers from some chronic kidney disorder. Every year, around 1.75 lakh people suffer from kidney failure and need dialysis or a kidney transplant. As we all know that dialysis and organ transplant is quite expensive, which makes it unaffordable for a larger mass. A kidney transplant costs around Rs. 7 lakh whereas dialysis can cost you anywhere between Rs. 18,000-20,000 per session. For a middle-class family, the charges are quite expensive, and many may find it difficult to bear.

Liver Cirrhosis

The increased causes of liver cirrhosis are increased intake of alcohol and obesity-related disorders. Every year, around 10 lakh people are diagnosed with the same. According to the World Health Organisation, liver cirrhosis is the 10th most common cause of death in India. The only way to treat this disease is a liver transplant. The treatment of this ailment costs approx Rs. 10-20 lakh.

Alzheimer's disease

The danger of Alzheimer's is grasping the older population of India. The expenditure involved in the treatment of Alzheimer's can be around Rs. 40,000 per month.

It is highly advisable to have a critical illness insurance on top of our health insurance for a secure future.