Does Stomach Cancer Cover in Health Insurance?

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Also known as gastric cancer, stomach cancer is a critical illness that usually begins in the inner lining of the stomach. The chances of getting affected by stomach cancer generally increase as one nears old age. However, this illness can be treated upon early diagnosis - the primary treatment for this type of cancer is surgery. 

With the rising treatment expenses in the UAE, it can be challenging to pay the costs out of pocket. For this reason, it is essential to have a health insurance plan to help cover the treatment costs, allowing the patient to get treated with peace of mind. However, before securing a health insurance plan for the treatment, make sure to find out if stomach cancer is covered under the plan.

In the following article, we will discuss the general aspects of stomach cancer and whether this critical illness is covered by health insurance plans in the UAE.

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What Causes Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancer develops when there is a genetic mutation in the stomach cells’ DNA. While the causes of mutation remain unknown, there are some other factors that aggravate the chances of developing stomach cancer -

  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Gastritis
  • History of stomach ulcers or stomach polyps
  • Consuming a diet high in fats, salt, or smoked foods 
  • Constant exposure to coal, rubber, or metal
  • Consumption of tobacco 
  • Autoimmune atrophic gastritis
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Some other genetic conditions that could increase the risk of stomach cancer are -

  • Lynch syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis
  • Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer
  • Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID)
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome

Major Stomach Cancer Symptoms

It is difficult to identify the symptoms of stomach cancer at an early stage. However, some signs can be easily identified at a slightly advanced stage such as -

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Black stool or blood in vomit
  • Stomach pain (usually above the belly button)
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Bloating or gassy sensation after eating
  • Feeling full after eating a small meal or snack

Types of Stomach Cancer

Discussed below are the main types of stomach cancer -

  • Adenocarcinomas - This is the most common type of stomach cancer, where cancer develops from the gland cells in the stomach’s innermost lining. 
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST) - This is a rare tumour that develops early on in the stomach wall. This type of tumour tends to grow into other parts of the body as well. 
  • Neuroendocrine Tumour - This tumour develops in the stomach cells that work as nerve cells and endocrine cells. Unlike the previous tumour, this one grows slowly and does not spread to other organs.
  • Lymphomas - This type of stomach cancer develops in the immune system cells called lymphocytes. 

Does Health Insurance Cover Stomach Cancer in the UAE?

As per a mandate in 2018, it is compulsory for all insurance providers to cover cancer as a disease in the UAE. Almost all types of cancers are covered under health insurance including stomach cancer. The health insurance plan covers the costs of treatment including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and more. The insured individual is also covered for diagnosis and tests up to the limit mentioned in the policy wording. 

The treatment coverage is available for any stomach cancer stage. Read further to know more about what all procedures are covered under the health insurance plan in the UAE.

Note - When applying for a health insurance plan, make sure to ask the provider whether stomach cancer is covered under their policy or not for added convenience. 

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What are the Basic Procedures Covered?

Here are the fundamental procedures associated with stomach cancer covered under health insurance plans -

  • Diagnosis - The health insurance plan will cover the lab and diagnostic tests for stomach cancer including endoscopic ultrasound, radiologic test, blood test, laparoscopy, and upper endoscopy. Diagnosis is crucial to help the healthcare provider start with the most suitable treatment. 
  • Treatment Costs - More than often, cancer treatment is unaffordable and inaccessible to several patients in the UAE. However, with a health insurance plan in place (basic health insurance plans in the UAE also cover cancer treatment), it is possible to get treated for the disease depending on the stage and severity of the disease.

Scope of Stomach Cancer Coverage Under Health Insurance 

Here is the stomach cancer coverage offered under the health insurance plan -

  • Ambulance Service - Most health insurance plans covering stomach cancer provide complimentary ambulance service to help the patient reach the hospital on time in case of an emergency.
  • Worldwide Coverage - A majority of health insurance plans covering cancer in the UAE allow the insured individual to avail of medical services in any of the network hospitals in the world. 
  • Hospitalisation Benefits - Under a health insurance plan, the patients are covered for benefits like doctor’s consultations, private room accommodation, pharmacy, treatment (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and more), diagnostics and tests, and more. 

Note - If the insured individual, at the time of policy purchase, is already a stomach cancer patient (a pre-existing medical condition), they may have to go through a mandatory waiting period of 6 months before getting any benefits of cancer treatment under the health insurance plan in the UAE.

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How to Apply for a Health Insurance Plan in the UAE?

As evident from our discussion so far, it is essential to have a health insurance plan, especially for getting stomach cancer treatment at affordable rates. To purchase a health insurance plan in the UAE, you can visit Policybazaar.ae, a third-party aggregator website that offers top comprehensive health insurance plans from leading health insurance providers in the UAE. 

To apply for a health insurance plan, click on the ‘health insurance’ tab on our home page, or select the ‘health insurance in UAE’ option from the Insurance tab on the menu bar. You will be directed to a lead form. Fill in the form with accurate details as this will help determine the premium that you may need to pay. Once done, click on the proceed tab. 

Go through the features and benefits of the displayed plans and click on the ‘apply’ tab across the plan that seems the most suitable. Once done, you will be instructed to fill in details about your current medical condition. Follow the instructions mentioned on the website thereon to complete the application procedure.

Let’s know more about stomach cancer coverage in health insurance by going through some of the most commonly asked questions below:

FAQ's

Q1. What are the ways to file the stomach cancer health insurance claims?

Ans: The insured person can either take their health card to the network hospital and avail of the cashless treatment or file a claim with the health insurance provider for reimbursement (if they go for a non-network hospital).

Q2. What is the waiting period for a patient if they purchase the plan while after their diagnosis for stomach cancer?

Ans: If the patient, who has already been diagnosed with stomach cancer, purchases a health insurance plan, they would have to go through a waiting period of 6 months for their pre-existing medical condition.

Q3. Do basic health insurance plans in Dubai cover stomach cancer treatment?

Ans: As per a 2018 announcement from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), it is mandatory to cover cancer in health insurance. Generally, all types of cancers, including stomach cancer, are covered.

Q4. What are some things one should keep in mind when availing of a health insurance plan in the UAE?

Ans: While applying for a health insurance plan in the UAE for stomach cancer treatment, make sure to confirm with the provider if they actually provide coverage for the treatment. You should also ask if there is a waiting period, whether you will be subjected to copayment or co-insurance, and more.

Q5. Are there any differences in the coverage for a medically fit person and a stomach cancer patient?

Ans: The medical coverage for both medically fit people and cancer patients remains the same. The major difference comes in at the time of paying the premium, where the latter would be required to pay a loading cost.

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