People realised the importance of having health insurance after the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world. A health insurance policy helps you with medical bills after a hospitalisation. Some people believe that their insurance policy will cover them against all illnesses and health issues. Unfortunately, basic health policies work on indemnity, which means you can only file a cashless or reimbursement claim during or for a valid hospitalisation. If you are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness like cancer, your regular health insurance policy may not be enough.
Critical Illness Benefit Cover
You can choose to purchase a critical illness policy or add-on for better protection. With this cover, you receive a lump-sum claim amount, as per the sum insured you opt for, if you are diagnosed with one of the covered critical illnesses. Here’s an indicative list of the health issues classified as critical illnesses:
- Kidney Failure
- Heart Attacks
- Organ Transplants
- Multiple Sclerosis
The claim settlement you receive allows you to deal with treatment costs and any other financial obligations you may face.
Is Critical Illness Cover a Part of Health Insurance?
Most health insurance companies offer critical illness benefit cover as a stand-alone policy or an add-on with their health insurance plans. We can better understand the differences between the two by comparing them:
|Health Insurance||Critical Illness Benefit||Cover|
|How it works||Reimburses the cost of treatment or hospitalisation as per the terms laid down in the policy.||Provides a lump-sum payment when the policyholder is diagnosed with a covered illness as per the policy terms.|
|What’s covered?||Covers various illnesses and treatments||Covers only specific critical illnesses|
|What can I do with the claim amount?||Money is only received to help reimburse the actual cost of treatment.||The money can be used for treatments or to pay for other expenses.|
|What is the waiting period?||Waiting period of 30 days except in cases of accidents. Additional waiting period of 1 to 4 years for pre-existing illnesses and other specified treatments||Waiting period between 30 days to 180 days|
Who Should Opt for Critical Illness Cover?
In 2020, the Global Cancer Observatory recorded 13,24,413 new cancer cases in India and 8,51,678 cancer-related deaths. India also struggles with heart health. In 2016, cardiovascular diseases accounted for 45% of all deaths of people aged between 40 and 69. Given this information, we believe every Indian should purchase critical illness cover.
Finding the Right Policy
Individuals can opt to purchase stand-alone critical illness benefit policies or health plans. Having a combination of both is ideal. You should check what the best health insurance companies in India can offer and pick the policy that suits your unique requirements. Make sure you do thorough research and read all the terms and conditions before deciding on the best health insurance plan for you and your family.