Health insurance requirements change due to reasons such as age, changing lifestyle, responsibilities, and medical inflation. Hence health insurance coverage should be revisited periodically to ensure if it’s enough. Many don’t do these much-needed reviews. With medical costs going north, it cannot be ignored.
Let us understand the importance of adequate health insurance cover with the help of an example. Suppose you took a health policy of Rs. 3 lakh at the age of 25. If you assess your health plan and your life 10 years later, much would have changed. You may also realise that continuing with the previous health plan at the age of 35 is not a wise decision as growing older also implies being more prone to illnesses. Current medical expenses would also have risen manifold vis-a-vis 10 years ago. So, expanding your health insurance cover becomes necessary along with an increase in its duration.
In this article, take a look at various ways to expand the ambit of your health insurance protection.
Opt For Higher Cover To Get Adequately Covered
Increase your cover size adequately keeping in mind the medical costs that may apply in your particular situation. To protect against critical illnesses, you need to increase your cover in line with the treatment costs as it requires frequent hospitalisation. You can increase the cover either by buying an additional policy or going for a top-up or super top-up plan that provides a cover over and above your existing policy. However, it is important to note here that you’ll get the benefit of an increased sum insured on pre-existing and some other ailments only after the prescribed waiting period, as mentioned in your policy clause, is over.
Opt For Important Add-ons
Add-ons are the additional features that you may opt under your health policy by paying an extra premium over and above the base health policy’s premium. There are different types of add-on options available in the market, depending on your policy category with a particular insurance provider. For example, some popular add-ons available in the market are related to maternity benefit, critical illnesses, hospital cash benefit, etc. You should assess your needs before selecting the add-on in your health policy. Suppose you are planning to have a baby, you may, in that case, take the add-on for maternity benefit now since it will benefit you after the waiting period. You may also get add-ons for critical illness if you fall in the high-risk category for ailments such as cancer, kidney failure, etc.
If you feel that your existing policy is insufficient to cover the cost of specific ailments, getting a top-up health policy will expand your cover. A top-up policy gives you cover over and above the deductible limit mentioned in the policy document. For example, you have taken a top-up health policy of Rs. 10 lakh with Rs. 5 lakh deductible. Now if during the policy period if you need to get hospitalized where the bill is Rs. 10 lakh, you are required to pay Rs. 5 lakh from your own pocket or the base health policy and the remaining Rs. 5 lakh will be paid by the top-up health policy. A top-up health policy usually costs lower than the regular health policy. It covers you only when the hospital bill is above the deductible threshold in each case.
Opt For Super Top-up
If your cumulative hospitalization bill during the policy year exceeds the deductible amount mentioned under the top-up policy, then the excess amount over and above the deductible amount is paid by the super top-up policy, subject to the sum insured limit. In a top-up policy, the coverage starts when the hospitalization bill exceeds the deductible amount in each hospitalization instance. On the other hand, in a super top-up policy, if the cumulative hospitalization bill exceeds the deductible amount during the policy year, you can make a claim for the amount over and above the deductible limit.
The Covid-19 pandemic may not get over any time soon, and your base health policy may deny cover for several expenses in your hospitalization bill. So, if you want full protection from a Covid-related hospitalization, you may opt for a Covid-specific health plan. These are available in two variants: Corona Rakshak and Corona Kavach. Corona Rakshak is a benefit policy, whereas Kavach is an indemnity policy.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com, India’s leading online marketplace for loans and credit cards.