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Insurance Article

Looking For 360 Degree Health Cover? These Policies Are Must for Your Portfolio

December 23 2018

Buy critical illness insurance to stay protected against life-threatening diseases

Most financial advisors believe that buying a health insurance plan is the starting point of all financial plans. Even before you start investing to meet various short-term and long-term goals, getting an adequate health insurance coverage is important. Here we look at the various important factors that may help you build an astute health insurance portfolio to ensure complete 360-degree protection.

Why do you need a health cover policy?

Medical inflation in India is rising more rapidly than general inflation. Also, factors like sedentary lifestyle and increasing pollution have contributed to the rising cases of mental and physical illness among people, all of which require finances to treat.

Hence, the need for buying a health insurance plan is the need of the hour, and so is choosing the right blend of policies for adequate protection against the rising cases of illnesses and spiralling treatment costs. The policy should also have covers for permanent or partial disability and loss of income, as well as reimbursement of pre- and post-hospitalization expenses.

Although not a mandate, but a policy bought at an early age and renewed over the years, may help in better claim experience as and when it arises. Also, purchasing a policy at a young age when you‘re at the peak of your health will enable you to secure yourself by paying a much lower premium than what you would have to pay if you decided to buy a policy during the latter stages of your life.

What kind of policies should be there in your portfolio?

Many people think that buying just a solitary health insurance plan will provide them enough protection against all medical contingencies. However, this is not true. Most of the medical policies come with exceptions and hence you need to have certain different health cover products in your portfolio to ensure all-round protection for you and your family.

Indemnity and fixed benefit plans Health insurance policies are broadly categorised as indemnity and fixed benefit plans. While indemnity plans reimburse the hospitalization expenses that you incur during the treatment of covered diseases and illnesses, a fixed-benefit plan pays a lump sum amount upon the diagnosis of any covered medical condition irrespective of the actual treatment charges.

The indemnity plans should form the core of any health insurance portfolio as it generally covers any unexpected medical emergency. You can also have a fixed benefit plan to take care of other financial obligations like post-hospitalisation expenses and to cover the loss of income while you’re undergoing treatment.

Critical illness plans – A normal health insurance plan will generally exclude critical illnesses such as cancer, heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure, etc. You have to buy a separate critical illness policy to cover these life-threatening diseases which can cause a serious dent to your finances if not dealt with properly.

In case you’re diagnosed with one of the critical diseases as mentioned in the policy, you will be offered a pre-defined lump sum amount to meet various needs of your family and get the best treatment possible. Generally, these health cover plans exclude pre-existing conditions but there are different critical illness policies that include them after a waiting period of 24 to 48 months.

Maternity cover plans – The maternity insurance plans are designed specifically to cover the substantial financial obligations when having a child. It starts right from the time the mother gets pregnant and covers her against the fees for visiting a gynaecologist, medical examinations, medicines and nutrition supplements, along with the hospitalization charges for the delivery of the baby and its vaccinations. Since maternity plans usually have a waiting period of 36 to 72 months, you must purchase it well in advance so that you can utilize its benefits when you will need them.

Personal accident policy – A personal accident cover is another must have policy in your health insurance portfolio. It covers you against the loss of income when you suffer a partial or permanent disability due to an accident. Here, the insurance company provides a coverage of about 10 to 15 times of your annual income which is given to you or your family in case of accidental death, complete or partial disability.

Hence, it’s prudent to review your health insurance portfolio from time to time to ensure you and your family is protected against all types of risks.

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