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Insurance Article

Supplement your Healthcare Plan with Critical Illness Insurance

March 18 2016
Critical illness cover is important

This add-on to your cover is the need of the hour

As per the findings of a white paper released by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the year 2015, one out of four Indians is at risk of dying from non-communicable diseases (NCD) like diabetes, cardiovascular ailments or cancer before the age of 70.

In addition to this alarming statistic, media reports also reveal the growing treatment costs for such diseases. Herceptin, a medicine for breast cancer, ranges from ₹75,000 to 1 lakh per vial. The cost of single valve replacement surgery for heart disease is commonly between ₹1 lakh to 3.5 lakhs.

Why is a basic health insurance policy insufficient?

The growing susceptibility of Indians to lifestyle diseases, and the rising healthcare costs indicate that such disease can cause a financial dent, in addition to the physical and emotional trauma. While a health cover might be a saviour, will that be enough? Worse still, what if your earnings come to a standstill during the period of illness? Even if you have a ₹3-5 lakhs health cover, will it cover your incidental expenses?

Health insurance is an indemnity-based insurance that covers the cost of hospitalisation incurred. It comes with certain limit on specific expenses like medicines, hospital room, intensive care unit admission, and duration of hospitalisation. Also, all the critical diseases are not covered under a single insurance policy.

  • Cancer
  • Coronary Artery By-pass Graft Surgery
  • Myocardial Infraction
  • Kidney Failure
  • Major organ transplant
  • Stroke
  • Paralysis
  • Heart valve replacement surgery

What is a Critical Illness Cover?

A critical illness cover helps you tide over medical emergencies. It is a lump sum paid to the insured in case he/she contracts any of the specific illnesses specified in the policy document. It can be bought as a standalone policy or as a rider in your existing health cover.

Why you should opt for one?

a) Coverage
Critical illness insurance provides coverage for the diseases indicated in the adjacent table.

You can opt for a suitable cover by taking into consideration your medical history, genetics, and lifestyle habits. It is important to remember that critical illness cover does not cover pre-existing diseases.

It also covers the expenditure of care and recuperation, thus minimising the financial load and ensuring a stress-free recovery.

b) Reimbursement
Insurer offers lump sum amount after the diagnosis of critical illness or injury. It ensures that the treatment starts without any delays.

c) Options for Standalone or Rider policy
Based on your requirement, you can buy a standalone critical illness insurance policy or a rider clubbed with medical or life insurance. The advantage of standalone policy is that a flexible sum can be insured. Whereas, the limit on sum insured is same for rider and base policy.

d) Donor Expenses
In case of organ transplant, which is covered under critical illness policy, the reimbursement for organ donor can be claimed up to certain limit.

Based on your age group, family and medical history, opt for a suitable critical illness cover and add-ons that will cushion your finances in case of illness. The ICICI Lombard policy does not cover a survival period clause – a clause that states that the policyholder should survive for a defined period after the diagnosis to make a claim.

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