Finance

Critical Illness: The neglected cover or need of the hour?

critical illness health plans

Do you know that critical illnesses have become very common nowadays? Just last week my neighbor was complaining of chest pain. On diagnosis, he was found to have a critical heart-related complication for which he underwent a bypass surgery. Needless to say, the procedure blew a hole in his savings. Though he had a health insurance plan, it fell short of meeting the expenses. Moreover, since he was prescribed bed rest, he was unable to work and generate income.  A very common dilemma which most of us relate to, don’t we?

Then why do we avoid a Critical Illness Plan? critical illness health plans

Critical illness cover though offered by almost all life and health insurance companies in India are usually ignored by most of us. Is it wise? No, it is not. A Critical Illness cover has become the need of the hour. If you don’t believe me, here are the reasons why:

  • Critical illnesses are on the rise

The threat of critical illnesses is high in modern times. A change in modern lifestyle, social and environmental factors have brought about an increase in the incidence of such illnesses. Whether it is cancer, heart attacks, strokes, paralysis or kidney failure, the prevalence rate among the Indian population is quite high. This makes you susceptible to one or more critical illnesses. Since it is advised to plan ahead for any contingency, a critical illness cover is always recommended.

  • Critical illnesses might result in a financial crisis

Medicine has made tremendous developments. Though critical illnesses are on the rise, their treatments are also available. However, one cannot argue about the high cost of such treatments.

  • A critical illness cover also helps in case of loss of income 

In a critical illness insurance cover, you get a lump sum benefit when you are diagnosed with an illness covered by the policy. This lump sum benefit can be used in any way you deem necessary. You can use the money to be spent on accessing the best available treatments. On the contrary, you can also use the money for substituting the loss of income caused when afflicted with a critical illness. So, the critical illness cover is flexible and can be used for substituting your income.

Now, don’t you think a critical illness cover is a mandatory requirement?

Given the high prevalence vis-à-vis the costs, it is. So, it is always advised to have a critical illness cover. Do you know how to avail a critical illness insurance cover?

 There are two ways actually. You can either attach a critical illness rider to your basic life or health insurance policy or you can go for standalone critical illness health plans. Let us see how both work.

Critical illness riders:

Riders are additional coverage clauses which can be added to a base policy for increased protection. When you opt for a critical illness rider, the policy pays an additional benefit in case you are diagnosed with any illness covered by the rider. An additional premium is required to be paid for attaching a rider to the policy. The premium, however, is very low.

Standalone critical illness plans

Health insurers also offer standalone critical illness health plans. These plans cover a specific list of ailments and on the diagnosis of any one ailment pay a lump sum benefit. Critical Illness plans also have other coverage benefits like coverage for expenses incurred before and after hospitalization, coverage for ambulance expenses, e-opinion in case of illnesses, etc. You can choose a Sum Assured as per your requirement and also cover your family members under the plan.

You can choose either a rider or a standalone plan based on your requirements. However, in both cases, there are some points which you should remember which are as follows:

 critical illness health plans

  • Both the rider and a standalone plan cover a list of specified illnesses. Study the list before buying the cover.
  • There might be a survival clause in both the rider and the standalone plan. As per this clause, you should survive for a specified time (30 or 60 days) to be eligible for receiving the benefit.
  • Though the premium for opting a rider is lower, standalone plans provide a better and a customizable coverage feature.

A critical illness insurance cover is necessary in modern times as justified by the above-mentioned reasons. Buy a rider or a standalone plan as per your requirement, but be sure to have a critical illness cover for yourself and your family.