Uncertainties and health emergencies are an unavoidable part of today's fast-paced life. According to The Global Burden of Disease Study, approximately critical illnesses comprise approximately 60 per cent of all the deaths in India. Being inadequately insured can affect your ability to access good quality healthcare and compromise on the dreams of your loved ones. A good critical insurance plan ensures that you do not have to compromise on the quality of treatment without laying undue stress on your finances.
What is a critical illness insurance plan?
Critical illness insurance plan makes a one-time payment on the diagnosis of a critical disease. It is an add on product to your health insurance policy
The following points can help you shortlist on a critical insurance policy:
Purchase adequate insurance
Purchasing adequate insurance cannot be adequately stressed upon. A medical emergency can cause tremendous strain on your finances and compromise on your standard of living. But how much health insurance does one require? The insurance amount should help your family tide through difficult times in case your condition leads to untimely death or disability.
The waiting period is a period during right from the purchase of the plan during which the insured cannot claim on the policy purchased. The waiting period varies across insurance providers and ranges between two to three years for a handful of insurance providers. Compare the waiting period of insurance providers and shortlist on one that has the lowest waiting period.
This clause requires the insured to survive for a period post the diagnosis to be able to file a claim. This period varies across insurance providers.
Superior Customer Service
Before purchasing the policy, log into the website of the insurance provider and check the ratings, claims, record, support provided etc. Opt for a provider that provides prompt support and honours claims without excessive paperwork.
Stay informed about the inclusions and exclusions
Take into account your health, history of critical illnesses in your family and estimate the medical expenses you foresee in the future. Compare plans offered by different insurance providers emphasizing on the critical illnesses covered, the inclusions and exclusions etc. Make sure that the policy covers existing health conditions and the health conditions that run in your family to ensure that their interests are secured in case of a health emergency in the future.
Purchase insurance as early as possible
Consider purchasing medical insurance as soon as you start working especially if you are the breadwinner of the family and have a history of critical illnesses in your family. The earlier in life you chase an insurance policy, the lower the premiums. The amount spent on paying premiums can be used to claim tax exemptions under Section 80 of the Income Tax Act.
Most insurance providers offer limited renewability. Check the maximum age and opt for a policy that has lifelong renewability so that you can make most of the plan.
The claims history
In addition to opting for the right plan, consider the claims settlement ratio. The claims settlement ratio is the number of claims approved to the number of claims filed. A high claims settlement ratio is a positive sign and gives you an idea of whether your claim will be accepted or rejected. Nothing can be more reassuring than knowing that your claim will be approved when you need it the most.
Opt-out of plans that provide plenty of benefits
While considering medical insurance plans that promise plenty of benefits, invest adequate time in understanding the fine print and the benefits that you would receive. Opt for a policy that offers benefits suited to your needs rather than opting merely for the benefits.
Opt for an individual health insurance plan
In case of a family history of critical diseases, opting for a higher value individual health insurance might provide you adequate coverage required over a vanilla plan with riders. In case you are considering a floater plan for the family, purchase separate plans for the eldest members. This is because premiums are calculated to the age of the oldest member of the family member and an individual plan provides the maximum value for money.
Keeping all these points in mind, remember that each policy is different. Purchase a policy only after adequate research. Stay insured, stay safe!