The penetration of health insurance has been increasing gradually with the advent of more affordable plans and growing awareness, partly to the credit of various health insurance providers who have focussed on marketing to create this awareness. However, the concept of health insurance still being a new concept to the majority of Indians, not every one is aware of all their aspects. And one of the major misconceptions is the notion that buying a health insurance cover also covers one from critical illnesses, while in reality that is not the case many times. Accordingly, we will try and clear the misconceptions around the concept of ‘critical illness’ to help policy buyers be aware of what is covered and what is not, more so in the case of critical illnesses as their treatments are costly.
What are the critical illnesses?
Critical illnesses can be generally defined as those which are very serious in nature and usually life-threatening. These illnesses almost always require hospitalization and advanced treatment like surgeries or specialized therapies. Such illnesses have a drastic effect on the patient’s life style and also impacts their family in a major way. Illnesses like heart attack, kidney failure, heart valve surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery, paralysis, cancers etc are usually classified as critical illnesses by various insurance providers. However, to be doubly sure about what is included and excluded, we recommend getting a list of all the critical illnesses from your insurance provider.
Understanding the importance of critical illness policy
When you buy a health insurance policy, it basically covers your hospitalization expenses. Plus, other minor expenses are also covered by the insurer. But, in the treatment of critical illnesses, the expenses are usually very high. Besides the cost of medical treatment, you also need to take into account the cost of travelling, cost of medicines, and the expensive tests as well.
In the worst case scenario, if the patient happens to be the sole breadwinner of his family, it can make things quite difficult for his dependents. When the patient is not able to resume his work in a matter of a few weeks or months, it affects the financial aspect of his family. As a result, having a basic health insurance policy seems insufficient in such cases. Some of the major reasons why one should combine a critical illness cover with their health insurance policy are mentioned below.
- Critical illness plans offer a lump sum amount
In case you don’t know, health insurance policies do not pay you the entire sum assured amount. It covers whatever amount is there in your hospitalization bills. Of course, the policy would not cover an amount more than the sum assured. On the other hand, critical illness insurance policies handover you the entire sum assured one you are diagnosed with a critical illness. So, you can spend the money as per your plan and needs.
- Critical illness plans cover a wide array of critical diseases
Most of the health insurance policies exclude the majority of serious diseases. If you do not want to take any risk, it is better to get yourself covered by a critical illness plan. Up to 20 illnesses are covered by these policies, which include- heart attack, cancer, stroke, kidney failure, bypass surgery, major organ transplant, heart valve replacement, etc.
- Critical illness plans also cover the cost of travelling
Smaller hospitals often refer their patients suffering from any critical illness to other reputed hospitals. We all know that the cost of hiring an ambulance can be quite high nowadays. If the hospital is in another state, you might have to opt for air travel. For a middle-class family, it can bring in more financial trouble. Fortunately, critical illness insurance plans cover your travelling expenses too. It certainly helps in bringing down the out-of-pocket expenses.
- Critical illness plans cover major surgeries
Surgeries related to kidney transplantation, liver transplantation, heart by-pass surgery, etc. come with huge hospital bills. If you do not have enough savings in your bank account, such situations can completely derail your life. So, if you do not want to put yourself and your family into such a situation, it is vital that you buy a critical illness insurance policy along with your regular health plan.
So, those are some of the reasons why one should go for a critical illness insurance plan; not just for himself but for his family members too. You can buy it either separately or in combination with your regular health insurance plan. Having a critical illness plan for senior citizens is more important these days. As they are more vulnerable to critical illnesses, therefore getting them covered by such a policy will prove to be more beneficial.
These days, you can buy a critical illness policy even online. Before you choose one, it is important to compare the exclusions, waiting period, and the sum assured. Most importantly, do not forget to take a quick look at the list of cashless network hospitals. When you consider these aspects, it becomes easier for you to make the right choice.