Here’s an eye-opener before you get into the details of critical illness insurance—did you know that over 10 million cases of coronary artery disease are recorded annually in India? More importantly, did you know that people who fall under the age bracket of 19-40 are increasingly at a risk of developing heart diseases?
Our changing lifestyles and habits have made us more vulnerable to critical illnesses. As working professionals, we are exposed to a fair amount of stress, bad eating habits, and irregular sleeping patterns that contribute to poor health.
Cancer, heart disease, and stroke fall under the critical illness bracket. This is why it is essential to consider a critical illness insurance, irrespective of your age. In order to understand why you must include a critical illness plan while looking at various health insurance options, you must understand what critical illness insurance plans are. Here are some salient features you should know about:
What does a critical illness plan cover?
A critical illness plan covers a range of diseases that are defined as critical health problems. More often than not, these diseases include cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney failure, and coma, amongst many others. Different policies list out a wide range of illnesses. This is why it is important to examine the offerings of a policy or rider before committing to one.
How does a critical illness health insurance policy work?
It is important to understand that a critical illness health insurance policy is different from regular health insurance plans. When you invest in a regular health insurance policy, you can claim a sum of money. However, that sum depends on your hospital bill and is often subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.
However, this is not the case with a critical illness insurance. When you have a critical illness plan, you can get the entire sum assured to you, irrespective of the hospital bill. This can be far more beneficial as the cost of treatment is not only restricted to your hospital bills. With the lump sum money, you can handle any additional costs, as well as pay off any loans if you should need to do so. A critical illness plan, therefore, offers you more financial freedom than a regular health insurance plan.
Should you get a Critical Illness Plan or a Rider?
When you are considering your health insurance options, you may have to decide between getting a critical illness plan or a critical illness rider that can be attached to any other healthcare plan you have chosen. It is vital to understand how the two differ.
A critical illness health insurance policy is essentially a standalone plan. It protects you from a list of high-risk diseases and offers you a lump sum if you fall sick. However, with a rider, you can enjoy the same benefits at a lower premium rate. While this sounds great, it is important to note that certain restrictions apply to the policy along with the lower premium rate. Therefore, it is essential to understand these restrictions and evaluate whether it makes sense to have them in the picture. Making informed choices is vital when it comes to picking out your riders or policies.
Why should you get a critical illness plan?
Health problems are highly unpredictable. One often hears stories of non-smokers developing lung cancer, young children developing critical illnesses and seemingly healthy people being suddenly struck down by a deadly disease.
Health problems do not warn patients before occurring. They just develop. This is why it is important to have your safety net in place should anything happen to you. Most critical illnesses come with highly expensive treatment plans. The cost of hospitalization alone is often enough to financially cripple families. This is why having a critical illness cover insurance that provides financial protection during your hour of need is very important.
Plenty of critical illness insurance plans. Which do you choose?
The best critical illness cover will not make you choose between the illnesses that are covered. Generally, these policies offer a list of illnesses that are covered under them. However, if you are choosing a rider instead of a standalone policy, you may have to deal with a few restrictions. In this case, it is important to evaluate your family’s medical history to see what critical illness covers you absolutely cannot do without. For instance, if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, having a cancer cover is essential.
Is a standalone critical insurance plan enough?
Here is a common mistake that people make – believing that a critical insurance policy is more than enough. When you invest in a critical illness plan, you must remember that it is not a substitute for a regular health insurance plan. You must also invest in a health insurance plan that covers over problems that may not necessarily fall under the ‘critical’ bracket!