Health Insurance Add-Ons You Should Know About
Health insurance policies come with add on features. The main purpose of add on features is to provide monetary support to the policyholder in specific circumstances such as childbirth. Your base health insurance plan does not cover childbirth, maternity care, newborn care, etc. Add-ons are the additional benefits which you can buy as a top-up to your base medical insurance policy. Add-ons protect you against unknown medical emergencies which can have a higher cost of treatment than expected. Each medical insurance plan comes with a specific set of add-ons. At the time of buying the health insurance, you can also purchase add-ons according to your requirement. However, the premium that you pay for the add-on is lower than that of a new policy. Some of the most common health insurance add-ons you should know about are:
Critical illness add-on provides immediate lump sum amount irrespective of your total expenses, if you are diagnosed with a covered disease such as cancer, heart stroke, kidney failure, paralysis, or brain tumor. There are stand-alone critical plans available too but they do not cover general health. A stand-alone critical illness insurance policy offers you a higher coverage while in critical illness add-on, the coverage is not too much. For treating serious diseases, critical illness add-on may not be enough because the sum assured on add-on policy can’t be more than the base medical insurance policy.
Personal accident add-on feature can also be added to an existing medical insurance policy. The add-on compensates for all kinds of accident outcomes including accidental death, permanent disablement, permanent partial disablement, and temporary total disablement. Here also you need to remember that the coverage of add-on cannot be as much as for a standard personal accident cover. A personal accident add-on can offer you coverage of around INR 2-5 lakh while a standard personal accident policy can have coverage of up to INR 75 lakh.
Nowadays, childbirth can cost you anywhere from INR 50,000 to INR 5 lakh. If you are planning to have a baby in coming 2-3 years, then either of the spouses can include maternity add on in their basic medical insurance policy. But to claim the maternity benefit there is a waiting period of 2-4 years. If you take this add-on at a later stage of your life than the premium amount can be significantly high as with increasing age, chances of pregnancy complications also increase. So it is advised to take this particular add-on at an early age and where you have at least 3-4 years to plan the baby.
This add-on provides you daily cash which you may require during hospitalization, for taking care of hospital-related and other medical expenses which are not covered in the base medical insurance policy. These can be small medical bills, extra blanket, etc. Hospital cash is paid for a certain number of days of hospitalization as mentioned in the medical insurance plan. Most of the hospital cash add-ons pay you daily cash in a range of INR 1,000 to 1,500. You will not get the daily cash every day, as there is a waiting period, and you get the money in lump sum post-hospitalization.
Top-up or super top-ups add-ons are designed to provide additional medical insurance cover over and above your existing health insurance plan. If you have top-up add-on and have consumed the threshold limit of your health insurance plan than any extra charges incurred by the hospital will be covered by the top-up policy. This add-on is used to upgrade the sum assured of the base health insurance plan. It is an alternative to an additional medical insurance policy.
For example, imagine you have a medical insurance policy of INR 5 lakh and also have a top-up add-on of INR 10 lakh with a threshold limit of INR 5 lakh. If your claim is INR 9 lakh then your standard medical insurance policy will pay INR 5 lakh and remaining INR 4 lakh will be covered by your top-up health add-on.
It is advised to have a medical insurance policy with decent cover and take top-up add-on whenever it is required because a new health insurance policy with higher coverage will cost you a higher premium.
Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.