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Health Insurance

Critical Illness policies poised to be a mode of relief for lifestyle diseases

Changing work patterns, long working hours, high-stressed jobs, junk food, smoking and alcohol, little or no exercise are leading us Indians rapidly towards the so-called lifestyle diseases. In recent years, along with progress in medical science & clinical examination methods, statistics have shown an upward trend in life threatening diseases. In 2005, the economic loss due to rise in lifestyle diseases as a result of unhealthy workplaces was accounted for $8.7 billion and the same has been projected to rise to $54 billion by 2015.Traditional health policies pay for hospitalization and/or domiciliary expenses. However, the critical illness can cause greater financial burden than just the medical expenses incurred for the treatment. These diseases can also lead to loss of “full or partial”, “temporary or total” employability hence change in lifestyle. The loss incurred could be far more than what the insurance covers. As many of us already have mediclaim/health insurance policy of our own or through our employer, we tend to ignore the critical illness cover thinking that it is just a one kind of health cover. But there are certain differences between a health insurance policy and critical illness insurance policy.

Regular Health Insurance Policy

Critical Illness Policy

Cover any illness, disease or injury as long as within purview of policy

Cover a pre-defined/ pre-specified condition of illness only(defined as Critical Illness in the policy)

Reimburses the hospitalization expenses for any illness, disease or injury (i.e Reimbursement Plan)

Pays a lump sum amount basis the diagnosis (i.e Benefit Plan)

Policy continues even after claim is made, until renewal

Policy ceases once benefit has been paid (few offer the choice of remaining insured for other illnesses)

Waiting period is 30 days ( (i.e., any sickness or illness contracted during first 30 days from the commencement of the policy is excluded)

Waiting period is 90 days (I.e exclude any critical ailments detected during first 90 days)

 

One can buy a critical illness as a standalone insurance policy or can opt for health insurance policy with critical illness rider.

Most of the insurance companies in India are providing Critical Illness insurance as an addition to to the life insurance/health insurance policy with the payment of additional premium. This enables them to add value to their existing insurance policy.

Critical illness cover is offered with the intention of providing financial protection to individuals following the diagnosis of an illness deemed critical. The finances received could be used to:

  • pay for the costs of the care and treatment;

  • pay for recuperation aids;

  • to pay debts off;

  • replace any lost income due to a decreasing ability to earn; or even

  • Fund for a change in lifestyle

 

HDFC ERGO’s Critical Illness Insurance policy is designed specifically to cater to the needs of the high costs and associated treatments with regards to lifestyle diseases like Heart Attack, Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery, Stroke, Cancer, Kidney Failure, Paralysis, etc.


 
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