Medical technology has progressed so far that illnesses that were once life-threatening are now curable. It has played a significant role in increasing the lifespan too. Apart from an increase in medical treatments, the lifestyle has also changed drastically. More and more lifestyle diseases are cropping up that were rare in earlier times. Piling work pressures, stress, and a fast-paced lifestyle has led to these problems.
Treating these lifestyle ailments can burn a hole in your pocket. A health insurance in the form of a critical cover can help you avoid financial stress due to these ailments. But what exactly is critical illness insurance?
In a critical illness cover, the insured receives a lump sum amount on detection of the pre-specified disease. It is also called a dread-disease policy. When any of the specified diseases as per the policy terms are detected, the insurance company offers a lump sum payout to the policyholder.
Heart attacks, open chest coronary heart operations, paralysis treatments, cancers of different intensity as specified, diseases of the kidneys, any organ transplant are some common treatments covered under a critical illness insurance policy.
Now that you know what is health insurance for critical illnesses and the common ailments covered, let us look at the key consideration when buying a critical illness plan.
Coverage for different diseases
First and foremost consideration when purchasing a critical illness cover is the coverage for different types of diseases. Consider your family’s medical history, your past health records, your lifestyle to get an idea about vulnerability to different forms of ailments. Selection of your policy should be based on these factors.
Consider your present financial situation
Your current financial situation will determine how much coverage you need to buy. If you are someone who can tackle unexpected health ailments, a smaller cover might be sufficient. However, do consider that treatment costs are rising at a sporadic rate. Your today’s contingency fund may not be sufficient tomorrow. So plan accordingly and opt for a suitable financial coverage accounting your present financial situation.
Waiting period of your policy
When selecting critical illness insurance of your choice, you must pay attention to the waiting periods under these plans. Since these policies can be either purchased as a standalone plan or as an add-on to base health insurance, it is essential you consider the waiting period too. During this waiting period, the insurance company will not provide coverage for any of the diseases.
Exclusions of the policy
As you look for a plan with maximum coverage, keep an eye on the exclusions too. These exclusions can be a deterrent in selecting a particular policy and may require you to look for alternative options.
Selection of the coverage size
You need to consider the sum insured when buying a particular plan. For instance, heart and cancer treatments are generally covered by most insurance policies, but will that coverage amount be sufficient is the question. You must evaluate these coverage options based on your need.
Rider v/s Standalone
Critical illness covers can be either purchased as a standalone plan or as an add-on rider. They offer a lump sum payout on diagnosis of specified diseases. It is for you to decide whether a standalone plan is suitable or as an add-on rider to your base policy.
To conclude, make sure the price is not the only basis for deciding the premium. Consider other criteria like quality of the insurance company, claim settlement ratio, additional benefits, number of diseases covered and more when selecting a favourable policy.