With the increasing threats to health because of the rise of lifestyle diseases and other factors, healthcare has become a cause for concern, right from birth to old age. Prohibitive costs of hospitalization and treatment could play havoc with even the best-planned household budgets. The answer is health insurance.

Health insurance comes in two basic variants – individual insurance and family floater. While an individual health insurance plan is specific to an individual and has a defined cover, family floater plans cover the whole family, and the sum assured can be utilised by any member of the family.

Typically, Indian policyholders cover themselves for a maximum of Rs 3-4 lakhs and the average coverage under individual health insurance policies is even lower. But rising costs of healthcare may render this amount inadequate to cover all expenses.

Also, a basic health insurance policy may not cover expenses related to the recovery phase like extended nursing care, counseling sessions, rehabilitation or physiotherapy sessions, follow-up medical investigations and diagnostic tests.

However, Riders and Top-up options help enhance protective covers.

A rider is an add-on that provides additional benefits on the basic health insurance policy. Some commonly available riders are Critical Illness Cover, Hospital Cash Benefits, Personal Accident Cover, Maternity Cover, Out-Patient Dental and Convalescence Costs. Top-Up policies are regular indemnity plans covering hospitalisation, but only after exhaustion of a particular threshold limit known as deductible. The deductible clause makes Top-Up plans inexpensive because the smaller claims do not need to be paid by the insurer.

The simplest way of deciding which to choose is to ask yourself if you can estimate the cost of your treatment. If you can, a Rider is the way out. If you do not, then go for a Top-up cover.

The incremental costs of both Riders and Top-Up plans are minimal, and should be availed of.

Source: http://www.financialexpress.com


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