Do I Need Health Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance both?

A critical illness policy helps you on the financial front in case of a life-threatening disease. If one has a budget, then he/she should definitely consider buying a critical illness policy despite having a medical cover.

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    Purchasing critical illness cover, even if you have an individual/group/family health plan is imperative as it will work as an added safety net.

    If you are relying on your group health cover, then it will come in handy should your employer change its policy or should you switch your company that does not provide a group medical insurance cover

    Simply put, you should first get a regular health insurance policy that covers medical treatment, including critical illnesses. Then enhance it with separate critical illness insurance instead of a critical illness rider.

    And a standalone policy is better as it offers more comprehensive coverage including day-care treatments and domiciliary hospitalization.

    Cost of Critical Illness Treatment in India

    Disease Name Treatment Cost
    Liver Transplant 25 to 36 lacs.
    Chemotherapy 60 thousand to 1.9 lacs.
    Angioplasty 1.9 to 4.12 lacs.
    Congenital Heart Diseases 1.9 to 6.35 lacs.
    Breast Cancer Surgery 1.9 to 4.25 lacs.
    Lung Transplant 14 to 16 lacs.

    With such figures, coming out in the light, it is almost inevitable to buy a critical illness insurance plan.

    Why Is Standalone Critical Illness Insurance Policy Better?

    A separate or a standalone critical illness cover can be purchased for self or for a family member. In this plan, the insurer pays you a lump sum amount on the detection of any of the specified diseases. 

    You can pick from any of the plans from top insurance companies in India. One such Religare health insurance plan is Religare Assure that starts from Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 1.20 crore. It covers 20 major illnesses.

    Can I Replace a Critical Illness Plan with a Critical Illness Rider?

    Insurance companies provide critical illness insurance as a standalone cover or as a rider cover.  The features of rider are similar to a standalone policy but it comes at a lower cost because the sum assured ranges from 50 to 100 percent of the base policy.

    If you are not looking for an affordable option, opting for a separate critical illness will be a viable option.

    Critical illness policy also recompenses for loss in income along with the treatment cost. However, if your budget is limited, it is sensible to buy medical insurance prior to a critical illness policy.

    Critical Illness Insurance vs. Health Insurance

    Hypothetically, imagine a situation where a member of your family members is diagnosed with a critical illness. Adding to the agony, your medical insurance policy only covers the hospitalization expenses for everything except critical illnesses. 

    The situation can be nerve-wracking, especially when you do not have adequate resources. Instead of repenting later, it’s advisable that you safeguard your life and your loved one’s life with a critical illness policy? The insurer will pay you in a lump sum for the treatment as per the amount specified in the insurance plan. 

    To help you understand better have a look at the comparison table between health insurance and critical illness insurance-

    Parameters    Health Insurance      Critical Illness Insurance
    Importance Compensation is only provided up to a specified limit, irrespective of the disease     Covers life-threatening diseases such as tumor, kidney failure, cancer, heart ailments, etc.
    Benefits    Hospitalization expenses are either reimbursed or cashless treatment is provided  in-network hospitals.    The insurer pays the lump sum amount for the treatment. Hospitalization is not essential and the claim can be process based on the diagnosis reports.
    Inclusions Hospitalization expenses are covered. Add-on benefits are also available.    Coverage is provided for specified critical illnesses as mentioned in the plan
    Waiting Period     30 days to 4 years    up to 3 months
    Policy Duration     1,2,3 years    Ranges between 15 to 20 years

    When Should I Buy a Critical Illness Policy?

    Anyone who is able to relate themselves to the below-mentioned circumstances should consider getting critical illness cover along with a basic health insurance plan-

    If You Are Above The Age Band of 40 Years

    People who are above 40 years of age are more vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses and it will be sensible to have yourself covered with an adequate critical illness insurance policy.

    Instead of waiting to turn 40, you can also buy it in your 30s. As a matter of fact, many youngsters are suffering from acute illnesses as a result of a sedentary lifestyle and due to hereditary reasons.   

    If You Have a Family History of Critical Illnesses

    Mostly, the reason for critical illnesses is genetic. As the risk of cardiovascular disease is higher if you have a family history of heart problems. As a proactive measure, it is advisable for you to get a critical illness insurance policy to enjoy a secured future and avail the best possible treatment.

    If you already know your family’s medical history, you should definitely consider this. You probably are the ideal customer for a critical illness policy.

    If You Are The Breadwinner of The Family

    Those who are the only earning member in the family, it is imperative to secure the entire family with a critical illness insurance policy. It is required if you do not want your loved ones to go through emotional turmoil or financial distress.

    If you have elderly parents, you can also buy a senior citizen critical illness insurance plan.

    If You are Working In A Stressful Environment

    One of the major factors contributing to an increase in the number of life-threatening diseases is an unhealthy work atmosphere.

    As per studies, people who have a high-pressure job or profession, succumb to such diseases at an early stage. Either can choose to balance your personal and professional life or opt for a critical illness policy to avoid any financial constraints in the future.

    Avail Tax Benefits Along With Medical Insurance

    The Indian Income Tax Act of 1961, grants tax-saving benefits to a critical illness insurance policyholder. If the age of the policyholder is lesser than 60 years old, then the tax-exemption limit is INR 25,000 in a fiscal year.

    Under Section 80 D the limit is capped at INR 30,000 for policyholders paying a premium for their elderly parents above 60 years of age. And the limit is INR 55,000 if the age of the policyholder is lesser than 60 years and is paying a premium for his elderly parents.

    Final Word

    There are new plans that are being introduced from time to time to cater to the different health insurance needs of the customers. And critical illness is one such product category that has gained significance over a period of time in the insurance sector. As per your needs, you can buy it as a rider with your existing health insurance policy or as a standalone product.  But it is important to have both to ensure that you are prepared for any unforeseen medical emergency.

    Disclaimer : *Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.

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    Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.

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