Is Higher Health Insurance Coverage Required?

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Research reveals that penetration of health insurance in India is very low. Out of the total population of 1.25 billion people only one fifth are covered under some kind of health insurance. It is important to note that the average sum insured is less than 2 lakhs.

Till recently, a health cover of 5 lakhs was considered adequate. However, today most individuals are of the opinion that rising cost of the treatment and double-digit inflation in healthcare may wipe out their savings. These fears are not exaggerated. An organ transplant can cost up to Rs.20 to Rs. 40 lakhs and medicines for cancer can be priced at more than Rs.500 per tablet.

Why you need to be covered adequately

Most people are either influenced by the agent or by the amount of tax savings they want when they decide on a health cover. Experts today are unanimous over the fact that a cover of even 10 lakhs may not suffice for treatment of a critical illness.

If an individual contracts a critical illness he will not have any choice but to seek medical help from one of the premier hospitals. A room in these hospitals will cost approximately Rs. 5000 to Rs. 7000. A room in the Intensive Care Unit can cost up to three to four times the normal expenses. Hence, if you can afford the premium, it is best to opt for a high health cover.

A scenario based example

Areal-life scenario will help you to understand why a high health cover is essential. Ravi works with an MNC which offers a health cover of 6 lakhs. He thought that this cover was sufficient and did not opt for an additional cover. However, after serving the company for five years he decided to switch over to a better firm.

His new employer offered a different plan with a lesser coverage. Additionally, the plan which he had with his previous employer was not portable. Ravi who is in the other side of thirties had to pay a large premium and undergo medical tests when he decided to opt for an additional higher cover insurance.

High health covers become popular

As the demand for higher health insurance cover is increasing, insurance providers are catching up with the trend. As new procedures emerge in medical sciences they come at an extra cost. Changes in lifestyle encourage individuals to visit super luxury hospitals. Further, individuals with adverse family history have to opt for high health covers.

Trends show that an increasing number of people are opting for medical treatments outside India for critical illness. Cigna TTK Health insurance and Religare health insurance policies cover international treatment. Religare covers treatment anywhere in the world for an entire sum assured of Rs. 60 lakhs.

Points to check

If you can afford the premium you should opt for a high sum assured policy. You should bear in mind that a high cover does not necessarily mean that the policy would reimburse all the expenses.

You should pay attention to the features of the policy such as sub-limits, network of hospitals and additional benefits which may include dental treatment and maternity cover. At times in case of high-value plans there may be no limits on the room rent. Before opting for a high premium health cover you need to evaluate your requirements.

Here are a few high value covers which you can consider:

Policy

Sum Insured

Annual premium

Religare Health Insurance Care

Rs. 60 lakh

Rs. 19, 177

Apollo Munich Easy Health

Rs. 50 lakh

Rs. 19,884

Bajaj Alliance Health Care Supreme

Rs. 50 lakh

Rs. 31,138

Cigna TTK Pro Health Preferred

Rs. 50 lakh

Rs. 36, 902

Cigna TTK Pro Health Premier

Rs. 1 crore

Rs. 44,118

Max Bupa Heartbeat

Rs. 1 crore

Rs. 67,334

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