A very recent article in the daily newspaper caught my eye – ‘Indians are still grappling with Cancer expenses’. As if that piece of news was not enough, the same day, I came across an article online which mentioned the alarming increase in heart-related ailments in the modern age and the cost dilemma. Distressing, how the modern new age development is refining our lifestyles, but there is no answer to the illnesses that are on an all-time rise.
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With these thoughts, I received an email notifying the renewal of my health policy. It was then that I thought – what would happen if a member of my family or I fall prey to any critical illness? Will my health insurance plan bear the costs?
Cancer, heart related ailments or other critical illnesses cost a fortune in treatment. But sadly, most of us usually buy health plans with limited covers of Rs.2 – 5 lacs. Very few of us try the ‘above Rs.5 lac cover range’ because we fear the higher premium payments. But these health plans prove insufficient when we are struck by critical illness. A major chunk of the cover goes towards the treatment of our illness and almost nothing is left for other medical expenses.
So what is the solution? What about a Critical Illness Insurance Plan?
Critical illness insurance plans are fixed benefit plans that cover the specified critical illnesses, which an insured be catch up or might be suffering from. A list of illnesses is prescribed at the onset and if the insured is diagnosed with any of those mentioned illnesses, the policy pays out a lump sum amount, irrespective of the actual treatment cost.
Though the list of ailments covered varies from one plan to the other, every critical illness insurance plan essentially covers the following:
Critical illness – called so because these illnesses are life threatening and include huge treatment costs, might strike anyone, anytime. The financial implication of such illnesses is difficult to bear and for middle-income groups, which most of us are, it spells doom. Having a critical illness plan would provide the much-needed financial relief in times of such medical crisis.
Treating any critical illness has become possible due to the technological advancement in medical facilities. But with the advent of latest technology, the cost of treating illnesses has increased significantly, such that treating critical illnesses requires a considerable amount of finance, today. For example, an average cancer treatment requires somewhere between Rs.5 and 10 lacs and a heart bypass surgery too demands around Rs. 7-12 lacs. Given this, it’s no rocket science to understand that without proper planning to tackle such costs in advance, you would end up wiping out all your hard-earned money and savings.
If studies conducted by WHO are to be believed, about 10 lac people are likely to diagnosed with cancer in 2016, while cardiovascular diseases would spell doom for 6.4 crore Indians. These numbers were estimated using the most conservative study techniques and the actual numbers are expected to be higher. So, if numbers drive your belief, you should know that incidences of critical illnesses is increasing at an alarming rate and might strike anyone, anytime.
If you are worried about the extra outgo, just relax! The premium payment for such critical illness insurance is comparatively low. And the premium payment proves to be worthwhile considering the huge range of benefit offered by such plans.
The uniqueness of a critical illness plan is that it provides the lump sum benefit (Sum Assured) when the policyholder is diagnosed with any of the covered illnesses, irrespective of the actual cost of the treatment. So, you don’t really need to submit a lot of papers and medical bills to avail the claim benefits. You get the Sum Assured even when the actual cost of the treatment is lower than the total Sum Assured. In addition, if your illness demands a complete bed-rest and you aren’t really able to resume your work, the money availed as the Sum Assured can also be used to meet the day-to-day expenses.
So, do you need a critical illness plan? Of course you do! After all, who would want to pay lakhs and lakhs for treatment of critical illnesses? We’re sure with all the information provided here, you will not be doubtful about whether or not to opt for a critical illness plan. You’ll be surprised to know that even I bought one when I renewed my health insurance plan this year in order to ensure a healthy and happy life for me and my loved ones.
Now it’s your turn!