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What are Health Insurance Riders?
Investing in a health insurance policy is imperative when planning a secured future for yourself and your loved ones. Health plans from different insurance service providers have different features, riders, premium costs, deductibles and co-payments. However, not every individual has the same needs, and to meet the requirements of clients, insurance companies provide comprehensive and customised plans. They provide riders, which are amendments to the terms or coverage of a standard health insurance policy and closely matches the needs of the policyholder.
What is a rider?
In simple terms, a rider is an additional benefit that can be included to your basic health insurance plan. By adding riders, your insurance coverage can be expanded as per your requirement and at a lower cost. The insurance regulator IRDAI has capped premium on riders at 30% of the basic insurance plan.
Let’s have a look at the top five health insurance riders:
Room Rent Waiver: By including the room rent waiver rider in your policy, you can opt for a room with a higher sub-limit or without sub-limits. Many insurance companies put a cap on room rent and include general/standard or semi-private rooms in their insurance plans. However, by adding the room rent waiver rider, you can avail a room of your choice without paying extra at the time of admission.
Maternity Cover: This rider provides coverage against expenses incurred during child birth, after the waiting period is over. The waiting period could be 24 months or more, depending on the insurance company and your insurance plan. Some insurers also provides an option to cover new-born babies, from birth till the end of policy tenure or maturity.
Hospital Cash: This rider provides for the daily cash that a policyholder may require for taking care of hospital and other medical expenses during hospitalization. This hospital daily cash benefit will be paid once by the insurance company during the tenure of your policy, and can be used for certain number of days as mentioned in your health insurance plan.
Critical Illness Cover: Critical illness mainly refers to any disease or illness that is terminal in nature such as a massive heart attack, kidney failure, organ transplant, cancer, tumor or multiple sclerosis. Some insurance companies provide the critical illness cover with their plans, and also the policyholder can purchase this cover as an add-on in his/her policy. The critical illness cover provides immediate lump sum amount irrespective of the total expenses incurred during the actual medical treatment. There are many insurers that provide critical illness rider for 10-15 ailments, however, depending upon the company and requirement of the policyholder, an insurance company may cover up to 38 critical illnesses in case of comprehensive plans.
Personal Accident Rider: This rider covers compensation for all kinds of accident including permanent total disablement, accidental death, permanent partial disablement and temporary total disablement. The personal accident rider can be added to your basic insurance policy at an additional minimal cost. This waiver provides the insured with coverage for medical expenses, any disability/injury suffered in an accident and can be used for any unplanned expenses. The personal accident rider is also known as double indemnity rider. If the insured dies in an accident then the insurance company pays out additional amount of death benefit. The policyholder’s family gets twice the amount of the policy as a result of death due to accidental bodily injury.
Therefore, health insurance riders were developed so that policyholders with certain medical conditions could benefit in future, especially during hospitalization. So if you have a pre-existing health condition, then your insurance agent would be able to guide you towards the best health insurance plan with add-ons or riders. Riders provide several kinds of insurance protection. If you purchase some add-ons then you can avail better care and coverage at affordable premium.
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