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Posted by Royal Sundaram on 26 May 2020
With people’s current lifestyle – working late, poor sleep, late night-outs, poor eating habits, and high levels of stress; they are increasingly falling prey to numerous lifestyle diseases. Studies have shown that one in four Indians is at the risk of dying an untimely death from either cancer, cardiovascular ailments, or other stress-related illnesses.
Having a healthy, balanced diet and regular physical exercise can keep many of these lifestyle problems at bay. However, due to hereditary reasons or other age-related factors, we can succumb to such illnesses. Also, unlike other regular small ailments such as the flu, the treatment of these problems is expensive and therefore, financially draining.
What is a Critical Illness Plan?
Critical illness plans differ from a regular health insurance plan in numerous ways. Primarily, a critical illness plan is where you are paid a lump-sum amount (sum assured) if you acquire any of the critical illnesses such as cancer or a stroke. The sum assured offered under this will cover the medical expenses and treatments, up to the sum assured for such ailments. Unlike a regular health insurance plan where the insurer pays you only the medical expenses that you incur, under the critical illness plan you are eligible to receive the entire sum assured, irrespective of the expenses incurred by you.
The critical illness plans cover several ailments, which may differ from insurer to insurer. However, many of them cover at least 8 to 20 various ailments. Some of these include cancer, heart ailments, kidney failure, paralysis, major organ transplant, etc. The coverage amounts for the same depends upon your requirements but generally start from ₹1 lakh.
Should I buy a Critical Illness Plan if I have a Health Insurance Plan?
If you hold a regular health insurance plan, it is still advisable that you opt for a critical illness plan or rider along with it to safeguard you from any such financial risks that may befall upon you. It is essential that you opt for the critical illness plan around the age of 40 years; however, buying at an earlier age will offer you the benefit of lower premiums.
Before opting for a critical illness plan or rider over and above your health insurance policy, you should look into several factors such as age, family history, inflation rate, job type, own medical history, and other factors. It is imperative to understand that the expenses of such critical ailments are high. Therefore, it is better to have sufficient coverage for the same if your background indicates such.
You can buy such plans either separately or as a rider or as additional coverage to your existing health insurance plan. Further, these can be purchased either from a non-life or general insurance company, a life insurance company, or even a health insurance company.
Under the concept of a rider with a regular health insurance policy, the critical illness plan premium is likely to remain constant as you age. However, if you purchase the same separately, the premium may rise with age.
It is imperative that you assess your health, especially the family health history in detail. If you find that you have a high probability of developing any of the critical health conditions, it is advisable that you buy the Critical Illness Plan. Research the various offerings and find the coverage that suits your individual requirements.
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