All You Need to Know about Health Insurance Add-ons

Medical and Health Insurance Claim Form

If you’ve already got a health insurance plan looking out for you, you might be under the impression that a large cover will take care of all medical expenses under the sun. Even if this were true (which it isn’t), what amount can it actually cover? Say you’ve a taken a health plan of INR 5 lakh. You’re admitted in a hospital for a week – which charges you for the room, medicines, doctor’s fees, and post – and pre-hospitalisation care. The total amount for the services mentioned above will more likely eat up more than half the insurance cover.

As a result, you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket. To avoid getting caught by one small clause in your policy, you can go in for an add-on on your insurance policy. These include coverage for medical evacuation, personal accidents, critical illnesses, maternity, outpatient treatments, and so on.

Think of this as a customisation of your existing plan to add more cover at a lower cost. Note, though, that IRDAI rules don’t let premiums on such riders exceed 30% of the premium of the health insurance plan. Some of the add-ons offered on health insurance plans in India include:

Maternity Cover

This rider covers expenses borne during childbirth. Coverage is offered after a certain waiting period, which depends on the insurer and the type of plan. Some insurers also offer add-ons to cover health issues with your little one. However, these are only valid from the time the baby is born.

A maternity rider can be a financial godsend. Do note, though, that choosing maternity cover increases your health insurance premium by 30%.

Hospital Cash Rider

You’ll need liquid cash if you’re admitted in a hospital, to accommodate daily medical expenses. This is where the hospital cash rider comes it. You’re awarded a coverage of INR 500-3000 on a daily basis. If situations take a turn for the worse—say if treatment in an ICU is urgently required—the coverage can be increased. Eligibility conditions on this rider need you to be admitted for at least a day.

Waiver on Room Rents

This lets you stay in a hospital room of higher grade than your current policy permits. When you use insurance, you’re entitled to stay in hospital rooms that come at certain tariffs—rather limiting your choice of hospital rooms. However, with a waiver on room rents, you get monetary coverage that lets you get yourself admitted in luxury wards, rooms, and the like.

Personal Accident cover

The personal accident cover is all about compensation—an insurance candidate gets compensated in the wake of an accident. Cover is offered if the candidate passes away after the accident, is permanently disabled (loss of two limbs, speech, hearing, and sight), is partially disabled (loss of a single arm, leg, eye, or ear), or temporarily disabled (fractures and temporary loss of senses).

Top-up Cover

A top-up cover is an extension of your health insurance plan. Under this scheme, you’re offered additional cover for medical expenses that cannot be covered by your health insurance plan. It increases the total pay-out. This type of rider can only be utilised once when you’re hospitalised. However, it’s much cheaper than signing up for a fresh health insurance plan.

Critical Illness Cover

Critical illness covers come handy when an individual is faced with massive expenses for treatment of life-threatening accidents or diseases like cancer, heart attacks, tumours, and sclerosis.

Under the critical illness cover, a single payment is made without taking the cost of treatment or surgery into account. Such a cover offers massive pay-outs for a number of life-threatening illnesses.

Consider a health insurance add on policy that covers maximum critical illnesses. The coverage provided under critical illness can be acquired as add on.

Alternatively, you can also sign up for the all-in- one health insurance plan that includes the add-on.

An add-on cover can be added to your health insurance plan according to the situation you’re in. Total coverage, family size, number of sick family members, and pregnancy: these are all factors that determine how you modify your insurance plan.

For instance, a maternity cover will be of great help if you are planning to have a baby in next three or four years. Similarly, a critical illness cover is recommended if you have a family history of critical ailments. Choose wisely, and you can ‘add on’ to your current health insurance plan to your advantage!