Health is Wealth – as goes the old adage. So, as we take extra care, including insurance for our assets, it is imperative that health insurance must be an inseparable part of our financial planning. India did not have all these years a social security scheme from the Govt. The recently floated Ayushman Bharat Scheme (popularly called Modicare) is good beginning but ‘you & me’ are not eligible under this scheme. As healthcare costs in private hospitals have become exorbitant, medical/health insurance cover is must for everyone. If not done, a serious illness resulting in prolonged hospitalization may suck out all the life’s savings, pushing a person’s family into penury.
Whether a health insurance is really needed in a given situation and what kind of cover will be appropriate is usually misconceived by most people. Here we give a lowdown on MYTHS people are living with.
Myth 1: I already have a corporate health cover I do not need individual plan as it would be an additional cost to me.
Clarification- The corporate health plan or popularly known as GMC is cover extended as Employees Benefit Policy by the Employer to Employee. The ownership is with the Employer not with the employee which means that Employer can discontinue, amend features of the policy. Further you may leave your company and join another company which doesn’t have GMC policy; you could find yourself without any cover overnight. One may presume that one can buy an individual cover as and when required but you can’t be sure at the stage of life you or any family member might not be medically fit to get a cover. Therefore, it’s always advisable to own a Mediclaim Policy as an individual and a GMC Policy could be used as in case of your 1st ailment and preserve your cumulative bonus in your individual policy. Besides, you may use your personal policy in case your SA of Corporate Cover is exhausted. Also, see ‘Top-up’ policy discussed below (Myth 4).
Myth 2: I am covered under CGHS, as its unlimited cover so I don’t need any separate cover.
Yes a CGHS cover is a cover available to Government Employees also extended to retired Government employees. It indeed is a special privilege extended to Government Employees which is available at the time one could require the most i.e. Post Retirement. However, one could get caught into emergency situation or prefer a treatment by a particular doctor in a hospital of one’s choice which is not covered under CGHS. Therefore, it’s prudent to go for own a small cover to take care of aforesaid mentioned situations.
Myth 3: I have a Policy which is running for the last 15 years and I am covered fully.
It’s good that one is conscious of having a Mediclaim cover but it’s equally important to know that you have Old Generation Cover and it’s not a complete cover. The old policies have restriction on room rent, restriction of ailments/diseases and so on. Thus, one can shift (called portability) to a New Generation Policy with the transfer of all the benefits of old policy. This got permitted by IRDA recently and it works very similar to motor vehicle policy, subject to fulfillment of certain conditions.
Myth 4: I can’t afford a higher sum insured option as it’s too expensive.
Reality- Health insurance is one of the most critical components of your financial planning but remember a little investment now would help you save huge amount in the long run. As health insurance premium is escalating @ 10 – 15% p.a, we bring you a better option to increase health coverage at low prices by opting for a top up plan. A top up health policy is an additional coverage for people who have an existing individual / floater plan or mediclaim policy from the employer. The top-up plan offers you an additional cover when you exhaust you basic cover limit. In simple words, when you are hospitalized and if a huge bill runs up the insurer will pay up to the set sum insured limit. The top-up, on the other hand, will trigger in only after a certain limit, say, Rs. 3 lakh has been crossed. It’ll pay for the claim amount over and above it. So, it brings great relief by way of a back-up plan to save yourself and your family from high hospitalization costs. The cover is not very expensive and premium much lower than any normal policy.