How Critical Illness Insurance Is Different as Compared to Other Health Insurance Plans?

Insurance Plans

Many believe that buying a comprehensive health insurance policy will help them deal with all kinds of medical ailments, including critical diseases. General health insurance and critical illness insurance both serve purposes. Read this article to know more.

Many people in India are succumbing to life-threatening diseases like cancer, heart stroke, kidney failure, hypertension, etc. Due to the stressful lifestyle, food choices, increasing work pressure, etc., these illnesses are rising at an alarming rate. It is wrong to assume that you or your loved ones are safe from any such diseases. Life is uncertain. A regular health insurance policy cannot cover all the uncertainties of life, so financial preparedness is the key.  

When it comes to health insurance cover, people believe that it will help them deal with any critical illness. However, this is not the case. Buying a standard medical policy will not help provide you cover if you get diagnosed with a deadly disease like cancer. There is a specific Critical Illness Health Insurance that protects against non-communicable diseases. Are you one of those who considers health plans and critical illness plans the same and interchangeable?

Let’s get to know the difference between Critical Illness Insurance and Health Insurance based on different parameters: 

  • Meaning: A health insurance compensates for the medical expenses is you or your family member are hospitalised. Typically, such a policy does not cover serious diseases. Critical Illness Insurance offers cover against serious illnesses, life-threatening conditions, and surgical procedures that may dent your financial plan. 
  • Coverage: When it comes to the inclusions, a health insurance policy provides cover for pre-hospitalisation, post-hospitalisation, ambulance expenses, day-care procedures, AYUSH treatments, inpatient treatment, organ donor charges, cashless or reimbursement facility, medical check-ups, etc. 

On the other hand, a Critical Illness Policy covers major illnesses, including heart attack, cancer, paralysis, multiple sclerosis, kidney failure, etc. To treat such ailments, the insurer offers a lump sum amount if anyone is diagnosed with a serious illness.  

  • Sum Assured: A health insurance policy provides a fixed sum assured that ranges from Rs.2 lakh to Rs. 10 lakhs. The proceeds of the plan are provided at the policyholder depending on treatment during hospitalisation. Critical Illness Insurance provides a lump sum amount; the policyholder can claim the sum assured only once, after which the cover gets exhausted. 
  • Premium charges: In the case of health insurance, the premium rate increases as you get older. However, it remains constant for critical illness insurance. At times insurance companies may revise the cost of the premium for critical illness, taking prior approval from the regulator. 
  • Waiting Period: The waiting period for a Health Insurance Policy is usually 30 days. Once the waiting period is complete, the policyholder can avail cover against pre-existing diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension, etc. For Critical Illness Insurance, the waiting period is a maximum of 90 days.  

These are some of the pointers that set apart standard health insurance from a critical illness insurance policy. The decision to buy the policy depends on your medical needs. For more safety, you can purchase comprehensive health insurance, which includes Critical Illness as an add-on benefit. But the rider option may not provide the required benefits. It is always advisable to select critical illness insurance as a standalone plan.