If you’re someone who believes in securing your future by planning your health expenses in advance, then the term ‘add-ons’ might not be new to you. Commonly confused with the term ‘rider’; an add-on is slightly different. Rider provides you with additional benefits that can be added to your base health insurance plan. Maternity cover, room rent waiver and hospital cash are some of the most common riders.
While riders provide benefits during known medical emergencies, add-on covers protect you against unknown emergencies. These add-ons can be purchased during the time of buying the policy. The advantage and return on investment for add-on covers is vast. Moreover, you can avail tax exemption up to 35,000 under the Section 80D. Before you get an add-on for your policy, make sure you consider the following factors as they have a direct impact on the total premium amount.
- Family size
- Existing plan
- Healthcare needs and prevention
After learning about the factors, the following add-on covers can be chosen along with your existing insurance plan:
1. Personal accident cover: Accidents have become a common sight on roads today. And, as you may know, medical expenses post an accident are fairly high. This is why a personal accident cover is essential as it guarantees to take care of such expenses. The cover includes accidental death and permanent disablement (loss of both legs, eyes, speech and hearing). Cases of temporary disablement are also covered, which include fractures and sight loss. The compensation for death, however is no substitute for life, but it can help your family financially.
2. Critical illness cover: This type of illness refers to a disease or sickness that is terminal in nature. It could include chronic diseases like body cancer, a heart stroke, brain tumour or sclerosis. When you get a critical illness cover, an immediate lump sum amount is provided to you. The amount provided is independent of the future medical expense incurred by the patient. Every plan covers different number of ailments. Generally, it covers around 10-15 ailments. But, it can go up to 38 in number, in case you take a comprehensive package. A comprehensive package will provide a wider range of benefits.
3. Top-up and super top-up cover: These two covers provide additional insurance cover, over your existing health plan. Buying a new health policy is expensive. Hence, a top up health insurance plan is necessary as it will reimburse the expenses that cross the base amount of your insurance. On the other hand, when you take a super top-up plan, your expenses for the entire year will be reimbursed.
4. Indemnity cover: This particular cover provides you with the liberty to choose your own hospital, doctor and the hospital services. The insurer does not insist that you stick to any particular hospital or doctor. The company pays an amount called the ‘fee-for-service’, which is a fixed portion of your total charge. Since the time Mediclaim policies have become available online, you have the opportunity to compare health insurance policies and buy the best add-ons. By using a health insurance premium calculator, you calculate the amount payable after buying add-ons.
5. Independent cover: Buying an independent cover has more benefits than buying a group cover. The latter is offered by most employers, however, you are eligible to use it until you are working for that organisation. But, with an independent cover, you are protected at all times. Realising the benefits of independent cover, most people are now shifting from group insurance to independent insurance. While you make a shift, you can continue to avail certain benefits from your previous policy as well.
If health insurance is the boat that saves you during medical financial needs, then these add-ons are like life guards on the boat. They provide additional security to you and your family’s future.