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Can I Add Two Critical Illness Riders to My Health Insurance Policy?

Author: Team Finpage
Thursday, May 09, 2024

Have a sedentary job, live in a city with high pollution, don’t have the time for balanced meals, or have a family history of serious illnesses? If any or all of these sound familiar, you could be prone to critical illness. While prevention is best, we should also do the needful to have access to proper care in case of a critical illness. Did you know that the cost of critical care in India has skyrocketed 10x over the last 25 years? Yet, the penetration of critical illness cover is merely 8% in the country. Adding critical illness riders to your health insurance policy can ensure that you don’t have to worry about finances when seeking quality healthcare. 

A health insurance policy serves as a financial safety net at a time when you’re confronted by large medical bills. But does it cover all illnesses? A health insurance policy needs to be customised to ensure more comprehensive protection. This means adding critical illness and other riders.

What are Critical Illness Riders in Health Insurance?

Critical illness refers to any life-threatening condition that impacts the functioning of a vital organ(s). Patients diagnosed with critical illness need extensive medical support to survive. 

Here’s a list of the most common critical illnesses:

  • Heart attack

  • Heart failure 

  • Stroke

  • Kidney failure

  • Cancer

  • Chronic lung disease

  • Chronic liver disease

  • Paralysis

  • Total blindness

  • Total deafness

  • Total loss of speech

  • Parkinson’s diseases

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Muscular dystrophy 

  • Brain tumour

  • AIDS

The cost of treatment of such illnesses is typically very high. Some of these conditions may even require expensive surgeries, like the transplant of a vital organ, such as the heart, lungs, kidney, liver, or bone marrow. 

This is where riders in health insurance come to your rescue. These riders provide additional coverage, helping to customise your policy to meet your specific needs. Critical illness riders provide coverage for specified conditions. Yes, you can add two or more critical illness riders to either your life or health insurance policy.

If you’re diagnosed with any of the specified critical illnesses, the insurer pays you a lump sum amount. While the amount is independent of the actual medical bills, it helps you manage the high costs associated with hospitalisation, treatment, medicines, and lifestyle changes required. 

Types of Critical Illness Riders

Broadly speaking, there are two types of critical illness riders:

1. Critical illness rider as an additional benefit: In this, the critical illness cover is added to the sum assured by your base policy.

2. Critical illness rider as an accelerated benefit: In this, the sum paid in case of critical illness is deducted from the coverage of your base policy.

The premiums are higher for critical illness riders as additional benefits.

Standalone Critical Illness Plan vs Add Critical Illness Riders

Should you add critical illness riders to your health insurance or take a separate critical illness plan? Choose the former if you wish to pay lower premiums. Critical illness riders are offered by insurance companies for lower premiums as the sum assured ranges between 50% and 100% of the base policy. Taking a separate critical illness plan gives you the flexibility to choose higher coverage and better terms of the policy since you’re no longer restricted to your health insurance provider.

Apart from critical illness riders, there are several other add-ons to consider when you buy health insurance. These include riders for personal accidents, maternity, hospital cash daily allowance, and OPD (outpatient department) expenses.

Team Finpage

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