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Top-up Health Insurance

Covid is spreading fast.

I wish you, your family and loved ones be safe & healthy.

We need to exercise high caution and try hard to prevent getting infected, by following good hygiene and social distancing practices.

However, we also need to be financially prepared to handle the situation, if unfortunately we are infected.

Covid treatment in private hospitals is costing 10-20 lakhs, depending on type of hospital and type of hospitalization (i.e., Isolation/Ventilator/ ICU).

If a person in a family is infected, more often than not, whole or multiple members of the family will be infected consequently.

If such infections turn out to be of moderate to high severity, hospitalization will be required. If that happens, mostly, most of us will not be able to afford private hospital expenses, out of our savings. If we spend so much, then we will become bankrupt. There will be no option but to go with Govt. provided free facilities. You know the state of those facilities as you might have seen in main stream and social media.

There is however, better, easier and economic way of affording good quality healthcare; that is buying adequate health insurance.

ADEQUATE / SUFFICIENT Health Insurance in this situation means 50 Lakhs to 1 Crore! Yeah, I know, that sounds too outlandish but that's the situation at present. In normal circumstances, a health cover of 10-15 Lakhs (along with additional critical illness insurance of about 25-50 Lakhs) should have been sufficient. There are very few things in health care, during normal circumstances, which will cost 50 Lakhs or more - for example, Advanced Cancer Treatment and Severe Accident requiring multiple organ surgeries.

A comprehensive health cover of 50 Lakhs to 1 Crore, indeed takes care of Hospitalization Expenses of not just Covid, but also such other severe and rare occurrences.

But, that big cover should come at large price you may think. Actually, if planned and bought smartly such health insurance shall come at an unbelievably low price. Smart plan is having a combo of base health insurance and top-up health insurance. More important thing here is actually having a top-up insurance. Even people who do not have or want to have base health insurance must buy top-up health insurance to limit their losses & expenses on hospitalization and saving themselves from bankruptcy due to hospital expenses.

What is Top-Up Health Insurance?

It is like a normal health insurance, except one difference – the 'Deductible' feature. 'Deductible' is an initial threshold amount, up to which, this top policy will not pay for. For example, if you choose 'deductable' as 5 Lakh rupees, in a 95 Lakh Sum Insured policy, this top policy will not pay for your intial 5 Lakhs of hospital expenses and will pay for any amount up to next 95 Lakhs of hospital expenses. This policy doesn't care how the first 5 Lakh expenses were paid - Out of your pocket or through your other base health insurance. So, you may buy base policy of 5 Lakh (if you don't have one already) and over that, buy this 95 Lakh top-up policy with 5 Lakh deductible to have whole 1 Cr Health Insurance. If you already have your base policy (purchased on your own or the one provided by your employer), you buy may this top-up policy to supplement and extend the cover. Even if you don't have or want to buy base health insurance policy, you can buy this policy to limit your ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses. It may so happen that you are quite comfortable to afford 'smaller' hospitalization expenses, say up to 5 lakhs, on your own and don't wish to have insurance for that. But, the expenses running in tens of lakhs may worry you. In such cases also, this kind of policy is quite useful. And considering the price at which it comes, you don't mind at all.

 How much it costs / What's the premium?

Like happens in any other normal / base health insurance, the premium is dependent on your age and existing health condition. For a normal, healthy family of husband wife and two children (2 Adults + 2 Children), where the eldest (husband/wife) is aged 40 Years, Max Bupa Health Recharge (a top-up Insurance Plan) costs about 7,650/- per year, for 95 Lakh Sum Insured & 5 Lakhs Deductible. Check the premium applicable for you in the premium calculator on Health Insurance Company's website or ask your advisor.

 Is this policy for only Covid or Some Specific high cost treatments / surgeries?

No; like any normal health insurance, this policy can be used for any hospitalization, including Covid.

 Are there any Medical Tests before taking this policy?

Like any other normal health insurance, Medical Tests will be required depending on the insured person's existing health condition. For a normal healthy person up to age 60, usually medical tests will not be required.

 Are there any sub-limits, exclusions, waiting periods?

Like most normal health insurance policies, sub-limits depend on Sum Insured taken. For Sum Insured of 5 Lakhs and above room rent sub limit (which is the most important sub-limit) is not applicable and you can choose up to 'Single Private Room'. Exclusions and waiting periods are similar to normal health insurance. Refer product brochure and policy wordings for more details or speak to an advisor.


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