There has been immense advancement in the field of Medical science. Yet, in the event of a major health emergency, such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke or other critical illnesses, there are multiple things to take care of. To ensure access to quality healthcare facilities and focus on treatment and well-being of the patient without having to worry about finances, insurance is essential.
While we can all try and make healthier lifestyle choices, none of us can be certain of what the future holds, it is best to be prepared. Even with early diagnosis of a critical illness, the lack of finances or the inability to access finances at the right time, often delays access to advanced medical facilities thus decreasing chances of quality treatment. Critical illness also affects the income generating capacity of an individual. Therefore, a critical illness insurance plan plays a crucial role.
To begin with, it is important to understand the difference between a critical illness policy and indemnity health insurance plans. In a critical insurance policy, the insurance company pays you a lump sum amount, in case you are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease that is covered by the policy.
On the other hand, indemnity reimburses the expenses incurred for treatment. A critical illness insurance policy protects the insured from critical illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks, renal failure, and so on.
The lump sum coverage not only protects the income generating capacity which gets affected due to a critical illness but also pays for expensive medical costs associated with critical illnesses covered by the insurance policy.
Critical illness insurance plans offer tax benefits under 80D of the Income Tax Act. Some products have a survival period while some do not, for payment of a benefit after being diagnosed by a critical illness. Insurance companies also offer the flexibility to increase the sum insured at the time of the policy renewal
While choosing a critical illness product one should see the number of critical illnesses covered, survival period and sum insured which would be commensurate with his income.
Maintaining good health is just as crucial as protecting ourselves from potential health issues and living in the present without being concerned about the future. The expenses may be substantially larger if you need to stay in a hospital for the treatment, particularly if you must go to a super-specialty facility.
It is equally important to maintain good health as it is to protect ourselves against potential health crises and live a life free of worry! Therefore, opting for a critical illness policy is considered prudent.
Shreeraj Deshpande, Head – Health Businesses, SBI General Insurance