Health cover for a young family

 

I am 35 and work for a software firm. I have a medical plan offered by my organisation that covers the basic hospital expenses with cap on certain therapies. I am married with a child who is three years, and would like to get a health insurance for my family with a cover of ₹10 lakh. What is the best health insurance policy? I plan to take a term plan for myself and my spouse. So, I am looking for a health cover till we turn 70.

Ganesh

It’s good to know your interest in covering the entire family through a health insurance policy. Given the rising cost of healthcare, it makes sense to have your own health insurance policy rather than depend on the group cover of the employer.

Note that the health insurance policies in India are renewable lifelong till you keep paying premium.

For just three of you and, given your young age, the sum insured of ₹10 lakh on a medical insurance policy is a bit on the high side. It is suggested that you take a ₹5-lakh cover and a separate super top-up health plan for ₹5 lakh. This way, you can save significantly on premium. A super top-up cover is one that kicks-in after you cross a threshold medical expense. This threshold, in your case, can be the value of your base medical plan — which is ₹5 lakh. So, if your medical bill exceeds ₹5 lakh a year, the super top-up plan will get activated.

When you opt for health insurance, make sure that there are no sub-limits in the policy. Health insurance policies from public insurers are cheap on premium, but have caps on charges, including room rent, ICU and, sometimes, on ambulance too. So, you can consider Royal Sundaram’s Lifeline Supreme, Apollo Munich’s Optima Restore, Religare Health’s Care or Max Bupa’s Health Companion for your base health plan.

Also, make sure you take the right ‘no-claim bonus’ (NCB) feature. The NCB takes care of the medical cost inflation that is rising in double-digits.

All health policies in the market offer NCB benefit, but there are variations. The common NCB feature works thus: For every no-claim year, the sum insured will increase by a fixed percentage — usually 10 per cent. This will continue till the cumulative bonus reaches the cap specified under the policy — usually 50 per cent of SI. However, note that after the first year of claim, the NCB will begin to reduce at the same rate it increased.

For the Super Top Up cover, check if the insurer from whom you are taking the base cover itself offers one. This can simplify the application process for you and you may in all likelihood get continuity benefit on pre-existing diseases.

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