The Importance Of Critical Illness Coverage …and what critical illness can do for you
Critical illness is not medical insurance
You must have heard of the term critical illness coverage and must be wondering as to why do you need something apart from medical insurance. Well, the answer is very simple. Medical insurance takes care of the expenses once you are in hospital and critical illness takes care of your expenses once you are out of it too. For example:
A minor heart attack
Let’s say, as usual, one day you left for office in your car. As you get out of the car after parking it in the basement, while walking towards the lift, you feel a sharp pain in your chest. Suddenly you start to sweat and have difficulty breathing. The security guard watches you collapsing down, clutching your chest and calls your colleagues for help. They come down immediately and take you to the hospital nearby. The doctors, after a series of tests, come to the conclusion that you have suffered a minor heart attack and further that you need to have a clot in your arteries removed. The affected artery has to be operated upon using the CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft) technique which would ensure that the incisions are small.
You and your family brace yourself for the surgery. Modern science has advanced so much that such surgeries are no more risky or a matter of life-and-death. The cost of this operation is going to be Rs 1.5 lakhs. You are relieved that you have been religiously renewing your health insurance policy every year for the last 5 years. All the costs of the procedure will be covered. The doctors complete the procedure and remove the clot in the artery successfully. However, you are advised to take complete bed rest rest for at least 2-3 months, which means that you need to take time off from work during this time.
After the surgery
Now, there can be a problem here. You are supposed to take time off from work for the next 2-3 months, which means you will not be able to earn a salary for this period, unless your employer is generous enough to sanction a paid leave. This is highly unlikely and you may have to cool your heels at home during this period without income.
How can critical illness cover help you?
Critical illness cover is what can help you at this stage. Critical illness cover gives you a lumpsum payment of a particular amount on the diagnosis of any of the listed illnesses. So, as soon as you are diagnosed and slated for a surgery, you can claim and receive the payout. With this payout, you can make the payment of an advance at the hospital, keep your home loan EMI’s regular, pay your children’s school fees and also use it to pay for your living expenses. In short, you can use the payout in whichever way you deem it necessary. This amount will allow you to keep your head above water for the next 2-3 months, after which you will be up and kicking.
Critical illness cover will help you tide over tough times
So, you can see, critical illness cover is important for you to feel secure and help you tide over the tough times when you have to recover at home and cannot be remunerated. It will give you and your family the breathing space required so that you may recover properly from the illness without having to take any undue stress.
There are life and general insurance companies which provide critical illness plans like HDFC Life, Aegon, Edelweiss Tokio Life, ICICI prudential, Bharti Axa, etc. HDFC and Aegon provide stand alone critical illness plan which only secures against cancer. Edelweiss Tokio Life provides a critical illness plan which covers 17 critical illnesses which are common in India. ICICI prudential life insurance provides a critical illness rider which has to be purchased along with their term plan.
The critical illness plan provided by Edelweiss Tokio Life is a stand alone plan with a multi claim option. So under this option the policy holder can claim thrice and since it’s a stand alone plan his/her term cover is not impacted or he/she is not forced to buy a term plan if he/she feels he doesn’t need one. This plan is reasonable and according to be is a plan that can help one bounce-back from a critical illness.
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