How health top-up plans help you prepare for medical emergencies | The Financial Express

How health top-up plans help you prepare for medical emergencies

Top-up plans offer an additional safety net that you can fall back on if you exceed the limits of your normal health insurance plan. 

How health top-up plans help you prepare for medical emergencies
Know how health insurance top up plan works. Representational image

By Amit Jain

The pandemic has taught us that nobody can ever be prepared enough for unprecedented emergencies. Illness can strike suddenly, and while you can never predict the extent of its damage, you can at least create a financial safety net around you to minimize the same. That way, you can prevent uncertain instances and emergencies from draining your financial resources. 

Comprehensive health insurance coverage will ensure that you do not have to resort to your savings for meeting medical expenses. Lack of awareness about health insurance is one of the reasons for the low penetration of health insurance in India. A majority of India’s working population depends on their employer’s group health insurance coverage.

While it is good to have some health insurance coverage, it may prove inadequate to cover you or your family, especially when one is still living in the shadow of a public health emergency. Also, the employer’s health plan may not be comprehensive enough to cover all medical exigencies. You would be best served by obtaining a top-up plan that provides you coverage over and above employment insurance.

What is a top-up plan?

A top-up health insurance plan increases your current coverage level at an affordable premium. Top-up plans offer an additional safety net that you can fall back on if you exceed the limits of your normal health insurance plan. 

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Types of top-up plan

While considering top-up plans to add to your health insurance cover, there are two types of top-ups

1. Top-up plan

The plan offers you an add-on coverage over the sum insured of your existing basic policy only up to a certain limit. The plan gets activated when you have used up your threshold limit under a single claim.

2. Super top-up plan

The super top-up plan offers more benefits and a higher sum insured as compared to the basic top-up plans. It offers over-the-top insurance coverage after you exceed the threshold amount in a year on an aggregate basis. 

A prominent difference between the two plans is that the basic top-up plan only considers the threshold limit on every individual claim whereas the super top-up plan evaluates the threshold limit on yearly basis while the policy is in force. It means, the basic top-up plan covers claims only when a single claim goes above the threshold of the insured amount whereas the super top-up offers protection when the total claims exceed the threshold limit during the policy period. Both plans have their own benefits and the suitability depends on an individual’s situation. 

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Benefits of top-up plans

The few advantages of having a top-up plan are as follows:


Inflationary conditions, like the ones prevailing currently, may lead to an increase in hospitalization and medical expenses. In such situations, your coverage may prove inadequate to cover you and your family’s medical expenses. It is prudent to invest in a top-up plan to prevent an illness exhausting your personal savings. 

A higher sum insured

Investing in a top-up plan increases your policy coverage at an affordable premium. Top-up plans are more affordable as compared to basic health insurance plans with higher limits, which makes them a better bet. 

Convertibility and lifelong renewal 

There are many top-up plans available in the market that can easily and seamlessly be converted into basic health plans. In addition, these plans are lifelong renewable making golden age more worry-free.

How to buy the best top-up plan

Buying a top-up plan that suits you the best is no rocket science. Follow these simple rules to ensure that you get the best health coverage through top-up plans at the most affordable rates.

  • Make sure that the sum deductible matches the original plan’s sum insured i.e. your available health insurance plans so that when you raise a claim in the top-up policy, the deductions do not exceed your basic sum insured
  • Opt for an optimal plan — top-up or super top-up 
  • Make sure the coverage benefits are also coverage inclusive
  • Opt for a plan with a lower waiting period
  • Ensure that the plan does not restrict the coverage considerably e.g. room rent, ICU limits
  • Ensure that the top-up plan gives you access to a wide network of hospitals

Corporate employees with employment insurance would be best served by enhancing their health insurance coverage through top-up plans along with other beneficial options. If the existing stand-alone individual policy needs more coverage, then at that time Top-up plans can be a very helpful financial tool. It is always better to err on the side of caution when preparing for your family’s health and well-being.

Certain positive points like enhanced cover which is more than the basic plan, additional protection and comprehensive coverage are the key takeaways for opting for top-up plans.

(The author is President, Liberty General Insurance. Views expressed above are those of the author)

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First published on: 26-10-2022 at 17:58 IST