By Anup Bansal
You would have heard health is wealth, but as you move ahead in your 40s, this proverb becomes more realistic. In your 40s, you are more susceptible to the possibility of critical illnesses compared to your 20s and 30s. This increases your medical expenses, and if you haven’t planned for this uncertainty beforehand, it can drain your savings and investments. Thus, you not only require health insurance but adequate health insurance coverage.
As you grow older, your health insurance premium increases, especially if the sum covered is large and you have certain medical conditions.
However, a great solution here is to get top-up insurance on your/employer-provided health insurance. Here is everything you need to understand about this and its benefits.
What is a health top?
A health insurance top-up plan is additional coverage you purchase on your existing insurance plan. Often if your health insurance coverage limit is exhausted, the difference has to be paid by you. A health top-up plan is one of the most viable solutions to avoid such a scenario since the insurance company covers the difference.
Health top-ups are low-cost alternative plans to large-sum health policies. You have to choose a deductible amount. If the medical bills exceed this threshold, they will be covered by the top-up plan.
|Your existing health insurance||Rs. 10 lakh|
|Health top-up insurance||Rs. 30 lakh|
|Health top-up deductible||Rs. 10 lakh|
|Medical bill||Rs. 20 lakh|
The first 10 lakh of your medical bill will be paid from your base insurance plan. As the deductible is 10 lakh, any medical expenses beyond that will be covered under your health top. So, your medical bill liability would become zero. If you don’t have a top-up plan, you must pay the 10 lakh from your pockets.
It is beneficial to get a health top-up plan from the same insurer with whom you have bought your base policy. You can also combine this plan with your family floater policy or individual health plan at affordable rates.
Should you buy a health top in your 40s? How does it provide you with financial value?
India ranked first in the Asian region with a 14% healthcare inflation in the last year.
Additionally, in the past couple of years, health premiums have also increased by 10-25%. In such scenarios, buying or renewing a health policy, especially group health policies, has become quite pricey. Purchasing a health top-up resolves these issues with affordable premium rates.
While a base insurance policy is good, it hardly meets the increasing medical inflation rates. Also, if you buy a significant sum policy, it would ultimately strain your finances.
On the other hand, if you rely solely on your employer’s insurance, you may again have to pay from your pocket as that insurance is limited and generally does not cover large hospital bills.
To avoid such a situation, a top-up plan plays a vital role. Opting for a health top-up in your 40s helps you get adequate health coverage with reasonable premium rates.
If you are looking to buy a health top-up in your 40s, you first need to get an idea about your and your family’s existing health conditions that would be covered under the policy. You can choose from the available health top-up options based on your needs.
There are two types of health top-up plans: regular top-up and super top-up.
A regular top-up can be used once a year or until its policy value is exhausted, whichever is more.
On the other hand, a super top does not have any limits on its usage. The policy value gets restored without any cap throughout the policy tenure.
This makes a super-top quite similar to the restoration policy option. In a restoration policy, the policy value gets restored to the initial value even after multiple claims. However, there is a “claims for different ailments only” clause for a restoration policy.
A super-top policy has no such limitations and hedges the risk of health claims better. This is a big plus point if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Considering your health condition, you should decide on health coverage for your base and top-up policy. If you or any family member has a pre-existing disease, a super top-up will suit your needs better. Otherwise, a top-up plan would work well, too.
The bottom line
Top-up plans are an excellent way to increase health coverage for yourself and your family members at affordable premium rates. However, before you make a decision, read the terms and conditions, the list of covered illnesses, network hospitals, etc. Think of a health insurance and top-up policy as necessary, and ensure the total coverage is adequate for you and your family.
(The author is Chief Business Officer, Scripbox. Views expressed above are personal.)