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World Health Day 2019: Best critical illness insurance plans in India and what they cover

Updated: April 7, 2019 9:32:49 AM

Unfortunately, there are some major critical illnesses that might put you under financial pressure as you may just need to take a sabbatical or even quit your job in order to recover from the illness.

health insurance, mediclaim, critical illness cover, World Health Day 2019, CI cover, Kidney Ailment, stroke, cancer, Cardiac Arrest, best critical illness plans, Although a Mediclaim policy covers hospitalization expenses, the loss of income which will be a direct result of a critical illness is not covered.

While a lot of people are covered under some kind of health insurance or Mediclaim either provided by the employer or self-purchased, the only expenses these policies cover are for hospitalization when diagnosed with an illness or a minor injury. However, it is very important to be covered under a policy that sufficiently makes for the loss of income and financial drain that you may suffer during the recovery stage. Unfortunately, there are some major critical illnesses that might put you under financial pressure as you may just need to take a sabbatical or even quit your job in order to recover from the illness. In order to cover all these expenses, it is important to have a dedicated critical illness plan.

Some major critical illnesses covered under the policy and their financial ramifications:

Kidney Ailment

As per a recent newspaper report, the number of Indians suffering from chronic kidney ailments has doubled in the past 15 years. According to the statistics, 17 in every hundred individuals in the country suffer from some form of kidney ailment. Moreover, the number of patients undergoing dialysis in India has also increased by 10-15 per cent per year in the last one decade, which also includes young children. Dialysis is a process which artificially replaces the lost kidney function. Though dialysis generally does not require hospitalization, but the person undergoing treatment becomes very weak and may be unable to work for long.

The cost of dialysis in India can cost anywhere between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 per session in a metro city and for two sessions a week, the amount can easily reach around Rs 25,000 per month. A critical illness plan covers the expenses incurred for treatment of kidney related ailment.

Stroke

Stroke is the second most common cause of death across the globe after coronary artery diseases, and surprisingly, developing countries including India account for more than four-fifth of all the strokes globally. As per the report, the stroke incidence rate in India is much higher with approximately 1.8 million Indians suffering from stroke each year. Stroke is basically formation of a blood clot in the brain causing certain functions to be impaired. During a stroke, around 32,000 brain cells are damaged every second that can result in partial blindness, paralysis of limbs, partial or permanent disability, etc.

The treatment of critical illness can up to several lakhs and it is always smart to take a critical illness cover. The plan gives a lump sum benefit on diagnoses of the disease in one transaction that may be used to pay for the treatment, care, and recovery.

Cancer

The total number of cancer cases in India seems to be on an all-time high. According to a recent report, the number of cancer cases in India in 2017 was 15 lakh which is expected to cross 17.3 lakh by the end of 2020. As per a report submitted by the World Health Organization, by the end of the year 2020, every Indian family will have at least one cancer patient and 70-90 per cent of all cancers will be related to lifestyle and environmental factors. Cancer is basically a disease under which there is an abnormal growth of cells within the human body. In all, there are more than 100 types of cancer and the exorbitant cancer treatment cost often goes beyond 20 lakh, including surgery and chemo sessions.

The critical illness plans available in the Indian market offer lump sum payout in case the insured is diagnosed with cancer. However, the payout is rolled out as per the policy terms and conditions, and the stage of the detection.

Cardiac Arrest

In the recent years, India has witnessed a significant rise in the occurrence of heart disease. Detailed estimates of cardiovascular diseases clearly reveal that the prevalence of heart-related ailments has gone up in every Indian state between 1990 and 2018. While the deaths due to cardiovascular diseases have declined in the USA, in India it has rose to by over 34 per cent. During a heart-related disease, the oxygen supply to the heart is blocked due to formation of a clot in the arteries and the person is likely to suffer a cardiac arrest.

As its consequence, the person may need to undergo an angioplasty or an open-heart surgery in order to unclog the arteries. The treatment cost may vary from Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, depending on the city in which you plan to get the procedure done. Under a critical illness plan, all the treatment expenses are taken care off up to the total sum insured.

Conclusion

Although a Mediclaim policy covers hospitalization expenses, the loss of income which will be a direct result of a critical illness is not covered. Secure yourself financially against these critical illnesses by buying a critical illness plan. It will help you with the financial support needed during your recovery phase.

Here is a competitive analysis of the yearly premium for a CI cover of Rs 10 lakh for a 30-year-old non-smoker male residing in a metropolitan city.

(By Amit Chhabra, Head-Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com)

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