Low health insurance cover? Here's what you can do!
If you’re among those who has purchased a Health Insurance plan with a cover of Rs. X Lakhs, but now feel that the amount would be low, then you need to make sure you rectify it ASAP. Calamity doesn’t call before striking.
But if you’ve already bought a policy, what can you do now?
Simple - buy a topup/super topup policy.
What are these? Read on:
A Top-up policy is one which provides insurance cover for X amount with a deductible amount of Rs. Y. Let’s take an example. You could buy a top-up policy giving a Rs. 20 lakh cover, with a deductible amount of, say, Rs. 5 lakhs. What this means is that if you are ever hospitalized, you can claim for the bill amount minus 5 lakhs. Which means that if your total claim amount is Rs. 18 lakhs, you will only be able to get Rs. 13 lakhs. If your total amount is 22 lakhs, you will get Rs. 17 lakhs and if your amount is greater than Rs. 25 lakhs, then you will get 20 lakhs. Do note, however, that if your total claim amount is less than Rs. 5 lakhs, you will not get anything at all, since there is a deductible amount of Rs. 5 lakhs from your total claim.
Also, in case of a top-up policy, you can claim expenses only for each hospitalization separately. This means that if you had 2 hospitalizations in the year where your bill was Rs. 7 lakhs and Rs. 9 lakhs, you will only be able to claim Rs. 2 lakhs from the first hospitalization and Rs. 4 lakhs from the second one, which means that you’ll have to shell out Rs. 5 lakhs from your pocket every time you claim a bill
Now this is where a Super top-up policy is much better. A super top-up policy is exactly like a top-up policy, except one thing - it enables you to have an aggregate deductible, in a given year. So in the above case, you will be able to claim Rs. 2 lakhs from the first hospitalization (7-5) and the full 9 lakhs from the second hospitalization, since the deductible amount is valid for the entire year, and not just one hospitalization.
Which is why, always opt for a super top-up. You can be sure that the deductible is the maximum amount you’ll have to bear, irrespective of the number of hospitalizations. That doesn’t happen in a top-up policy, and can be a disaster for you if you need multiple hospitalizations (which does happen for a lot of ailments).
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Now, how do you use top-up and super top-up with your existing policy?
Firstly, try and opt for a super top-up instead of a top-up policy, for reasons mentioned above. Second, look at the deductible. The deductible should be equal to or lesser than the cover amount of your current base policy.
How this will help, is that if you have a 5 lakh regular mediclaim policy and a 20 lakh top-up/super top-up with a 5 lakh deductible, and if you have a claim of 17 lakhs, you can claim 5 lakhs from the base policy and 12 lakhs from the top-up/super top-up. You're basically covered, irrespective of your policy value and deductible.
Another thing to try and do, is to buy the top-up/super top-up from the same company as your base policy. This helps when submitting a claim, because you'll have to do the formalities with just one company instead of two. So while this is not a hard and fast rule, it just makes it easier to claim and reduces documentation.
The best thing about top-up and super top-up policies is that they're dirt cheap. You can get a 20 lakh cover with a 5 lakh deductible for as low as Rs. 5,000-10,000 depending on your age.
So if you think your health insurance cover is low, now you know what to do! Opt for a top-up/super top-up as soon as possible!