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Boost your health insurance with top-ups

By Naval Goel
December 03, 2015 07:55 IST
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The costs, otherwise, of medical insurance are too high.

Normally, a person feels the importance of having a health insurance only when he gets stuck in web of paying expensive medical bills. It’s at that time you think that had you bought a health insurance prior to a medical emergency, it would have saved a lot of your expenses. However, it’s never too late to opt for a health cover that can benefit you and your family. But if you are already covered, then sometime you might face the problem of insufficient coverage like Anil Kapoor faced.

Kapoor, an IT professional, 42, bought a medical insurance plan in 2002 for Rs 4 lakh for his family which covered his wife, son and daughter. In 2006 his wife underwent a surgery whose treatment was covered by the insurance company. The cost of surgery was Rs 2 lakh.

Later on, in the same year Kapoor suffered from a heart attack and needed to undergo an operation that cost him around Rs 4 lakh. Now since he had not taken adequate cover and was under-insured, he checked with his insurer which said that only half the amount would be provided by the insurer as per the limits mentioned in the plan’s terms and conditions. Because of this, Kapoor had to spend from his savings for getting the required treatment done.

Just like Kapoor, you can also get stuck in a similar situation where the expenses of your hospitalisation and medical treatment may not get covered under regular health coverage. This will ruin your savings and place an additional burden on your finances.

Why do you require an extra health cover?

Apart from the major reason of having insufficient health coverage, there are some more instances where you might need an extra health cover like:

  • If your parents are covered in a floater plan with you
  • Your current health plan amount is below Rs 3 lakh
  • You and your life partner are covered under a single plan and both of you are more than 50 years.

Why top-up?

Top-up is an additional financial cover to your regular health plan. For example: Kapoor could have taken a top-up health cover of Rs 11 crore at just Rs 5500 for entire family. This premium is equal to your regular premium which provides coverage of Rs 3 lakh only. Thus what you get is a high cover at a low premium. In this type of plan you have to pay a deductible amount which would be defined by you. There are many companies which provide this type of cover. For instance, if you are between the age group of 25 to 30 years and prefer Rs 2 lakh as a deductible, then you can choose Star Health or Religare Health Insurance for your desired top-up coverage.

However, one important thing to consider in health top-up scheme is the deductible amount which is also known as the threshold limit. As stated, the deductible amount would be paid by you and beyond the deductible limit the insurer will cover the remaining amount. The deductible amount would be your regular health plan cover or the savings which you can pay easily.

What is super top-up plan?

The only difference between a top-up and super top-up plan is that the top-up plan provides coverage on a single bill; it means that it will not work if in case you have two or more medical bills. However, a super top-up plan will provide cover on all you bills.

Thus, buying a simple health insurance plan may not always be enough for you. Opting for a top-up coverage is the best option for you to consider under such circumstances as it ensures that you do not have to spend from your own pockets in case of a medical emergency.

Photograph: Ian Carroll/Creative Commons

Lead image used only for representational purpose

Naval Goel is CEO & Founder,

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Naval Goel