Health Insurance 311 views March 10, 2021

Getting proper treatment in today’s time can exhaust all your hard-earned savings. Health insurance, however, protects your finances in case of a medical emergency. Different health insurance plans provide coverage to individuals against expenses incurred during the treatment. However, there are many unheard concepts of health insurance plans. If you don’t know about them, you may fail to maximize. The two popular concepts are -waiting period and survival period.

Health Insurance

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Understanding the difference between the waiting period and survival period can help you choose a suitable health insurance plan with comprehensive coverage. Before understanding each of them separately, let’s look at the key differences between the waiting period and survival period in health insurance.

  1. Most health insurance plans have a waiting period, but very few plans have a survival period.
  2. A waiting period applies to all types of diseases or illnesses while the survival period only applies to critical illnesses like cancer, kidney failure, heart attack, etc.
  3. A waiting period starts as soon as the commencement of the health insurance policy, while a survival period starts only after the diagnosis of a critical illness.

Now you must be curious about knowing what exactly is a waiting period and a survival period. Well, on this page, we will be discussing the same along with the types of the waiting period. Keep reading to know more!

What Exactly is a Waiting Period?

So, when you choose a health insurance plan, you don’t get coverage right from the first day of the policy. Instead, you will need to wait for a few months to a few years depending on the illness, medical condition and type of the policy. This time is known as the waiting period. However, the waiting period does not apply to any hospitalization due to an accident, as that will be covered right from the first day of your policy.

Let’s understand this with an example. Suppose an individual has a health insurance plan which has a 2-year waiting period on diabetes-related treatments. So, any hospitalization due to diabetes will not be covered during the first two years of the policy.

You should also know that the waiting period can be of different types. Want to know about them? Well, we are discussing them below. Do check!

Initial Waiting Period

This is the first and most basic type of waiting period that is applicable when you first buy a health insurance plan. The duration of this type of waiting period ranges from 30 to 90 days and differs from one policy to another. However, hospitalization due to a road or industrial accident will be covered during the initial waiting period.

Disease-specific Waiting Period

Some insurers specify a few diseases for which you will have to wait for fixed months or years before taking a claim. These diseases can be a hernia, piles, hypertension, ovarian diseases, diabetes, etc. The duration of the disease-specific waiting period can range from 2 to 4 years according to the type of policy you are choosing.

Pre-existing Disease Waiting Period

A pre-existing disease is something that an individual has even before buying a particular insurance policy. To get a claim against any hospitalization due to pre-existing diseases, the waiting period must be completed. Some of the pre-existing diseases are not covered for a maximum of four years. However, this period will depend on the intensity of the pre-existing diseases and the insurer’s terms.

Maternity Cover Waiting Period

Individuals who choose a maternity-specialized plan also need to wait for sometime before claiming against any maternity-related expenses. This period can range from 9 months to four years depending on the type of chosen policy.

What Exactly is a Survival Period?

As you can see from its name, the survival period is the time during which a policyholder needs to survive to get any claim. It means an individual can only enjoy the benefits of a health insurance plan if he or she manages to pass through the survival period. The role of the survival period becomes crucial in a critical illness health insurance policy. The reason: to get any claims, the policyholder needs to survive through a certain period after the diagnosis of the critical illness. This period is known as the survival period.

Suppose an individual has critical illness health insurance with a survival period of 15 days. Now he has got diagnosed with Cancer. So, to get claims, he needs to survive for these 15 days. After this period, the health insurance plan will give the benefits.

The survival period for a health insurance policy is usually 30 days. However, this period can range between 0 and 180 days depending on the type of the policy and the insurance company. Do remember that the survival period is applicable in addition to the initial waiting period on your policy.

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