Health Insurance 495 views July 25, 2019

Health Insurance Riders in India

It is a common question if people can buy standalone health insurance riders. The answer is “No”. Health insurance riders or add-on covers came into place to compensate for what the basic health insurance plans could not provide. Health problems are on the rise and medical expenses have gone up exponentially. Having a health insurance plan helps offset rising costs. Adding riders ensures enhanced security at nominal costs.
The concept of health insurance in India is not too new. However, many people fail when it comes to seeking adequate health coverage or adding to their existing cover by choosing to buy health insurance riders too. Agreeing to opt for riders in health insurance implies adding to the level of coverage already bought. Health insurance riders are additional policy benefits that are not a part of the basic plan but have to be availed by paying over and above the basic premium charges. There are multiple health insurance riders options that one may consider while buying health insurance plans for themselves and their family members.

Some people are not sure about whether to opt for extra health coverage or extend the cover by getting riders added to their policies. The insurer charges nominal additions to the base premiums in lieu of added rider benefits. According to the provisions laid down by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI), insurers cannot charge for riders more than 30 percent of the base premium amount.

List of Top Best Health Insurance Riders in India

Some of the common health insurance riders include:-

1. Hospital Cash Benefit Rider

This is just a rider that policyholders may opt-in order to supplement their health insurance policy. The underlying idea of this plan is evident in its name. Policyholders willing to pay an additional sum for this rider are entitled to a fixed sum of money for each day they remain hospitalized. The insurers pay the amount predetermined at the time of issuing the health insurance plan. This amount continues to remain fixed for the entire policy period. Also, understood as a defined benefit plan as the sum offers remains fixed despite the actual amount spent on hospitalization.

The coverage under this rider is decided based on the extent of daily allowance policyholders choose while paying for it. Though the amount of cash available under this rider may range from Rs. 500 to Rs. 3000, the cash allowance may go up in case the insured has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or has undergone some surgery. However, the increase in cash allowance is subject to the terms and conditions as mentioned in the policy.

This rider, however, comes with its own set of conditions, especially, with regard to the waiting period. To ensure receipt of the allowance, the policyholder must have been admitted to the hospital for a minimum period of 24 hours. This means that policyholders cannot seek cash benefits for daycare procedures. In addition, there is a cap on the number of hospitalization days allowed during the policy period for which the allowance may be payable.

2. Room Rent Waiver

Opting for this rider allows the policyholder to choose a room with either a higher sub-limit or no sub-limits at all. Many insurers limit the amount of room rent by putting a cap on it. For this, they include provisions for all general/standard or semi-private rooms in their insurance plans. However, after opting for this rider, policyholders can avail a room of their choice that saves them from paying extra while getting admitted in the hospital.

3. Personal Accident Rider

Also called the Double Indemnity Waiver, opting for it ensures that the insurer compensates the policyholder for any accidents suffered during the policy period. Accidental injuries may include partial disablement for prolonged periods or forever, total disablement (either permanent or temporary) or resulting unfortunate death. Many customers buy this cover over and above the basic health insurance plan by paying a nominal addition to the premium charges. Having this rider ensures that the medical expenses arising from the treatment of accidental injuries are met by the insured company. Also, in case of unfortunate death resulting from accident, the insurer is liable to pay the death benefit amount predetermined at the time of buying the policy.

4. Critical Illness Rider

Critical illnesses may affect anyone at any point in time. Opting for this rider ensures that the insurance company pays towards the medical expenses arising from the treatment of any kind of critical illness(s) or disorders that may be grievous in nature. These critical illnesses may include problems like kidney failure, heart attack, cancer, organ transplant, and others. However, it is important that the critical illnesses suffered by the insured must be included in the list of critical illnesses allowed by the insurer. The list of critical illnesses shared by the insurance companies is most comprehensive and may contain around 10-38 critical disorders. A lot of health insurance options sold by insurance companies offer the scope to opt for this rider and pay for it. Interested policyholders will have to opt for this cover separately as it is not a part of the basic healthcare policy. There are some health insurance companies that pay to their customers in lump sum unbiased of the amount expended on the treatment of the disease.

The following table contains the list of health insurance riders corresponding to some of the most common health insurance plans bought by our customers.

S.No.Type of health insurance riderCorresponding health insurance plans
1.Hospital Cash Benefit RiderMax Bupa Health Companion plan

SBI General Hospital Daily Cash Insurance Plan
2. Room Rent WaiverBajaj Allianz Family Care First Plan

ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance Policy
3.Personal Accident RiderAccident Care Individual Insurance Policy

Bharti AXA GI’s Personal Accident
4. Critical Illness RiderHDFC Life Illness Cover

ICICI Pru iProtect Smart Life Cover Plan

IFFCO-TOKIO Health Policy

Final Conclusion About Health Insurance Riders in India

Having health insurance riders helps, but it does not mean that you must opt to pay for each rider. Choose the rider as per your need and perceived requirement in the future. Then find out if your insurer allows the option and the corresponding premium charges. To ensure that you have got the right health coverage, it is important to compare health insurance plans with the given rider options and buy accordingly.

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