Health Insurance 249 views April 15, 2021

Health insurance plans safeguard your finances in case of a medical emergency. But what if you are diagnosed with a critical illness? Will your regular health insurance plan provide coverage in such a case? A critical illness can not only affect you physically but also financially due to the massive costs involved in its treatment. A critical illness rider can come to your rescue in case you are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Insurers provide this rider with which specific critical illnesses can be covered by paying an additional premium.

If you want to know how critical illness rider is different from regular health insurance plans, this page can help you in the same. Here, we will compare them on different parameters so that you can understand both of them better. Let’s start right away!

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Let’s Differentiate Critical Illness Rider and Regular Health Insurance Plans on Different Aspects

To know the difference between Critical Illness Rider and Regular Health Insurance plans, we will compare them on different parameters such as coverages, waiting period, survival period, policy term, premium amount, etc. Let’s start!

Coverage Benefits

Regular health insurance plans provide coverage against expenses incurred in different situations. Some of them are In-patient hospitalization expenses, Pre-and Post-hospitalization expenses, Organ Donor expenses, Domiciliary treatment, Daily cash benefits, etc. You can claim your health insurance for the costs incurred during treatment via cashless or reimbursement method according to your convenience.

On the other hand, Critical Illness Rider provides a lump sum amount (entire sum insured) as coverage benefit in case you are diagnosed with a critical illness (defined in the policy). So, the benefit is not limited to hospitalization and other costs, you can also utilize this lump sum amount as per your requirements. In a way, this rider option can act as a financial supplement in a medical crisis.

Diseases Covered

One of the best things about regular comprehensive health insurance plans is that they cover a wide range of diseases, bodily injuries due to an accident, pre-existing illnesses, maternity-related costs, etc.

In contrast, Critical Illness Rider covers specific life-threatening diseases – Cancer, Stroke, Organ Failure, Coma, Brain Surgery, Parkinson’s Disease, Heart Attack, Heart Transplant, Liver Transplant, Blindness, to name a few. The number of critical illnesses covered under this rider depends on the insurer and varies from one policy to another.

Premium Amount

The premium amount of regular health insurance plans tend to be higher compared to the premium amount of critical illness riders as the former provides comprehensive coverage. In the case of a health insurance plan, the premium amount depends on the age of the insurer, sum insured, and location where the policyholder lives. The premium amount tends to increase with the age of the insured person.

On the other hand, the premium of a critical illness rider depends on the type of rider, the number of diseases covered and the sum assured of the policy.

Policy Term

The policy term of regular health plans can be 1 or 2 or 3 years. Policyholders can choose multi-year policies to get a discount on the premium amount and save themselves from the hassle of renewal every year.

On the other hand, people generally choose critical illness riders on a long-term basis (15-20 years) as critical illnesses can happen without any prior information. Also, the policy term may vary from one rider to another rider.

Waiting Period

Policyholders need to wait for certain periods before getting benefits of health insurance plans, except in an accident. This is called the waiting period. In regular health insurance plans, insurers put different waiting periods – initial waiting period ( 30 to 90 days), Pre-existing illness waiting period (1 to 4 years), maternity waiting period, etc.

With critical illness riders, the waiting period generally ranges from 30 to 90 days after the diagnosis of the critical illness.

Survival Period

To get any benefit from the critical illness rider, policyholders need to survive through a certain period after the diagnosis of the critical illness. This period is known as the survival period. The role of the survival period becomes crucial in a critical illness rider as regular health insurance plans have no such thing.

In the case of a critical illness rider, the survival period is usually 30 days and can go up to 180 days depending upon the type of rider and insurance company. Also, the survival period is applicable in addition to the initial waiting period on your respective policy.

Sum Insured

Since health insurance plans provide comprehensive coverage to policyholders, the sum insured is a lot higher compared to critical illness riders. Regular plans provide sum insured up to INR 5 crores, while in the case of critical illness riders, the sum insured generally ranges between INR 10 lakh and 25 lakh.

Expiry of the Policy

In the case of a critical illness rider, as soon as you claim and get the lump sum amount as a benefit, your policy will terminate. Once it expires, you will not be able to renew it.

In contrast, regular health plans remain effective until the end of the policy term or until you exhaust the sum insured in a given policy term. You can renew your policy after the expiry date.

Top Critical Illness Rider Plans in India That You Can Choose from

We are showing some top critical illness rider plans along with their sum insured in the below table so that you can choose accordingly. Have a look!

Critical Illness RiderSum Insured (In INR)Annual Premium Amount (In INR)
Max Bupa CritiCare3 lakh to 2 crore12,521
Star CritiCare Plus Insurance Policy2 lakh/ 3 lakh/ 4 lakh/ 5 lakh/ 10 lakhStarting from 3,750
HDFC ERGO5 lakh/ 7.5 lakh/ 10 lakh-
Bharti AXA Life Triple Health2 lakh/ 5 lakh/ 10 lakhStarting from 1,358
Chola MS Critical Health Line3 lakh/ 5 lakh/10 lakhStarting from 815

Top Health Insurance Plans That You Should Consider

Let’s check out the top health insurance plans, the sum insured they offer, and the premium you need to pay.

Family Health Insurance PlanSum Insured (in INR)Annual Premium Amount (in INR)
Star Health Comprehensive Insurance Policy5 lakh - 1 croreStarting from 7,105 ( For Sum Insured of INR 5 lakh)
HDFC ERGO Health Optima RestoreUp to 50 lakhAs specified by the Insurer
Star Health Family Delite Insurance Policy2 lakh/ 3 lakhStarting from 2,800 (for sum insured of INR 2 lakh)
Max Bupa Go Active4 lakh - 25 lakhStarting from 13,352
Care Family Health Insurance5 lakh - 6 croreAs specified by the Insurer
Max Bupa Health Companion3 lakh - 1 croreStarting from 5,085 per year
ICICI Lombard iHealth Plan2 lakh - 50 lakhDepends on the Sum Insured

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