It is rare to find a person who is unaware of the importance of a basic health insurance plan, especially considering the world we are living in right now where medical expenses are on the rise. With the rise of social media, even GenZ and Gen-Next have become financially educated. Add to that, our world has just gone through a pandemic that has led to the deaths of millions across the globe. However, for all the reasons listed above, a basic healthcare plan may not suffice especially if you have a chronic illness or are of a certain age. This is where a top-up and a super top-up come in.
What is a top-up health plan?
A top-up health plan is a booster shot for your already existing basic health plan. It is an additional benefit for your health reimbursement policy which kicks in once you have exhausted the sum insured. However, experts advise that before you opt for a top-up plan, you need to ensure you have a comprehensive basic plan which will truly benefit you in a medical emergency. *
If you have a basic health insurance plan of Rs 5 lakh and the hospital bill comes up to Rs 7 lakh, you’ll end up paying Rs 2 lakh out of pocket. However, say you have a top-up of Rs 5 lakh in addition to the 5 lakhs already mentioned in your base plan, you won’t pay a dime. In most cases, if a fresh hospitalization visit takes place in the same year and the hospital bill comes up to Rs 5 lakh again, you’ll end up paying Rs 3 lakh out of pocket as you have already exhausted Rs 7 lakh from your health insurance plan. *
Why is a top-up health plan necessary?
Fair question, that. Besides the soaring health costs and the rising medical problems due to climate change and unpredictable moments caused due to the pandemic, there is inflation to think of. In a best-case scenario, there is a rise of seven per cent per year when it comes to rising costs. So, say you have a basic health insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh. You would be already aware that such a cover will not be fail-safe when it comes to a big emergency. Two roads lie ahead of you – either you can choose to buy a separate health policy or add a top-up to your already existing base health plan. While both options will take a toll on your existing finances, a top-up plan is usually the less expensive option. By all reports and accounts, your top-up of Rs 5 lakh will cost about Rs 2,000 a year. However, it is of course advisable to speak to your insurer regarding the cost, evaluate both ideas and take the step you feel is more financially feasible. *
Another benefit of a top-up health insurance is that it’s bound to have a fabulous threshold limit. It might even be as high as the base plan itself. Hence, going back to our earlier suggestion that you must make sure your base plan is comprehensive enough.
To be noted:
In most cases, a top-up plan will only cover a single hospitalization. What does that mean? If a relapse of your illness happens within 45 days of discharge from a hospital, it will be considered a single illness. However, if your relapse takes place 45 days after your hospital visit, it is usually treated as a different or fresh illness. Hence, it is advisable to check the clauses and criteria before opting for a top-up plan or even a basic health insurance plan to ensure you’re not in trouble in case of a serious medical emergency. *
* Standard T&C apply
In conclusion, a top-up plan is advisable given the world we are living in today. Medical expenses are on the rise and so is inflation. It is important to be financially educated so you’re not caught unawares in case of a medical emergency.
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