With every passing day the medical expenses seem to shoot up. Hospitalization is so costly that people think twice before getting admitted! And while at the hospital, the radiology and pathology tests can amount to thousands of rupees. At times even a mediclaim policy falls short of covering the expenses, leaving the policyholder in a tight financial crunch. So how does one cope with such a situation? Thankfully, the present day insurance structure allows us to protect ourselves in a number of ways. Apart from mediclaim, you also have the option of buying a hospital cash plan. Such a plan would provide you with a daily cash allowance for all the days that you will be admitted in the hospital.
Covers costs over and above the mediclaim - Mediclaim plans pay for specific costs. Some expenses, like X-ray charges and surgical accessory (cotton wool, gloves, etc) costs, are not covered by a mediclaim. A hospital cash plan proves to be helpful at such a time as under this plan you are entitled to get a lump sum amount of money that you are free to use. You can make the payments for your X-ray and surgical accessories out of the allowance you receive.
Extra bill amount - You have a health care cover of a particular amount. However if you were to undergo a treatment that overshot that amount, you'd be left with a large hole in your pocket as you'd have to foot the extra bill amount on your own. With the help of a cash plan, you can rest assured that you will receive additional monetary benefit. If you plan it well, you can save some amount from your daily allowance and that can add up and be sufficient to pay off the extra bill amount.
ICU costs - If a patient is admitted in the ICU, the cash plans will provide a higher daily allowance. This proves to be very beneficial as ICU costs are higher compared to general beds.
Points to note
Before you avail of a hospital cash plan, keep the following in mind:
- The amount of daily allowance is fixed.
- There is a maximum amount of money that is paid up. So if you have to be hospitalized many times in a single year, you may run out of the allowance.
- There is a waiting period of 9 months (usually, but it varies from insurer to insurer).
- The hospital where you are admitted has to have a minimum of 15 beds.
- There is a limit on the number of days that the allowance will be paid, per hospital stay.
Hospital cash plans are beneficial insurance tools. If your health is fragile or you have some important procedures lined up in the future, you can opt for a hospital cash plan. Speak to your insurance agent and then decide on the amount of cover you will need. Keep the terms of your mediclaim in mind before you buy a cash plan, so that the benefits don't overlap.
The author is the CEO of MyInsuranceClub.com, an online insurance price & features comparison portal
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