We live in a time where health insurance has become an absolute necessity irrespective of one’s age, income, or profession. There are many general insurance companies that offer a range of plans to take care of your health cover requirements. One of the recent trends in health insurance is the rising popularity of disease-specific health insurance plans. While a comprehensive cover provides moderate benefits in terms of sum assured against a range of medical conditions, disease-specific covers provide complete protection against one particular disease.
Specific diseases for which coverage is available include cancer, diabetes, kidney ailments, cardiac ailments, hypertension, stroke, etc. One of the best features of diseases-specific health insurance cover is that it can be bought for a cheap price, especially when the entry age is low. Even young people are prone to fatal diseases like cancer nowadays. In this time of extreme uncertainty, disease-specific insurance covers can bring you the much needed peace of mind and provide complete protection against dreadful diseases.
Who should buy disease-specific health insurance?
While it may not be possible for a person to buy every single disease-specific cover available in the market, certain factors like family medical history or personal lifestyle can help you narrow it down to one or two disease-specific covers you need the most. For instance, if diabetes is a common thing among your family members, it is best to have a specific mediclaim policy for diabetes. The same could also be said for diseases like cancer or kidney ailments. If your job environment is highly stressful, a disease-specific cover against hypertension could go a long way in saving you from huge medical bills.
Critical Illness Cover vs. Disease-Specific Cover
The terms of critical illness covers and disease-specific insurance covers are significantly different. In the health insurance market, critical illness health insurance plans come with their own set of benefits. A critical illness plan typically offers protection against a list of major illnesses. On diagnosis of a particular disease in the list, a lump sum will be paid to the insured.
The money paid here is a one-time payment, and it can be used to cover anything from treatment costs to loss of income due to illness.
While a critical illness health insurance plan covers about 10 to 30 illnesses, a disease-specific cover focuses only on one particular disease. Unlike critical illness covers, disease-specific covers provide end-to- end coverage (within the maximum sum assured range) for all expenses of the specific disease. For instance, a disease-specific cover for cancer takes care of all treatment expenses irrespective of the stage of the disease. Most importantly, disease-specific covers are cheaper than critical illness covers in terms of sum assured offered. The choice between the two health insurance plans is entirely personal based on one’s family medical history or lifestyle. There are plenty of health insurance companies in India that offer both types of coverage. You can choose the ideal one based on your specific requirements.
Benefits of disease-specific health insurance
The main aim of a disease-specific health insurance plan is to ease the financial burden of an individual following the diagnosis of a life-threatening disease. Whether the disease is at an early stage or an advanced state, this cover will take care of your financial burden by providing end to end coverage. Most insurers offer both lump sum benefit and treatment expense benefit under this cover. Certain insurance plans also waive off future premium payments following the onset of the covered disease. Compared to the amount of money spent, the benefits obtained from disease-specific health insurance plans are immense.
Is this an alternative for comprehensive health insurance?
While disease-specific insurance plans offer a range of benefits, they cannot serve as a replacement for comprehensive health covers or life insurance policy. A disease-specific cover is not something you buy instead of a comprehensive cover. Rather, this is a cover you buy along with a comprehensive health insurance cover. The range of coverage offered by comprehensive health covers is huge compared to disease-specific ones. However,comprehensive covers are limited in terms of the monetary benefit offered. You can get the best possible protection by having both covers.
For instance, a comprehensive cover of Rs.5 lakh is sufficient for a small family. This can be taken by spending Rs.5,000 to Rs.7,500 per year. On the other hand, cancer covers with certain insurers cost as low as Rs.1,000 to Rs.1,500 per year for a sum assured of Rs.10 lakh. You can have a family floater cover (or an individual plan) for protection against different diseases and a disease-specific cover based on your family medical history. If you are a salaried individual with a comprehensive cover from your employer, you can enhance your health insurance coverage with a disease-specific plan. With the right mix of health insurance plans, you can get maximum possible protection for yourself and your family against different possible eventualities.
To sum up
Compared to other health insurance plans, disease-specific covers are relatively new to the market. The benefits offered by this cover are massive compared to its cost. By spending a minimal cost every year, you can protect yourself from the adversity of life-threatening disease. For someone with a risk of inheriting a major illness, disease-specific covers offer financial security and brings the much needed peace of mind.