If you are not a patient yet but anticipate a potential risk of any specific critical illness, there are only fixed benefit plans available in the market that exhaust with a single payment.
If you are not a patient yet but anticipate a potential risk of any specific critical illness, there are only fixed benefit plans available in the market that exhaust with a single payment. General insurers and health insurers are planning to come out with new products that will cover incidence and recurrence of such ailments.
Several life insurance players, including ICICI Prudential, PNB Met Life, Aegon Life and Max Life, have single disease cover for cardiac ailments and cancer. But these are all fixed benefit plans and once you are detected with the particular ailment you are handed over the total benefits in one go and the cover exhausts. In case of diseases like cancer, cardiac ailments or diabetes, recurrence of the ailment is potentially high.
Some of the health insurers like Star Health and Apollo Munich have plans that cover patients with these diseases. These are indemnity plans that provide continual cover for the patients. But the premiums of these policies will be significantly higher that the fixed benefit plan offered by life insurance players. Moreover, these policies are available only for people detected with the ailment.
As Irdai does not allow life insurers to provide indemnity cover, some of the general insurance and health insurance companies are thinking on marrying the features of both the plans and come out with indemnity products to cover potential risk of a critical ailment.
According to sources, at least three to four companies are working on such plans. Any person who perceives a risk of an ailment mainly due to genetic disposition, multiple occurrences in the family or lifestyle conditions, can buy this product. It would be an indemnity plan that would cover hospitalisation and other charges that can arise out such incidence.
“Insurers are also working on keeping the premiums on par or slightly higher than the fixed benefit plans. But they would still be significantly lower than the indemnity plans offered for existing patients,” sources said.
“A critical illness plan is a supplement to your health insurance which provides indemnity coverage. In times of critical illness, lump sum amount can be used for various purposes in addition to treatment and can make up for loss of income or pay off debt. Indemnity coverage will not provide this flexibility. However, an indemnity based critical illness plan will add one more option for customer to choose in times of need,” said Sandeep Patel, MD & CEO, Cigna TTK Health Insurance.