Knowing that our present day lifestyles can invite a variety of diseases or chances of accidents, many of us buy a health insurance plan. Some also see health insurance plans as a tax-saving instrument while for some, it is a way of safeguarding themselves and their family from unexpected medical emergencies. Whatever the reasons are, health insurance plans have become an invaluable part of everyone who does not wish to be strained by the financial distress that can be brought about by unforeseen medical incidents.
Most health insurance policies come with the basic benefits of covering pre and post-hospitalisation expenses, day care treatments, ambulance charges, etc. but what happens when you are affected by a critical illness? Will your existing health insurance plan cover that as well? In most cases, no. Because critical illnesses require treatments that are expensive and which can last for longer durations. That is why it is advisable that you buy a critical illness cover either as a ‘stand-alone’ policy or as an additional cover on your existing health insurance plan. The Activ Secure-Critical Illness plan launched by Aditya Birla Health Insurance (ABHI) is designed to offer protection against minor and major critical illnesses while also helping you achieve an active and healthy lifestyle. Before we get into the features and benefits of the plan, let’s first understand what are the major critical illnesses and how a critical illness works.
What is a Critical Illness Cover?
Critical illnesses are ailments that are life-threatening and treatments for these diseases need specialised care and usually takes a longer time. A patient affected by a critical illness may need to make multiple visits to the hospital and also require a lot of medicines. Treatments can become very expensive which is why most insurers are hesitant to provide coverage for critical illnesses. Some of the major critical illnesses are kidney failure, heart attack, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, paralysis, multiple sclerosis, loss of speech, poliomyelitis, tumours, etc.
A critical illness cover will entitle you to receive a lump sum amount to cover for expenses like cost of medicines, doctor’s fees, travel expenses to and from the hospital, fund for a change in lifestyle, etc. In some cases, a person affected by a critical illness may be unable to go for work and he/she might lose out on the earnings which can lead to a greater financial burden. A critical illness cover can act as a relief in such cases. Also, for individuals who have an outstanding loan to pay, the amount received as a payout from the critical illness cover can be used to pay the outstanding EMIs. In the absence of a critical illness cover, the expensive treatment costs can crumble the hard-earned savings of an individual when affected by a critical illness.
Critical illness covers are usually cheaper than comprehensive health insurance plans and have a fixed, defined payout where the policyholder will receive a lump sum amount of the sum insured irrespective of the hospital expenses. An important thing to be kept in mind is that a ‘stand-alone’ critical illness cover will not cover hospitalisation expenses in case of an accident or other diseases which is why it is suggested that you buy a mediclaim policy separately to cover for the hospital bills.
Difference Between a Critical Illness Plan and a Health Insurance Plan:
- On detection of a critical illness the whole insured amount is paid to the policyholder unlike in a health insurance plan where only hospitalisation expenses are paid for.
- Under a critical illness cover around 8 to 20 ailments are covered while in a health insurance plan, very limited covers are available.
- A health insurance plan will not cover traveling costs to and from hospitals while a critical illness cover will offer a lump sum amount that can be used to pay for the transportation costs.
- In a health insurance plan, claims are processed only after proper scrutiny of the expenses but in a critical insurance plan, the policyholder is provided a lump sum on detection of the critical illness and no updates about the expenses need to be given to the insurer. The insured person can use the amount whenever necessary.
What Does the Activ Secure-Critical Illness Plan offer?
The Activ Secure-Critical Illness is a variant of the Active Secure Health Plan by Aditya Birla Health Insurance and is meant for providing comprehensive financial protection against all major critical illnesses including kidney failure, stroke, cancer, and poliomyelitis. Below are the benefits offered by the plan:
- For enhanced protection for critical illnesses, individuals have the option of availing enhanced coverage where the sum insured can be up to Rs.1 crore.
- On detection of a critical illness, the insured person is eligible to receive a lump sum amount of the insured sum.
- There are 3 plans that offer cover for 20, 50, and 60 critical illnesses, respectively. Under Plan 1, 20 critical illnesses are covered and the policyholder can avail 100% payout on insured sum upon diagnosis of a critical illness. Plan 2 covers 50 critical illnesses and the policyholder is eligible for 100% payout.
- Under Plan 3, the number of critical illnesses covered are 64. The payout amount will depend on the diseases listed either under List A or List B.
- If an individual is diagnosed with more than one critical illness, he/she is eligible to receive payouts that can go up to 150% of the sum insured.
- The policyholder is eligible for a payout even in the early stage of the critical illness and even after the payout, the policy will continue.
- Features a low requirement of survival period (15 days) after the first detection of critical illness.
- The Activ Secure-Critical Illness plan comes with an optional benefit of a wellness coach. The wellness coach guides, motivates and provide tips to individuals on how to regain your health and sustain physical fitness.
- If the policyholder wishes to get a second opinion on the critical illness, a team of specialist medical practitioners will be made available to him/her through an online channel.
- Some of the diseases covered under the Activ Secure-Critical Illness plan are - cancer, heart attack, open heart replacement or repair, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, permanent paralysis of limbs, major organ transplant, third-degree burns, loss of speech, liver/lung failure, muscular dystrophy, etc.
- Cashback incentives can be earned by policyholders on achieving certain fitness levels. These are termed as ‘Health Returns’ by Aditya Birla Health Insurance. Based on the fitness levels, individuals are categorised into red, amber, and green. A person falling under the green category can earn up to 30% of the insured sum as cashback which will be credited to the health account of the policyholder. To be eligible for the green category, individuals need to be physically active for more than 13 days in a month.
The Activ Secure-Critical Illness plan can serve a good purpose when purchased in conjunction with a health insurance policy and ensure that you and your family get a comprehensive/enhanced coverage to meet all kinds of medical emergencies including critical illnesses.