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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Health Insurance Riders

 While health insurance offers to pay for the hospital bills and other expenses associated with your treatment, there are some expenses the policy does not pay. Also there are some additional expenses one may have to undertake after hospitalization which are non-medical in nature. Riders can help in such cases.
 Unless you live in a plastic bubble, accidents are difficult to avoid. And even then, sudden illness can enter your life. Health insurance is designed to help you and your family cover the cost of medical care. It helps protect your finances in the event of medical emergencies or injury. 

Though your health plan covers doctor's visits, hospital bills and surgeries, yet there are situations when your base health cover isn't enough and may fall short when you require extensive support. This is when you need riders. Typically, they are additional benefits which can be added to your base plan at a lower premium. As per the IRDAI directive, the premium on riders should not exceed 30% of your base plan.

Let's look at the four important riders that add value to your existing health plan:

1.Critical illness rider. This rider is designed to help pay costs associated with diseases that are terminal in nature, such as such as cancer, stroke, multiple sclerosis etc. Critical illness rider provides immediate lump-sum amount in case you are diagnosed with such illnesses. This is irrespective of the expenses incurred by you during the procedure. Typically, such riders cover about 10-15 ailments on an average. However, this can go up to 38 ailments if you opt for a comprehensive plan.

2.Room rent waiver rider: This rider helps you have higher sub-limit or even rooms without any sub-limits on hospitalization. Typically, most insurers have defined sub-limit or capping on the room rent and room type. But with a room rent waiver rider, you can choose a better room and the premium that will be charged would be minimal. For instance, if your base sum insured is Rs 2 lakh, your premium outgo will be around Rs.3233, out of which Rs. 717 will be the amount that you would have to pay towards the room rent waiver rider. 

3.Personal accident rider: Personal accident rider comes handy in the event of any unforeseen accident that may cause loss of life, permanent or even temporary disability. In case you lose your job due to disability caused by the accident, this rider will provide you with financial assistance. 

You may also opt for them as standalone plan for enhanced coverage. The premium for this rider is lower and is calculated on the basis of your work profile and working conditions and not your age. 

4.Hospital cash rider: This rider provides you with daily cash in case you get hospitalized. This benefit can range anywhere between Rs. 500 - 3,000, depending on the nature of your stay. And if you are admitted in the ICU, then you can make a higher claim. This payout would come into force if you complete a minimum hospitalization of 24 hours. Most insurers would provide you with daily cash for up to 7-10 days of hospitalization. 

To sum it up, choose the rider(s) that is right for you, depending on what's covered by your policy and to what extent. Your rider must value add to your existing health policy, as opposed to providing for what's already extensively covered under your base health plan.
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