Difference between health insurance and medical insurance

  • Health Insurance Articles

Insurance is an important element of everyone’s financial plan. If you have an insurance policy that provides you cover, you can face the uncertainties life throws at you with greater confidence. What’s more, you can stay worry-free about the future of your loved ones. It is important that everyone has a health insurance plan in their financial scheme of things

However, should you go in for health insurance or medical insurance, also known as mediclaim, and what’s the difference? Often medical and health insurance are used as synonyms. This is a pertinent question, and it helps to understand the difference between the two.

Extent of coverage

Medical insurance is just one aspect of health insurance. Mediclaim covers hospitalisation expenses or treatment when someone is recovering from a specific ailment or an accident. These ailments are specified and you would need to check which ones are covered. Also, medical insurance provides cover for a pre-defined sum assured and is not a comprehensive plan. You can claim medical insurance only under hospitalisation.

On the other hand, health insurance is comprehensive and offers not just coverage for hospitalisation or treatment for a specified illness but for pre-hospitalisation, and post hospitalisation coverage as well. Health insurance also covers ambulance charges and medical check-ups. In that sense, health insurance is extensive while medical insurance is limited.

Add-on coverage

An important aspect of health insurance is that insurers invariably offer add-on coverage in the form of riders so that the policy is more flexible. As someone who opts for a health insurance policy, you may seek more options in terms of critical illness cover or waiver of premium rider.

In a world where medical expenses are only growing, any treatment for critical illnesses like cancer or kidney disease can be quite high. If you opt for the critical illness rider, it covers your family from the cost of major illnesses like cancer, stroke or heart attack. Similarly, if you opt for accidental death rider, in the unfortunate event of the policy holder’s death, the dependent or nominee will receive the sum assured so that their future is secure. Waiver of premium rider is another benefit that comes with health insurance. This means when there’s a sudden financial or health contingency and you are unable to pay future premiums, the rider you have opted for will provide a waiver on future premium payments. Medical insurance doesn’t offer any flexibility by way of riders.

Flexibility

When you opt for a health insurance plan, you can customise premiums and duration/tenure of the policy, depending on your needs and financial situation. You can opt for individual or family floater plans. On the other hand, with medical insurance, there is no such flexibility.

Opting for health insurance provides coverage for yourself, your family and even your parents. You and your loved ones can receive the best medical treatment without worrying about your finances or income. By choosing add-on riders carefully, you get additional benefits that secure your and your family’s future, both financially and health-wise.

Why get a health insurance plan?

Globally, we have witnessed a rise in lifestyle diseases. India too is seeing a rise in many lifestyle related ailments, apart from a growth in the number of critical illness cases. Cancer, stroke, cardiovascular problems and kidney diseases have been on the rise largely due to our lifestyles and also our increasingly polluted environments.

Getting a health insurance plan early on helps you reduce premium payments as well, so start planning early on. The older you get, the premiums tend to rise.

You also get to choose the frequency of premium payments and riders so that the health insurance plan becomes a flexible financial product.

Before you decide on a health insurance plan, make sure to compare different plans, check out the sum assured and premiums and pick the one that’s ideally suited for your financial profile and commitments. Once you have a comprehensive plan in place, you can go about your life without worrying about the future.

ADV/2/20-21/2391

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