Mediclaim policies are useful for minor cases of hospitalisation or surgery. However, they may be insufficient to meet the high costs involved in treatment of ailments like a heart condition, a stroke or an organ transplant. This is where top up plans come into the picture.
Top up plans serve as add-ons to your indemnity health insurance policy. They are similar to the base health plan, except that they come with a higher deductible limit. The deductible—the amount one would have to settle before the top up kicks in, usually ranges from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh. The purpose of a top up is to compensate the insured for expenses over and above the base cover. It thus insulates the insured to a higher limit than a regular mediclaim policy, and that too at an affordable premium. When taking a top up plan, ensure the cover of the base plan is at least equal to the deductible of the top up plan.
Mr. Arun Balakrishnan, CEO, BerkshireInsurance.com explained, “Top up plans work well to enhance your indemnity plan if you have a low base cover. They also come in handy if you have only a group cover from your employer and would like to increase the level of protection. It makes better sense to get a top up than to opt for multiple health policies, to save on premium.”
Explaining the difference between a rider and a top up plan, Mr. Balakrishnan said, “Do not confuse a top-up plan with a rider. Riders are designed to meet a specific purpose, some examples being personal accident and hospital cash. Top-ups, on the other hand, can be used to meet any treatment costs arising from a particular incidence of hospitalisation, once the deductible limit is met. Moreover, a top up can be taken as independent plan. You can take the top up from a different insurer than the base plan.”
While selecting the plan, keep in mind that the higher the deductible, the lower will be the premium, but make sure your base cover is sufficient. Do not opt for an unrealistically high deductible just to save on premium. Also, fully comprehend the policy terms and exclusions. The best way to do this is through a comparative search on any of the various online portals. Once you have selected the best plan that suits your needs, you can purchase the plan online at the click of a button!
The writer is the CEO, BerkshireInsurance.com
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