First let’s understand what mediclaim brings to the table.
The key feature of mediclaim is cover for hospitalization and treatment towards accident and pre-specified illnesses for a specific sum assured limit. The mediclaim premium is based on the sum assured.
The amount paid towards mediclaim premium for self/spouse/children provides tax exemption under section 80D for a maximum of Rs 15,000 with another Rs 15,000 benefit on premium of mediclaim policy for parents (Rs 20,000 if parents are senior citizens). Although, not advisable, mediclaim must not be taken for the tax benefit, else it degenerates into a tax saving investment, rather than a lifeline for yourself and your family.
Some features of health insurance plans include:
- Comprehensive critical illness cover - as many as 30 illnesses in certain plans
- Discount on premium if sum assured exceeds a particular limit like Rs 10 lakhs for instance
- Flexibility to reduce premium after a specified period
- Flexibility to reduce sum assured after a specified period
- Flexibility to reduce policy term after a specified period
- Health insurance premium provide tax exemption under section 80D of Income Tax Act 1961, this being one of the few meeting points between health insurance and mediclaim
Evidently health insurance plans are far superior to mediclaim in terms of breadth of diseases and illnesses covered, quantum of sum assured and flexibility. While mediclaim may prove adequate up to a point, it is health insurance that can be expected to bail you out from a serious (read expensive) medical condition.