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How is a health insurance plan different from mediclaim policy?

November 07, 2016 52118
Lot of individuals subscribe to mediclaim policies in the belief that they have adequate health insurance to address all health issues. This is not only inaccurate but might just prove a very costly oversight. Hence it is of utmost importance that we clearly understand the key features that differentiate mediclaim vs health insurance plans so as to opt for the best mediclaim policy in India for your family.

To be sure, mediclaim although a form of health insurance is far from adequate to cover the many illnesses and health conditions that have become so common given the stress and mishaps in everyday life.
 
  • Mediclaim

    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.

  • Health Insurance
    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.

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