Monday 9 May 2016

BounceBack from a critical illness!

This article is all about Critical Illness insurance cover. We all know the increase in the number of critical illness cases. Below are few facts:

  • Heart disease is the number 1 killer in India followed by Cancer.
  • 1 in every 10 adults suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease. 
  • Lung Disease is constantly increasing in India. 

A critical illness impacts not just the patient but the entire family. The entire family undergoes an emotional setback when any member of the family suffers from a critical illness. What hits alongside with the emotional pain is the financial burden to get the critically ill member the required medical treatment which is best for him/her. And God Forbid if one is unfortunate and does not have sufficient funds they are forced to wait for the next stage of the illness or lend money from their friends and relatives.

The term ‘critical’ for an illness means if not treated timely it could lead to death and the other critical factor associated with it is that the treatment for it is extremely costly and hence many times people can’t afford to get themselves treated and the ones who get themselves treated exhaust their entire savings. For example, a cancer treatment may require several rounds of chemotherapy  or radiotherapy which often ranges around 1-2 lakhs per session plus associated costs like travel, subsequent advanced medications. The patient ends up shelling out somewhere between 5 lacs to 20 lacs. Also if the bread winner ends up suffering from a critical illness then he/she will not be in a state to earn for atleast 6 months. Who will pay for EMIs or daily expenses? What about the savings he/she had for the child’s education? All of this will cause huge financial distress.

How a Critical illness plan helps?

From a financial perspective, a critical illness plan can definitely help the patient.If the person suffering from the Illness has a critical illness insurance cover, the insurance company would provide a lump sum amount to the policy holder on diagnosis itself. So no medical or hospitalisation bills have to be submitted. For example, if the cover was taken for Rs. 50 lacs, the entire amount shall be provided to the insured person and the amount can be used for any purpose. A few examples where such lumpsum amount can be used are :
  • Hospital Bills 
  • Paying of Liabilities  such as house loan, loans taken for personal reason
  • House Modification like if a person can no longer climb steps, their bathrooms need modification or he/she will need to purchase mobility accessories to continue living life as normally as possible.
  • Regular Source of Income for his/her daily expenses. 

Plans available in the market: 

There are plans like Aegon iCancer and HDFC CancerCare which provide cover against cancer at a low cost premium. However, they only provide cover against one critical illness. Edelweiss Tokio Life –CritiCare+ provides cover against 17 critical illnesses like cancer, heast disease, chronic kidney failure, organ transplant, permanent paralysis, total blindness etc. It also provides a multi claim option where the policy holder can claim thrice if he is diagnosed by a second or third critical illness. The premium rates are comparatively low for higher sum assured. This seems like a comprehensive critical illness plan that can help one bounceback from a critical illness without any financial worry.

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