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In the world so fast, it is complicated to maintain good health and keep oneself away from diseases. Even healthy people tend to fall ill and end up in hospital. It is always good to incorporate exercise to maintain a fit body and sound mind. Having a balanced diet full of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients is a must if you want to take good care of your health. However, we all know that our health deteriorates as our age advances. It is inevitable to fall sick and have minor health issues after a point in time.

Every time you visit a hospital/ dispensary for medical treatment, apart from recovering from the adverse medical condition, you get worried about paying the enormous medical bills that may wash away a significant portion of your entire savings.

Due to high-stress jobs, deteriorating environment, consumption of junk food, minimal physical activity, smoking, etc., there is a massive spike in the number of patients suffering from critical illness. The treatment of critical illness in India is quite expensive. The treatment of cardiovascular and kidney-related diseases cost around 4 Lacs. Cancer costs 10 Lacs, liver and lung-related diseases cost approximately 20 Lacs. These significant figures are enough to understand the medical expenses that may incur for the treatment of a critical illness. Therefore, it is necessary to get a critical illness insurance policy, which offers a financial cover against huge medical expenses arising from the treatment of any critical illness. If you want to remain financially safe when medical emergencies strike, then you should get a critical insurance policy as soon as possible.

It is essential to get your doubts cleared before buying the right policy for you and your family. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions, which will help you with the same-

1.    What are the critical illnesses covered under a critical illness policy?

There are around 8 to 20 major critical illnesses covered under critical illness policy. However, it depends on the policy you have chosen.  Typically, the critical illnesses which are covered include cancer, heart attack, stroke, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart valve replacement, major organ transplant, kidney failure.

2.    Why should I buy a critical illness policy if I already have a health cover?

A basic health insurance plan only covers the hospital bill and pre & post hospitalization expenses. It may not be enough to cover the medical expenses incurred due to a critical illness treatment. In contrast, a critical illness policy pays the sum assured as a lump sum, in the event of diagnosis of any one of the listed critical illnesses that you can use in paying the medical treatment bills plus convalescence expenses.

3.    Do I need to buy a critical illness policy? What should be the cover amount?

You cannot rule out the risk of getting a critical illness attack, but you can certainly reduce it to some extent. While leading a healthy lifestyle and going for regular medical checkups, you can subside the chances of critical illness. Critical illness policies pay a lump sum amount that helps the policyholder to take care of the treatment as well as other maintenance expenses.

The critical illness cover should be at least 3 to 5 times more than your health cover. For example, if you have a health insurance policy of Rs. 5 lakhs, then you should buy a CI plan of Rs. 15-20 lakhs.

4. Should I buy a standalone critical illness policy or a rider to the existing health cover is enough?

A critical illness policy when taken standalone proves to be more beneficial than taken as a rider with a health insurance policy. An independent critical illness policy provides better, comprehensive coverage for critical illnesses as compared to a critical illness rider. Also, it remains valid even if your health insurance policy lapses. Some individual CI policies have a multi-claim option that allows a policyholder to file multiple claims during the policy term, subject to conditions.

5.    What is not covered under a critical illness policy?

The exclusions of the policy may differ from one insurer to another. These are the common health conditions which are not covered under a critical illness policy-

•    Self-inflicted Injuries

•    HIV, AIDS, or other STDs

•    Pregnancy or childbirth

•    Any congenital conditions

•    Cosmetic or sex change treatment/surgery

•    Pre-existing condition

•    Nuclear, biological or chemical contamination

•    Alcohol consumption, smoking, other tobacco intake or drug abuse

•    Any form of war, invasion, civil war, rebellion

•    Mental or functional disorder, etc.

Buying a critical insurance policy provides financial protection against medical expenses incurred in case of treatment of a critical illness. It is thus advisable to choose the best critical insurance plan by comparing plans from different insurers so that you can get the complete coverage for critical illnesses.