Health insurance is a type of insurance that covers medical expenses that arise due to an illness. These expenses could be related to hospitalisation costs, cost of medicines or doctor consultation fees.
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What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is an insurance product which covers medical and surgical expenses of an insured individual. It reimburses the expenses incurred due to illness or injury or pays the care provider of the insured individual directly.
Types of Health Insurance
There are two basic types of health insurance:
1. Mediclaim Plans
Mediclaim or hospitalisation plans are the most basic type of health insurance plans. They cover the cost of treatment when you are admitted to the hospital. The payout is made on actual expenses incurred in the hospital by submitting original bills. Most of these plans cover the entire family up to a certain limit.
2. Critical Illness Insurance Plans
Critical Illness Insurance Plans cover specific life-threatening diseases. These diseases could require prolonged treatment or even change in lifestyle. Unlike hospitalisation plans, the payout is made on Critical Illness cover chosen by the customer and not on actual expenses incurred in the hospital. The cover gives the flexibility to use the monies for changing lifestyle and medicines. Also it's a substitute for income for the time you could not resume work due to illness. Payout under these plans are made on the diagnosis of the disease for which the original medical bills are not required.
Benefits of Health Insurance
Purchasing health insurance is crucial for a number of reasons. Let's take a look at the most important benefits of our health insurance policies:
1. Helps Deal with Rising Medical Costs
People purchase health insurance policies to safeguard their finances against ever-rising medical costs. An accident or medical emergency could end up costing you more than a few thousand rupees. With a medical insurance plan, you enjoy cover for everything from ambulance charges to daycare procedures, making it easier for you to get the care you need to recover.
2. Critical Illness Cover
Many health insurance policies will also offer cover for critical illnesses at an additional cost. Given the rising incidence of lifestyle-related diseases today, this is another crucial cover to have. You will be provided with a lump sum payout in case you are diagnosed with any of the covered critical illnesses. These issues are often very expensive to deal with and manage, so critical illness cover is another vital benefit of having health insurance.
3. Easy Cashless Claims
Every health insurance provider will tie-up with a number of network hospitals where you can enjoy cashless claims. This makes the entire process of receiving emergency medical care much easier. At a network hospital, you aren't really required to pay for any of the covered treatments. For all valid claims, we'll take care of the medical costs, without you having to pay for anything, except non-covered expenses and the mandatory deductibles.
4. Added Protection
If you enjoy cover under a group health insurance plan, you may wonder why you should purchase your own health insurance policy. Well, individual health insurance plans offer provider more and better cover than group plans. Additionally, if you happen to leave the group at any time, you risk losing the cover, which could make you and your finances vulnerable.
5. Tax Savings
Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, premiums paid towards the upkeep of health insurance policies are eligible for tax deductions. For a policy for yourself, your spouse, your children and parents below the age of 60, you can claim a deduction of up to INR 25,000 per year from your taxable income. If you've also purchased a policy for a parent who is over the age of 60, you can claim an additional deduction of INR 50,000.