Health insurance tips: Should you opt for riders and top up plans?

As healthcare continues to become expensive, it has become important for everyone to get adequately covered through health insurance. Experts suggest that one should be careful while selecting the right amount of health cover.

The amount of health cover one can get depends on the type of policy and the number of dependants. Ideally, a person should buy a plan providing a minimum coverage of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh to keep themselves shielded against any health emergency under present circumstances.

Under health insurance, there are also options of riders and top up plans to increase one’s health cover.

What are rides and top up plans?
In simple terms, a rider under health insurance is an add-on for additional benefits. For opting a rider, the policyholder is required to pay some extra amount over the original premium. Typically, such incremental costs are minimal. Some of the popular riders provided under health insurance are room rent waiver, maternity cover, hospital cash, critical illness cover, and personal accident rider.

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A top-up health insurance plan provides additional medical coverage to people with an existing health insurance policy or employer mediclaim policy. Top-up plans provide cover for medical expenses even if the sum assured under regular policy gets exhausted.

Should you opt for riders and top-up plans?
Experts suggest individuals should carefully opt for riders and top-up plans to ensure they are not underinsured.

“Along with health plans, one should also opt for riders and top-up plans which are available to enhance one’s health insurance covers and to cover the major financial risks,” Aatur Thakkar, Co-founder and Director at Alliance Insurance Brokers, told FE Online.

“Since the cost of healthcare is escalating, it is advised that while choosing health cover one should consider family history as well. Along with that, it is also important to take note of the rising lifestyle diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, which will impact a considerable portion of the youth generation in the future, thus to take covers that can prevent these risks are equally important,” he added.

Why one should opt for riders and top up plans
According to Thakur, underinsurance is still a major cause of trouble even as more an more people are opting for health insurance since Covid outbreak. Riders and top up plans help in addressing this trouble.

“Since the outbreak of the covid pandemic and the rise in the medical treatment cost, more and more people are opting for health insurance covers, but ‘Under insurance’ is still a major cause of trouble when they file a claim. To decide the right amount of health cover, one should access their needs, current age, health condition, lifestyle, and income systematically. Inflation and feasible unforeseen expenses are the other major factors to be considered while choosing the policy,” said Thakur.

“It is advised to choose a health plan which is at least 50% of one’s annual income. Opting for an adequate sum insured according to one’s need and reading thoroughly about the exclusions and conditions also help to make the right decision in choosing a health plan,” he added.

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