By Manan Vyas
Specialized health insurance plans, like heart and cancer plans, are becoming progressively more popular amongst health insurance buyers. The reason for this is the rise of lifestyle diseases, owing to the hectic and modern way of life. According to estimates, one in every four Indians is at serious risk of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular ailments or cancer before the age of 70. Moreover, a basic health insurance policy is not structured to cater to the financial crises of specific illnesses. These are usually holistic, and mostly meet the cost of hospitalization by reimbursement. Additionally, many such compensation plans have sub-limits for different expense heads and a defined upper cap for certain diseases.
Such restrictions, along with co-payment features and hospitalization through network hospitals, may undermine the utility of these plans. Therefore, with lifestyle diseases on the rise, and traditional insurance plans falling short of the necessary financial support, Heart and Cancer insurance plans are becoming popular, as they offer added care for heart and cancer ailments.
ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect – Benefits
ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect is ICICI Prudential Life’s latest health Insurance plan, which offers cover against specific diseases like heart ailments and cancer. The policy covers both, major and minor conditions of heart diseases and cancer, starting from early stage cancer (for Cancer) and angioplasty or valvuloplasty (for Heart). Further, the minimum policy term is five years, with an option to choose lower premiums with a single pay feature. In the case of regular pay, the policy term can be determined to last from 5 to 40 years.
The policy provides payout on a diagnosis of heart ailments or cancer, irrespective of the stage of the disease. In the case of a minor condition, it pays out 25% of the cover amount and continues its cover till the policy term. However, if the policyholder is affected with a major condition, the policy pays out the remaining 75% to the holder, leading to termination of the policy. In the case of a significant condition, the plan provides 100% of the cover amount as lump sum payment upon diagnosis.
The biggest benefit of this policy is the assurance of getting the claim amount on first diagnosis, irrespective of the actual medical costs, unlike medi-claim or reimbursement plans. Moreover, the policy continues even after the first payout for the minor condition is satisfied, without making the policyholder pay any further premiums. This ensures coverage from future expenses. In addition to this, the policy offers high covers for relatively low premiums, striving to make heart and cancer protection affordable to the masses. For instance, a 29-year old healthy, non-smoker male can get cancer cover of Rs. 20 lakhs or heart cover of Rs. 7 lakhs for a meagre amount of Rs. 100 per month. Policyholders are also eligible to receive Rs. 5,000 as a daily cash benefit, in the case of hospitalization due to a covered ailment, irrespective of actual hospitalization costs.
As opposed to standard health insurance policies, this scheme allows policyholders to receive treatment in any hospital they choose. To tackle rising medical costs, the plan also increases the assured sum by 10% every year. This facilitates an increase up to a maximum of 200% of the sum insured at inception; unlike regular health insurance policies that usually offer a maximum no-claim bonus of up to 50%. Additionally, while most health plans reimburse you based on your bills, this policy provides an additional benefit of an assured sum of 1% for five years, to compensate for a loss of income due to a critical condition. This monthly payment is over and above the lump sum payment on diagnosis of the illness. In the case of the policyholder’s demise, this payment is then made to the nominee. A bonus is the tax benefit of up to Rs. 25,000, for premiums paid towards this plan, under Section 80D.
Right policy, Right partner
While choosing the right health insurance policy can prove to be a daunting task for many, selecting the right insurance partner can make a world of difference to your future. ICICI Prudential Life, in this regard, seems to have taken care of long-term consumer grievances, which have often revolved around complex payout schemes that could take weeks or even months for claimants. ICICI Prudential Life does it with a policy that provides upfront claim amount on detection. Moreover, it offers a plethora of services during the tenure of the policy, with additional benefits of the daily hospital cash, no claim advantage and monthly income aiding the policyholders over and beyond what is expected from healthcare policies.
Besides, ICICI Prudential Life has garnered a reputation of trust over the years, with an impressive claim settlement ratio of 96.87%, a measure which, along with related data, provides an objective yardstick to consumers to determine the reliability of their insurance providers. Considering these factors, ICICI Pru Heart/ Cancer Protect seems to be a promising health insurance plan; one which not only provides holistic cover to the policyholder but also supports his or her dependents.
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