When an individual is diagnosed with a critical illness, they require support on several levels. While their loved ones can provide emotional aid and mental strength, the financial aspect can be taken care of with diligent planning and investing. Critical illness insurance plans are designed for this very purpose. However, many people tend to think that critical illness insurance plans only cover a few illnesses. Misconceptions like these are widespread. In this article, we clear the air and give you a detailed look at the coverage of a critical illness insurance policy.
Critical illness insurance coverage can be broadly divided into three categories:
- Coverage of many life-threatening illnesses
Critical illness insurance plans are known to cover illnesses such as cancer of specified severity, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron diseases, end-stage lung failure and liver failure, benign brain tumour, primary pulmonary hypertension, and Parkinson’s disease, among others.
While the hospitalisation expenses for some of these illnesses may be covered by a medical insurance plan, it may not prove to be enough for all costs that arise. You can use the critical illness payout for any shortage you face in your medical insurance plan, or to meet other expenses like your home rent.
It is to be noted that the coverage of each illness may have conditions depending on the insurer. Most insurers do not cover skin cancer or thyroid cancers. Cancer coverage also depends on the severity; certain stages may not be covered or the percentage of the sum insured given may differ as per the stage. Illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and motor neuron disease may be covered only if the symptoms are persisting and permanent respectively.
- Coverage of major surgical procedures
Yes, critical illness insurance policies cover several surgeries and medical procedures as well. Though this, too, may differ from insurer to insurer, the surgeries majorly covered include organ transplant, open heart replacement, surgery for the repair of heart valves, open chest CABG, human bone marrow transplant, and surgery of aorta.
Organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and the pancreas, come under the purview of ‘organ transplant’.
- Coverage of traumatic medical events
Many people may not know this but events causing blindness, deafness, loss of limbs, loss of speech, major head trauma, and so on are also covered under a critical illness insurance plan. Strokes (that result in permanent symptoms), permanent paralysis, coma of a specified variety, muscular dystrophy, first heart attract of specified severity, are also covered. Furthermore, third-degree burns are also covered.
It is important to note that critical illness insurance plans are benefit-based. So, once the insurer has verified that the diagnosis is indeed correct, your claim settlement process will begin and you will receive a lump-sum payment. You do not have to tell the insurer how you plan to use the sum insured.
Thus, a critical illness insurance plan does not merely act as an aid of a regular medical insurance plan but also provides its policyholders with a sense of guarantee. With so many procedures and medical events covered, one can be assured that when the unexpected strikes, they are ready with a financial plan. Do bear in mind that the coverage of a critical illness insurance plan differs from insurer to insurer.