Personal Finance

While buying health insurance, should you go for higher sum insured or Super Top-up plans?

Amit Chhabra | Updated on March 09, 2020

Gradually, people in India are beginning to realise the importance of health insurance. The number of people buying health insurance cover over the last one decade has grown at a fair clip. However, while buying health insurance, most people fail to understand the importance of having a cover that provides high or adequate coverage. Often, people undermine the importance of a big health cover with rather feeble arguments, such as their present cover is comfortably high, or since they are healthy enough, they could well handle medical costs, if anything happens in future. Though many may be able to handle any medical eventuality, that may not be the case for everyone. A recent report states that over 95 per cent of middle-class Indians do not have adequate health insurance to cover even the most common procedures and ailments. It is also true that a health insurance cover with higher sum insured, no matter how necessary, may not fit into everybody’s scheme of things. But then, there are solutions for everything.

Enhance your sum insured

If you already hold a health insurance policy with lower sum insured, you may choose to upgrade the sum insured during the renewal of your insurance policy. Every insurer gives you the right to enhance your existing sum insured at renewal time. However, if you do not hold any health insurance policy and wish to buy one, you must consider numerous factors when deciding the sum insured. Some major aspects that you should consider are medical inflation rate, size of your family, current medical conditions of the people to be insured, and family medical history.

Super Top-ups plans

Another convenient and economical way of enhancing your health insurance policy’s sum insured is buying a Super Top-up plan. Super Top-up health insurance plan is an added protection in your regular health policy that offers you coverage of Mediclaim above your chosen deductible limit. Under the plan, you can avail financial relaxation in the event your hospitalisation claim bill crosses your total sum insured. The plan acts as a cushion and comes into play when you have exhausted the chosen limit. Numerous insurers have even introduced plans where the base policy acts as the deductible, meaning the policyholders do not have to pay anything and the entire amount of the claim is payable by the insurer.

Price comparison

If you choose to buy a health insurance cover with ₹1 crore sum insured without the super-top element, the premium for the product will be significantly high. Religare Health Insurance’s Global Care plan that provides coverage up to ₹1 crore comes at an annual premium of ₹52,633 for a 32-year-old male living in a metro city. However, the premium of a plan which comes with super top-up element is quite cheap. One such plan is Aditya Birla’s Active Assure Diamond health insurance plan wherein ₹5 lakh is the base policy or deductible and there is a Top-up health cover of ₹95 lakh sum insured (total cover ₹1 crore). The annual premium for this plan works out to around 9,552. Another such plan is Max Bupa Health Insurance’s Health Companion with Recharge (Money Saver) plan which comes with ₹5 lakh + ₹25 lakh sum insured offering a total cover of ₹30 lakh.

The biggest feature of the Super Top-up plan is that it covers the total of all the bills in a given year as it covers multiple hospitalisations. It is equally important to know that it is best to buy a Super Top-up plan from the same insurer from whom you buy the base health insurance plan as buying a Super Top-up plan from a different insurer will lead to a non-cashless claim.

Best option to go for

If one is just looking for an additional sum insured, then a Super Top-up plan is one of the cost-effective options. If you are looking for additional benefits such as overseas treatment and maternity benefit along with enhanced sum insured, then increasing the cover of an existing policy will be a better option.

(The writer is Business Head, Health Insurance,

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Published on March 09, 2020
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