Multiple health covers can help in hour of need
HYDERABAD: Many people must have mulled over having more than one health insurance policy. Most often, one policy may not cover the complete treatment cost; in that case, can a second policy come in handy? Many might have an employer-provided health insurance policy along with the one they are paying personally. Will there be additional benefits for having multiple policies thus?
According to financial experts, while having more than one health insurance policy cannot be seen as a necessity, it can certainly provide
some additional benefits. Having multiple policies can be useful in case of smaller or insufficient cover and critical illnesses. The insured can have greater chance of getting claims from any one of the policies, even if the other insurer rejects. An additional health insurance policy can also help during the period between switching jobs, when the employer-provided policy is not available.
“A person may have an employer-provided health insurance that may be useful as long as he is employed, but the moment he leaves the job, the coverage ceases. Employer-provided health insurances are also a one-size-fits-all group cover that may not adequately cover one’s health risks. Therefore, a health insurance policy bought keeping in mind one’s own requirements will be beneficial. For example, a group cover for the whole family may be just Rs 3 lakh for the year. After a family member is hospitalised once, there may be no coverage left for other members that year. Therefore, one must have an independently purchased health insurance for the family,” pointed out Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar.com.
Financial experts say that in an ideal scenario, each member of the insured family must have a health cover of Rs 5 -10 lakh. One can go for a single comprehensive policy catering to this need or can supplement this coverage with a top-up cover, which is cost-effective, they say.
Also, in case of certain critical illnesses, one can have a second policy with specific coverage plans. For instance, if one has a Rs 5 lakh base coverage, which is supplemented by a top-up coverage of Rs 20 lakh that kicks in only after the base coverage is exhausted, it will safeguard one in any complicated health situation where extensive treatment and hospitalisation is required.
“Most people prefer to have one comprehensive health insurance policy. The case of multiple policies arises when a person has a health insurance from the employer and a personally bought policy. While having multiple policies may not provide any additional tax benefits, it will be helpful in case one’s health insurance policy is unable to provide complete cover, in case the hospitalisation and treatment costs are very high,” explained Preeti Khurana, senior CA and financial adviser.