4 steps to decode a critical illness plan

By Neeraj Basur

Critical illness is largely a misunderstood term in India. And this, ironically, in a country where the onus of planning and paying for critical illness is on the individual and not the employer or the government!

It is therefore very important for us to understand the concept of critical illness plans so that our spending on insurance is optimal. Here are simple 4 steps to de-codify and device your critical illness plan.

Step 1: Starting by understanding: what is critical illness?

There is no one clear definition of critical illness. However, as the name suggests, this covers more serious forms of illnesses such as paralysis, cancer, stroke, coronary artery disease, multiple sclerosis, heart valve disease and renal failure. Essentially, the kind of illnesses, where mortality is not only high but there is also a pronounced strain on the lifestyle of the patient's household, both mentally as well as financially.

Step 2: How does a critical illness plan help?

There is no dearth of examples of how critical illnesses such as the ones mentioned above afflict the patient as well as their households. These illnesses are marked by large treatment bills, numerous diagnostic tests and large period of absence from active life. What one do not want to deal with at this time is the pain of arguing and going through what is covered or not covered by insurance and when one gets the amounts refunded or taken care off. The critical illness plan helps take away this undesired complexity.

The plan works on diagnosis of the disease rather than other metrics such as hospital stay or reimbursement of bills. All that the insurance provider needs to know is evidence of a positive diagnosis to disburse the sum ensured. Hassle free? Certainly. And that is precisely the point: let the afflicted patient deal with one less problem by taking care of the finances!

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