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Ask Mint Money | Health insurance should be increased at various life stages

Ask Mint Money | Health insurance should be increased at various life stages
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First Published: Tue, Jun 07 2011. 09 29 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Jun 07 2011. 09 29 PM IST
I am 26 years old and plan to take a health cover of Rs2 lakh. Is the cover enough for me? What riders will it have and which one should I opt for?
—Ankit Sanghvi
A Rs2 lakh cover for a person of your age is enough. You can consider increasing it to Rs3 lakh when you cross 30 years of age. When you get married, you can add your wife to your policy, convert it into a floater policy and also consider increasing the sum insured by Rs3 lakh.
Health policies have a broad coverage and pay for all kinds of medical expenses incurred in the hospital for treatment of accidents, illnesses, ailments or diseases. Most policies do not have any optional riders. A few policies have started providing the option to reimburse a fixed amount for each day of hospitalization to cover minor expenses such as travel to the hospital or attendants’ expenses. This is a good benefit and could be opted for.
I want a personal accident cover since I have taken two loans which will continue for more than five years. I want to ensure that my wife doesn’t have to pay in case of my death even though she is an earning member.
—Mukesh Anand
We take loans for large expenses and with the objective of paying them off gradually from our future income. In case of untimely death of the primary earner of the family, the onus to repay the loan falls on other members of the family. An insurance cover which pays off the loan is, therefore, a relief for surviving family members.
Since the idea is to provide this relief to your wife, I would recommend a term cover with an accidental death and disability rider even though it will be 3-4 times more expensive compared with a personal accident policy. However, if your financial condition does not allow you to spare money for a term cover, take a personal accident cover immediately. It is available with all general insurers and will cost you about Rs100 per Rs1 lakh of sum insured per annum.
I am 25 years old and have joined a new company, which doesn’t provide a health cover. Which facility is better—cashless or reimbursement?
—Sneha Jain
Due to substantial increase in the cost of health insurance, many employers have stopped providing this benefit to their employees. In such a case it becomes important that the employees take a personal health insurance cover.
Sometimes there are large and sudden medical expenses such as in the case of a heart attack or a major accident. Most families will find it difficult to arrange funds immediately for hospital expenses. A cashless health insurance is a boon in such circumstances. Hence, I would recommend a policy with cashless facility even though the cost in such policies is higher by 5%.
Rahul Aggarwal, director, Optima Insurance Brokers
Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Jun 07 2011. 09 29 PM IST