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Opt for a term plan that pays sum assured as lump sum

  • One should buy a minimum term cover of 10 times one’s annual income
  • You can also consider buying a wellness card. These cards can be used to avail discounts on pharmacies, diagnostics and doctor consultations

I am 26 and my CTC is 5.8 lakh. I am unmarried and my only dependant is my father as my mother is still working. I want to take a term plan for myself. What should be the ideal amount? I plan to get married in two years.

—Jeevika Birla

As a thumb rule, one should buy a minimum term cover of 10 times one’s annual income. At younger age groups, insurers are comfortable in granting coverage of up to 20 times of annual income. Since you do not have substantial liabilities, you should buy a term cover of at least 75 lakh. As your income increases, you should revise the sum assured upwards. Opt for a plan that pays the sum assured in a lump sum. Select an insurer with a claim settlement track record of at least 90%.

I get a health insurance cover of 5 lakh from my office. It doesn’t have any OPD (out-patient department) coverage. My parents and I spend considerably on OPD expenses. Is there any policy which provides OPD coverage? I don’t mind paying higher premiums. Else, please tell us what cover we should opt for?

—Pratishtha Ingale

A number of individual health plans provide OPD coverage. The sum assured in most of these plans range between 5,000 and 20,000 but there are plans that go much higher as well. Some insurances have dedicated sub-limits within the OPD sum assured for specific treatments such as physiotherapy.

OPD coverage is typically linked to the overall sum insured of the plan. For example, for a sum insured of 5 lakh, OPD coverage could be limited to 5,000. For higher sum insured, say 30 lakh, the OPD limit may go up to 45,000. Your premiums will depend on the overall sum assured and the OPD benefit.

The incremental premiums due to OPD are between 70% and 100% of the total OPD limit. This means that the level of insurance in OPD plans is not high. At this time, it is better to think of health insurance for hospitalisation and day care procedures rather than OPD. However, that landscape is changing as many insurers are developing innovative OPD products.

You can also consider buying a wellness card. These cards can be used to avail discounts on pharmacies, diagnostics and doctor consultations. If you do not have personal health insurance cover, other than employer provided cover, you must buy one.

Abhishek Bondia is principal officer and MD, SecureNow.in. Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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