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How Critical Illness Insurance Can Protect You in Old Age


Sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and stress increase the risk of critical ailments like cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. According to research, almost 25% of Indians are at risk of dying due to lifestyle-related ailments or cancer before the age of 70.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet can mitigate the risk of critical ailments. However, some illnesses like cancer may be hereditary. Treating a critical ailment is expensive, and without insurance, you may find it tough to meet these costs.

About critical illness insurance

A regular health insurance plan pays for hospitalization expenses and may cover some portion of the pre- and post-hospitalization costs. However, a critical ailment may require long-term treatment. Moreover, you may be incapable of earning during a particular period if you suffer from a critical illness. In this situation, coping with regular household expenses along with the treatment costs may be financially difficult.

A critical illness health insurance policy is beneficial here. It pays a lump sum when you are diagnosed with the illness. You may use the money for treatment, meeting regular expenses, or repaying any debt.

Benefits of Critical illness insurance

  • Coverage for a wide range of ailments, such as kidney failure, heart attack, brain surgery, and cancer, among others
  • Continous coverage even if you claim one ailment covered under the medical insurance plan
  • Income tax benefit on the premium under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961
  • Opportunity to receive 150% of the sum insured as the payout in case of a comprehensive plan
  • Benefit from chronic management programs to recover faster and manage your ailment
  • Shorter survival period from the day you are diagnosed with the illness
  • Wellness coach who offers a customized plan for quick recovery and personalized advice to adapt to the critical disease

Difference between regular health insurance and critical illness insurance

  Regular health insurance Critical illness insurance
Basis Indemnity-based, where benefits are paid only for hospitalization Lump-sum payout when you are diagnosed with the ailment
Sum insured Higher sum insured requires a greater premium, which may be unaffordable Affordable, as coverage is only for the specified ailments
Coverage Wider coverage for hospitalization occurring due to an accident or illness Available only for critical conditions covered in the policy document

If you have a family history of severe ailments, like high blood pressure, opt for a critical illness plan, which offers health insurance for high cholesterol. It can be a standalone policy or a rider to your base mediclaim plan. Such A critical illness plan may be beneficial for seniors who may suffer from severe ailments and require funds to meet their expenses, especially post-retirement when they do not have any other income.

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