While driving towards the office, Amit was happy with the thought that he got the job in one of the leading IT companies. Flexi timings, lucrative salary package, leave travel allowance, foreign travel—all these came up with his IT job. Amit was living a happy and satisfied life with his wife Sarita, five-year-old son and parents.
Amit’s day started off on a good note till the phone rang. Still roaming in his happy mood, he picked up the phone and was surprised to hear the voice of Rahul, his best friend, on the other side. While Amit was happy to hear from Rahul after a long time, somehow sadness in his voice made him tensed. Rahul’s father underwent bypass surgery but was recuperating and hopefully to be discharged that day. Rahul required some cash and he called Amit for that. Without a second thought, Amit withdrew cash from his bank account and rushed to the hospital.
At the hospital, Rahul was looking upset. When he saw Amit, he hugged him tightly and handed over some paper sheets which were the hospital bills of Rs 7.5 lakhs and a faxed letter from the insurance company that they would be paying only Rs 2 lakhs. Rahul said that as his corporate health insurance covered parents only up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakhs and he had to pay the remaining amount from his pocket; therefore, he wanted Amit to help him financially.
Amit was little worried when he left the hospital. His parents were over 65 and he never realized this shortcoming in his health insurance policy. What would happen if he met with the same fate? He would have to dig into his savings in case of medical emergency. The condition of Rahul was enough to scare Amit. He immediately called his other friend Shyam, who recently paid Rs 8 lakhs on his father’s hospitalization expenses. He wanted to ask him how he managed to do it.
Their conversation went on as follows:
Amit: How did you manage to bear the cost of medical expenses incurred on your father’s hospitalization last year? I recently met with my college friend who had a tough time in dealing with his father’s medical expenses.
Shyam: Oh it’s sad to hear about your friend. These health problems come unannounced. Last year, I paid around Rs 8 lakhs on my father’s hospitalization but thanks to my health insurance and super top-up policy, I did not face the financial problem.
Amit: I know about health insurance but what is this super top-up policy?
Shyam: Super top-up is like an extra safety net that offers coverage above your current health insurance policy. The benefits are same as that of a normal health insurance policy but they kick in when the claim amount exceeds the threshold limit. It means the maximum amount one can claim from the policy is the sum insured of the policy.
Amit: Can you please explain it in simple words?
Shyam: Okay, say my health insurance covers me for Rs 5 lakhs. I have a super top-up insurance of Rs 10 lakhs with a threshold limit of Rs 5 lakhs. In this case, super top-up will offer coverage only if medical bills are more than Rs 5 lakhs. In case I am hospitalized and have to pay Rs 6 lakhs, my health insurance will offer coverage up to Rs 5 lakhs, and super top-up will cover the remaining Rs 1 lakh.
Amit: But why not I take one big health insurance policy instead of two different policies? In this way, I don’t need to service two insurance policies and my life will be much simpler.
Shyam: It is always good to take a super top-up policy instead of buying a fresh policy for a higher sum insured because super top-up policies are much affordable than buying a new policy.
Also, you can buy a super top policy even if you don’t have a health insurance policy. From my personal experience, I would recommend you to go for two policies— one for a smaller amount and another for higher sum insured. It comes handy when you need to file for smaller claims. In the case of a few thousand’s claim, you can use the small insurance policy so that you would not lose out NCB on the policy offering higher sum insured.
Amit: Ok, is there any point which I should consider before buying super top-ups?
Shyam: The main thing which I considered was deductible. In the health insurance segment, the deductible is the amount which has to be paid by you. The super top-up policy pays only after the exhaustion of the deductible limit. It means, if your super top-up of Rs 5 lakhs has a deductible of Rs 2 lakhs, it means, your super top-up will come into force only if the bill is over Rs 2 lakhs. However, if the bill is below the deductible, no benefit will be paid through the super top-up.
Amit: Oh! Interesting, can I buy super top-ups for my parents and other family members also?
Shyam: Yeah sure, you can buy super top-ups for all your family members. You can also add it to your existing individual and family floater health insurance plans if you have any.
Amit: Okay great. Now I will buy super top-up policies on a priority basis.
Amit relaxed a bit and returned to his happy mood. This time, he was thinking about how his two friends helped him in taking one of the most important decisions of his life. As one friend’s plight compelled him to think about insuring the health of his family and the other friend helped him in taking the right decision.