What is MEDICLIAM?
"Mediclaim" stands short for "Medical Insurance" and is a generic term used to indicate "Health Insurance" in India.
Who needs Mediclaim?
Well, the answer is, practically everybody in your family needs to have a Mediclaim policy. From a 6 months old child to your grandparents, all need Mediclaim unlike life insurance which needs to be bought only for the earning member of your family.
Anybody can fall ill & need to be hospitalized & hence every member of your family should have a Mediclaim policy.
The Mediclaim policy can be taken on an individual basis or for the entire family if the need be. The insurance premium which is charged by the insurance company will defer from company to company and will depend on whether the Mediclaim policy has been taken for an individual or a group or whether the insurance policy is a cashless or not.
The medical age for a Mediclaim policy differs and thus in certain cases the applicant may be required to undergo a medical test or in certain cases the applicant may not be asked to undergo a medical test.
The amount of money that the company reimburses to the person who has the Mediclaim policy in his or her name will be dependent on the health cover that the company is providing.
Why do I need a Mediclaim policy?
With medical costs sky rocketing daily there is a growing need of having a Mediclaim policy in your name. A Mediclaim policy or a health insurance policy will help you cover the medical expenses in case you have to undergo certain medical treatment or are hospitalized for some reason. A Mediclaim policy basically provides a health cover of a certain amount of money and hence in the case of incurring any medical expenses, the expenses to a certain limit are borne by the particular insurance or the Mediclaim Company under whom you might have taken the Mediclaim policy.
Which companies offer Mediclaim in India?
The companies that offer Mediclaim in India are known as General Insurance companies. These are different from Life Insurance companies like LIC that can offer only Life Insurance & not health insurance.
There are around 22 general insurance companies in India offering various Mediclaim policies. National Insurance, Oriental Insurance, New India & United Insurance are the public sector health insurance providers. Then there are private sector players like Max Bupa, HDFC Ergo, Tata AIG, Bajaj Allianz, ICICI Lombard, Reliance, SBI, Religare etc. You can choose from any of these companies a Mediclaim policy that best suits your needs or the needs of your family.
What are the benefits of taking a Mediclaim policy?
Mediclaim policies offer several advantages. From being able to help you tide an emotional and financial crisis and also taking care of any medical expenses that may be incurred due to injury, surgery or any other conditions.
Does buying a Mediclaim policy offer any tax benefits?
Yes. Under section 80D of The Income Tax Act,1961, any premium which is paid for medical insurance that has been taken on the health of the assessee, his spouse, dependent parents or dependent children, is allowed as a deduction, subject to a ceiling of Rs 15,000.
Where any premium is paid for medical insurance for a senior citizen, an enhanced deduction of Rs 20,000 is allowed. The deduction is available only if the premium is paid by cheque.
What are the different types of Mediclaim Plans available?
Basically, there are 2 broad categories:
1. Basic Mediclaim policy (meant for non-critical illnesses)
2. Critical Illness policy (meant to cover you against critical life threatening illnesses)
3. Senior citizen Mediclaim
How much Mediclaim should one buy?
Again, depends upon a host of factors and varies from person to person.
Dos & Don'ts of Mediclaim
1. Buy Mediclaim policies for all the members of your family, right from a 6 months old child to a 60 year old.
2. One general Mediclaim policy & one critical illness cover per family member is enough
3. Choose your Mediclaim agent & company as after sales service is of utmost importance in case of a Mediclaim policy
4. Even if you are provided a Mediclaim cover by your company, it is still advisable to buy an additional cover