Health Insurance Riders

by Vinaya HS on January 15, 2016

in Finance

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Health plans are designed to satisfy the specific needs of the policyholders. At the same time, policies are meant to protect the interests of the insurance service providers.

Unfortunately, there is great variation among all of us in terms of our risks and requirements, which means that standard policies may not work for all. Most insurance plans have specific features, inclusions, benefits, exclusions, and covers. As these may not be suitable for all policyholders, insurance companies offer different kinds of riders within the policies to allow policyholders to customize plans as per their needs.

Purpose of Riders

Health insurance riders were created to enable individuals with specific medical conditions to enjoy insurance protection, as typical plans may not offer such coverage to them. The riders ensure that the premium amount remains affordable, while at the same time extending protection to individuals who would otherwise be excluded or not fully covered. The riders are governed by certain regulations and are applicable to all insurance providers in the country.

Different Types of Riders

The various types of insurance riders are amendments or attachments to the standard health plans, meant to provide additional coverage to policyholders. Some of the common riders include:

  • Indemnity rider: The commonest rider included in health insurance policies is the coverage for pre-existing conditions. With this rider, the policyholder can even enjoy coverage for the treatment of conditions that exist at the time of buying the policy. Without these riders, such pre-existing conditions are usually not covered under standard health plans.

  • Major surgery rider: Some policyholders have specific medical requirements because of health conditions that can cause complications that require expensive medical procedures. Such procedures may not be covered under standard coverage, which is why insurance companies offer several riders to extend coverage. This helps enhance the limits and reduces the deductibles for certain major surgeries, organ transplants, and other such procedures.

  • Indemnity rider: This rider provides additional benefits to the policyholder, in case of an accident that result in the loss of life or loss of a limb. This rider is provided to offer recuperation resources and long-term care in case the insured is unable to continue his or her employment due.

Cost of Riders

Insurance riders are obviously not available for free and can be rather expensive. Insurance companies try to spread the cost of coverage for such risks and the potential risk of such conditions across as wide a segment as is possible, but it becomes necessary to raise premiums for such impairment riders.

As a policyholder it is important that you analyze your risks, compare health insurance plans and also consult your health care provider before opting for a policy. Only choose riders that will benefit you, or you will end up spending more for cover that you do not really need.

About HDFC Health:

HDFC Health is an initiative by HDFC Life, a life insurance company in India to help increase awareness, spread knowledge and enshroud myths surrounding the health insurance sector in India. As a wholly owned subsidiary of HDFC Life, HDFC Health offers health insurance policies in India that cover individual, family floater, critical illness and cancer care insurance plans.

Further reading:

  1. Commonly Used Terms and Phrases in the Health Insurance Sector
  2. All You Need to Know About Cancer Insurance in India
  3. Lesser Known Facts about a Mediclaim Policy

Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

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