Top Up Policy

Secure Everything

Top-up plans work on a cost-sharing basis where medical expenses up to the deductible limit have to be borne by the policyholder. The insurance company takes charge of medical cost only if the expenses cross the deductible limit. The top-up plan will pay for expenses incurred above that limit. Top-up plans can offer sum insured ranging between R50,000 and R15 lakh, with their deductible falling between R30,000 and R5 lakh respectively (a value derived after considering all policies available in India). This sum insured will offer protection in addition to the deductible amount which is being borne by another policy or any other source. A top-up policy — with R10 lakh cover and R5 lakh as deductible limit — can be bought at an annual premium of as low as R2,900. On the other hand, a regular health insurance cover for the same amount (R10 lakh) will cost anywhere between R7,450 and 11,650. Top-up plans save more than 50 per cent on premium.

How to Choose a Top Up Plan?

Higher the deductible, lower would be the corresponding premiums. However, you cannot choose a random figure as deductible limit. This amount should not be more than what you (or your basic health policy) can comfortably pay in case of an emergency.

A simple top-up plan has a drawback too. If the policyholder is hospitalized twice in a policy year, with bills of R2 lakh for the first time and R2.5 lakh second time, the top-up policy will not get triggered. It would pay only if the bill is higher than the deductible limit in a single hospitalization. Apollo Munich Optima Plus, Bajaj Allianz Extra Care, ICICI Lombard Healthcare Plus, Chola MS Top Up Healthline and Bharti AXA Smart Health High Deductible and United India Top Up Medicare are some of the top-up plans where deductible limit refreshes for each hospitalisation.

Super top-up plans are more useful, because it is possible that a single hospitalisation does not inflate bills, but expenses rise anyway because of increased hospital visits. These plans are more expensive as compared to top-up plans, for eg. United India’s Super Top Up Medicare plan costs R3,700 annually for R10 lakh sum insured with R5 lakh deductible for an individual upto 45 years of age. Whereas United India’s Top Up policy is priced at Rs 2,900 for same sum insured, deductible and age.

Though the premiums for super top-up policies are higher than top-up policies, the benefit of adding annual expenses (while calculating deductible) outweighs the costs.

Top-up plans intend to act as supplementary policies providing dual benefits of low cost and higher sum insured. These are a boon for those about to enter the senior citizen category, when the probability of falling ill is high and medical expenses are bound to increase. Those who are covered under employer’s health insurance policy can also buy a top-up plan for higher protection. A top-up policy is suitable for anyone looking to buy a higher health cover.