During an exam when you are writing your paper in a hurry and suddenly your pen stops working, the first instinct is going to be to shake it and see if it works now, but if it still does not work, then you would be in trouble and having a spare refill would be a blessing in disguise. This is exactly how top up insurance plans work. The usual policies are like the pen you were initially writing your exam with and the refill is the top-up plan. But it is not always a boon; it is also a bane sometimes.
Top-up policies increase the coverage of the usual policy and are cheap with higher thresholds. If a person has a policy of 5 lakh and wants to increase it by another 5 lakh then he can either choose to increase the amount of his present policy or opt for another policy with the same amount. Both of which will be expensive options, instead he or she could choose a top up policy which would give the same coverage and be a cheaper option. It will cover the bill amount over the usual policy and pay above the threshold. This is how the top-up policy helps in increasing the health insurance coverage and is a perfect back-up plan.
Types of top up plans
There are two types of top-up plans, one where the deductible limit is calculated on each hospitalization. For example, if the deductible amount is set to be four lakh and the bill on the first visit is 6 lakh then the person will have to pay four lakh and the top-up policy will cover the remaining two lakh. A top-up policy does not cover up to the threshold limit.
The second type is called the ‘super top-up policy’ where threshold applies to the total of cost of hospital bills. For instance, the deductible is four lakh and the bill on the first visit is 3 lakh and the second is three lakh then the top-up policy will be triggered in the second visit as it exceeds the deductible. That is two lakh will be paid by the policy in the second visit.
A few health insurance policies include Bajaj Allianz Extra Care, ICICI Lombard Health care plus, United India Top-up Medicare etc. And a few health insurance companies include LIC, ICICI, Aditya birla etc.
Top-up policy is the best way to increase insurance coverage; it is flexible enough to suit our needs and is light on our pockets. The deductibles cab be covered by the usual policy and the excess bills are taken care off without having to slow down the pace of life or reduce their standard of living. Going back to my example of a refill, with a refill, one would not delay in his writing or end up with lower marks than what one deserves. This is exactly how top-up policies work. Just make sure the deductibles you choose should not be more than what you can comfortably cover. Have a happy and healthy life.