A Critical illness cover is generally available as a top-up or rider with your health insurance policy. As the name suggests, these plans cover you for certain specific critical illnesses that are pre-defined as being covered under the plan.
Under these plans, the insured is paid the Sum Assured as a lump sum amount within a few days of a critical illnesses being diagnosed.
Once this lump sum is paid, the plan ceases to exist. The differences between a Health Insurance policy and a Critical Illness plan are:
• Health Insurance plans cover costs related to hospitalisation on account of any medical condition or injury while Critical Illness plans cover only pre-specified illnesses
• Health Insurance plans continue their coverage till the time the Sum Assured is not exhausted by claims during a year. Critical Illness plans, on the other hand, pay up the Sum Assured and cease to exist as soon as a critical illness is diagnosed
The list of the critical illnesses covered varies from insurer to insurer and one should carefully review the coverage parameters before purchasing a policy.