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Why Should You Consider Buying Top-Up Health Insurance Plans?

With a wide range of health insurance companies offering an insurance cover for your health, it requires research for you to choose the one that is most suitable

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Health Insurance (Representational Image), Pixabay

March 10, 2017: Rising costs of medical care and increasing instances of illnesses have made the need of health insurance clear across the country. To ensure that your medical costs are taken care of, a health insurance cover is essential. From young adults to senior citizens, everybody should have a health insurance plan.

With a wide range of health insurance companies offering an insurance cover for your health, it requires research for you to choose the one that is most suitable. A health insurance plan provides a cover for medical expenses arising out of hospitalisation and certain other medical expenses. The premium for the same depends on various factors that include age, previous medical history, profession, gender and whether you are a new policyholder. A good health insurance plan provides you with the best treatment for your disease and will also ensure that the expenses are covered.

There are two variants in a health insurance policy:

  1. Regular Mediclaim Policy: A plan that reimburses hospital bills up to the sum insured chosen.
  2. A Top-Up Health Plan: You can either pick a top-up health plan or choose a regular plan with the option of top-ups.

Top-Up Plans

A top up health insurance coverage is like a regular mediclaim policy, albeit with high deductibles rendering the policy much cheaper than regular plans. This can be purchased as a separate policy. The aim behind the top up plan is to provide an extra cover at a reasonable price. You can get an additional health cover without having to pay a large sum. It is very important to check the deductible criteria for a single illness.

Some private insurers like Apollo Munich offer the option to even convert your top-up plan into a regular plan at certain life stages, like retirement. This is a useful feature considering the Healthcare inflation of 20% per annum in India.

Source: www.relakhs.com

A top-up plan offers health insurance coverage for the insured over and above the regular health insurance policy he/she already has. It is a cover which will reimburse the expenses once you have exhausted your limit for the policy. A top-up health insurance coverage is ideal when you want to expand your plan and not pay a huge amount. Small illness or diseases will exhaust the amount of your regular policy while a top up will help you cover additional expenses which exceed the limit.A top-up health plan will play its role for the same instance of illness or hospitalization when you have exhausted your specified limit in the basic plan. This means that if you have an insurance of Rs. 2 lac, and your cost of treatment is exceeding that, the top-up plan will come into action once your primary health cover is exhausted.

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No Medical Check-up Required

Another benefit of a top up health plan is that most insurance companies do not require a medical check-up up to the age of 55 years.

Covers All Types of Hospitalisation Costs

When you take a normal health insurance policy, there will also be a choice of rider for you. A rider, such as a critical illness rider, will provide a cover for a few serious illnesses which have been previously specified. In contrast, a top up will cover hospitalisation costs arising out of all treatments covered by the basic policy.

When Top-up is Not Used

The characteristic of a top-up plan is to provide a cover for one single hospitalization incident. This means during a single hospitalization incident, if your bill exceeds the deductible amount, only then the top-up plan will be used. Now, if an individual has a top up plan and is hospitalized twice in a year, but does not exceed the deductible amount in a single instance, then the top up plan will not be applicable. You should also be clear on what the policy deems as a single illness, etc.

A top-up plan is an ideal and easy way to expand your insurance cover without having to spend a huge sum of money. It being an independent policy, you do not need to purchase a regular policy to activate the top-up plan. It will help you cover additional expenses and provide for the rising costs of medication. Depending on your age, medical condition, and requirement of the plan, you can choose the appropriate top-up plan.

 

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Kim Jong Un’s Doctor For The Right Price, North Korea Hospitals Work For Money

“The hospitals are for privileged people, but since state support is so small, they would be difficult to run properly without extra money from ordinary patients,”

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In this Feb. 20, 2013 photo, a doctor speaks on a phone at the reception area of a newly-built breast cancer research facility at Pyongyang Maternity Hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder). RFA

A medical facility specifically catering North Korea’s privileged elites has been forced to open its doors to common citizens in exchange for bribes, in an effort to stem financial difficulties, sources say.

Pyongyang’s Bonghwa Medical Center offers top-notch medical care, but has officially only been available to Kim Jong Un and Workers’ Party officials of the highest ranks.

Now strapped for cash, the hospital will admit anyone who greases the palms of the right people. While health care is officially free for all citizens, hospitals for elites, like Bongwha are a step above what citizens typically have access to.

“My nephew is a doctor and he has been suffering from stomach problems for more than 10 years. He was [recently] treated at Bonghwa Medical Center and has been healed completely,” said a source from North Pyongan province in an interview with RFA’s Korean Service.

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In 2010, the World Health Organization controversially described North Korea’s universal health care system as “the envy of the developing world,” contradicting a report from Amnesty International that same year that said the country’s hospitals were barely functioning and unable to deal with epidemics and rampant malnutrition. Pixabay

“It cost him a lot of money to get treated [there], but now I have come to realize that money can do anything,” said the source.

The source said Bonghwa is known as “the best hospital in the Republic,” and that it is reserved for politically important people, expressing disgust that it could now be bought into.

“It is surprising that ordinary people can [get] medical treatment [there] if they bribe them. I feel bitter because there’s nothing money can’t do in this society,” said the source.

The source noted that bribery is not unique to Bonghwa — other well-regarded hospitals are doing the same.

“Well-known hospitals in Pyongyang, including Kim Man-yu Hospital, Namsan Hospital, and the Red Cross Hospital are treating a number of ordinary patients from other regions. They are getting medical treatment because they have bribed high-rank officials,” said the source.

The source said that patients of Bonghwa and the other hospitals have access to medicines that aren’t available to the general public, but these too come with a hefty price tag for the patients who have bribed their way in.

“Since they are not high-ranking officials, ordinary patients have to pay a lot for these prescription drugs. It’s like the hospitals are earning foreign cash off patients,” the source said.

Even if a patient has the means to get into the good hospitals, the level of care can still differ depending on how much was paid in bribe.

“If you give a large amount, they will even treat you better than a high-ranking official from the Central Committee [of the Workers’ Party.]”

A North Korean defector surnamed Lee who settled in South Korea confirmed the North Korean medical industry’s state of affairs.

“In the past, hospitals that have been designated only for high-ranking officials in Pyongyang have ignored their mandate and provided care to ordinary patients,” said Lee, adding, “Without taking bribes from these people, it would be difficult for hospitals to stay open, and for doctors to make an actual living.”

“That’s just how things are in the North Korean medical industry,” said Lee.

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“It cost him a lot of money to get treated [there], but now I have come to realize that money can do anything,” said the source. Pixabay
“Medical equipment and hospital supplies provided by the outside world, supposedly as humanitarian aid, all go to these elite hospitals,” said Lee.

“The hospitals are for privileged people, but since state support is so small, they would be difficult to run properly without extra money from ordinary patients,” Lee said.

Also Read: Milestone in The Diplomatic War on Terror, As Beijing Agrees To Declare JeM Chief Masood Azhar Terrorist

In 2010, the World Health Organization controversially described North Korea’s universal health care system as “the envy of the developing world,” contradicting a report from Amnesty International that same year that said the country’s hospitals were barely functioning and unable to deal with epidemics and rampant malnutrition.

In February, The New Humanitarian published a report describing North Korea’s “silent health crisis,” which acknowledged a recent improvement in public health within the country, but described its health system as inadequate. The Geneva-based news outlet founded by the United Nations said that a formal peace agreement with the United States and South Korea would not in and of itself improve North Korea’s health care situation. (IANS)