Health insurance riders are added benefits that you can purchase along with the base health insurance plan. It is like a topping on a pizza. You need to pay extra amount for an additional cheese on top! Thus riders are like add-ons which come with extra coverage and features but are charged over and above the regular premium.
The riders make your policy more flexible and you can use the benefits to your advantage. If you opt for riders, you become entitled to get additional sums assured, which you can use in any way you wish at the time of an emergency.
The popular health insurance riders include the critical illness rider, the hospital cash rider and the room rent waiver rider. Each rider has its own set of benefits and so you must look at the features very carefully before selecting a rider.
Benefits of health insurance riders
Like mentioned above, health insurance riders help you in customising your policy. Let us understand this with an example. Anil bought a regular health insurance plan and a critical illness rider as he had a family history of heart ailments. He himself was a patient of hypertension. Sadly, at the age of 46, Anil suffered a cardiac arrest and needed urgent hospitalisation.
Thankfully for him, the extra sum assured from the critical illness rider took care of his hospital bills and he went home healthy and happy. The sum assured from the base plan would not have sufficiently covered Anil’s health costs and so the rider proved to be very beneficial.
So, for Anil’s family is the cost of the Critical Illness Rider an additional cost? Of course not! Because they have got the benefit for the same by paying a very small amount for the rider. However, if Anil had to opt for a stand alone Critical Illness Plan all on his own, his premium would be much more than the additional premium he opted for the rider for the same coverage.
Who needs a health insurance rider?
Everyone needs coverage. So, technically speaking, everyone can benefit from these riders just by paying a small amount of extra premium. However, to maximise your health insurance plan, you first have to understand the features of the riders available to you. This is important because you need a rider that would serve you.
For example, a maternity expenses rider would be of no use to a 50 year old person and a critical illness rider wouldn’t be crucial for a healthy 25-year old. So you have to assess your own needs and then look at the riders from that angle to understand if you need to opt for the riders.
Are the riders worth buying?
This is a very valid question as many people wonder if taking a rider would cost them a huge sum of money. A rider comes at an added cost and that in turn pushes up the cost of your health insurance premiums. As a result, you have to be very careful and see if you can afford the rider.
If the plan, along with the rider, becomes too expensive then you may end up defaulting on your premiums. This will lead to closure of your policy and you will not only lose the added benefit, but the entire health cover! So opt for the health insurance riders only if you feel you can afford to have them.
However, riders come with additional benefits at a nominal cost. Thus, on the flipside it may be worth it.
Now the worry is, how do you know which rider is worth and which is not?
The extra premium may not really pinch if the benefit of the rider is well identified. Some of the most common riders of a health insurance plan are:
- Maternity Coverage and New Born Coverage for a young couple, even though it may sound like a burden to an older couple
- Critical illness Coverage for a family who has closely seen the emotional and financial stress of a critical illness patient or has heard about it
- Personal Accident Coverage for a person who does a lot of travelling especially road travel for work or pleasure
- Room rent waiver for a family who wishes to opt for a higher room rent and doesn’t want a limit on the coverage
- Alternate Therapies coverage if you believe alternate treatment to the regular antibiotics
Speak to your financial confidante or look through our website for more information on the specific riders available from the various insurance providers and then make your choice. If you feel that your base health plan is sufficient and you do not need any extra coverage, then you would do well without the riders. If however you feel the base cover isn’t going to support you during an emergency and you find a suitable rider, then definitely opt for it. All you need to do it to click on I’m interested tab and then choose Apply Online to buy the policy online at the click of a button.
Just remember, the best time to opt for a coverage is when you don’t need it because you never know whether you will be given the coverage when you really need it! Prevention is surely better than cure.
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