Critical Illness Health Insurance

Critical illnesses are illnesses which might prove fatal and require intensive treatments. Such treatments are quite expensive and pose a burden on every common man’s finances. Critical illness health plans, therefore, prove quite useful. These plans help in meeting the high costs associated with critical illnesses. As such, the plans provide financial security. Let’s understand the concept and working of a critical illness health insurance plan.

What are critical illness health plans?

Critical illness health plans are fixed benefit health insurance plans which cover a specified list of critical illnesses. Some common illnesses covered include cancer, stroke, heart attack, major organ transplants, liver failure, lung failure, multiple sclerosis, etc. If the policyholder is diagnosed with any of the covered critical illnesses during the term of the plan, the sum insured is paid in lump sum irrespective of the actual medical costs incurred.

What is not covered under critical illness plans?

There are some exclusions which are commonly found in almost all critical illness insurance plans. These exclusions are as follows:

  • Illnesses or treatments occurring within 60 to 90 days of buying the policy
  • Pre-existing illnesses during the waiting period
  • Congenital defects, ailments or diseases
  • Diseases occurring due to alcohol or drug abuse
  • HIV/AIDS infections
  • Illnesses due to war or war like situations
  • Maternity related illnesses
  • Death due to critical illness during the survival period

Why are critical illness insurance plans necessary?

  • Rising illnesses

    Illnesses like cancer, heart related ailments, etc. are on the rise. Nowadays, many individuals are getting afflicted with common critical illnesses and are requiring intensive treatments. A critical illness plan, therefore, proves to be relevant.

  • Expensive treatments

    Treatments required for critical illnesses are very expensive. Individuals, thus, need a specially designed plan which pays for such expensive treatments where a normal health insurance might prove to be insufficient.

  • Flexible usage of benefits

    Then best part about critical illness plans is that the benefit received can be used in any way. A lump sum amount of money is paid which you can use for availing advanced treatments or for any other financial liabilities which you have.

  • Tax benefits

    The premiums which are paid for a critical illness plan are allowed as a tax deduction under Section 80D. Thus, you can avail tax benefits too from a critical illness policy.

  • Supplementing health insurance

    Critical illness plans can be used to supplement an existing health insurance plan in the event of facing any critical illness.

How to buy critical illness insurance plans

Given the important of critical illness plans, many health insurers offer a critical illness policy. However, when buying critical illness plans, you should be careful. A plan must be bought only after comparing it with other available plans. To compare, the following parameters should be used:

  • The illnesses covered

    Look at the number of illnesses covered by the different plans. The higher the number of illnesses covered, the wider the scope and the better the plan.

  • The sum insured levels allowed

    Critical illness plans allow coverage up to specified levels. Look for these levels. Match your coverage requirement with the allowed coverage levels and choose a plan which offers the coverage amount you require.

  • Premium rates

    The last parameter should be the premium rate of the plan. Critical illness plans have low premium rates. When comparing, compare the premium vis-à-vis the coverage offered.

Best critical illness insurance plans in India

Here are top 8 critical illness plans available in India:

Plan Salient features
Apollo Munich Optima Vital
  • 37 critical illnesses are covered
  • Sum insured allowed up to Rs.50 lakhs/li>
  • E-opinion is available on diagnosis of critical illness
  • Value added services of healthline and health risk assessment
Religare Assure
  • 20 illnesses covered
  • Sum insured up to Rs.1 crore
  • No survival period
  • Inbuilt coverage for personal accident too
  • Free health check-ups and medical second opinion
Star Criticare Plus Insurance Policy
  • Coverage against 9 major illnesses
  • No survival period
  • Non-allopathic treatments are also covered
  • Coverage for hospitalisation expenses even after paying the claim
Cigna TTK Lifestyle Protection – Critical Care Insurance Plan
  • Coverage of up to 30 illnesses under the enhanced plan variant
  • Sum insured up to Rs.3 crores
  • Claim can be received in one lump sum or in staggered payments
  • Online wellness programs developed for policyholders
  • Free medical second opinion in a critical illness
Bajaj Allianz Critical Illness Plan
  • 10 major illnesses are covered
  • Sum insured up to Rs.50 lakhs
  • Claim settlement through specially developed app
HDFC Ergo Critical Illness Policy
  • Comes in two variants covering up to 16 illnesses
  • Sum insured up to Rs.10 lakhs
Reliance Critical Illness Policy
  • Coverage of 10 major illnesses
  • Sum insured up to Rs.10 lakhs
  • Easy claim settlement
Future Criticare Plan
  • Coverage of 12 illnesses
  • Sum insured up to Rs.50 lakhs
  • Floater coverage is available

Why choose Turtlemint for critical illness insurance

A critical illness plan should be bought only after comparison. Turtlemint allows this comparison in a simple manner. You can fill in your requirements and get a list of all available critical illness plans offered by all leading insurance companies. You can then compare the available plans and choose a plan which is the best critical illness insurance plan as per your requirements. You can also get assistance for any queries which you have and claims which occur in your critical illness policy. Thus, Turtlemint gives you a complete package of buying critical illness plans.


Yes, premiums paid for critical illness plans are allowed as a deduction under Section 80D. The limit is Rs.25, 000 which increases to Rs.50, 000 for senior citizens.

Yes, critical illness plans pay the claim irrespective of other health insurance claims which you might have received.

The claim received under a critical illness plan can be used for any financial purpose whether it is medical or personal in nature.

Survival period is that period which the insured should survive after being diagnosed with a critical illness to be eligible for getting a claim under the critical illness plan.

The duration of the survival period depends on the critical illness plan. It, usually, ranges from 30 days to 90 days.

If the insured does not survive the survival period, no claim is paid under the critical illness plan.