Why are Cardiac Health Insurance Plans Essential?

Poor lifestyle, bad eating habits and stress is making people prone to heart diseases at an early age. Many celebrities like cricketer Shane Warne, TV star Siddharth Shukla, South’s superstar Puneet Rajkumar, actor Rajiv Kapoor, etc. have died due to heart attacks. The list is quite extensive. Moreover, many of these celebrities were quite young.

In reality, the biggest fear in a heart attack is that it all happens very fast and we do not get the chance to get medical help. Sometimes, life ends in a few minutes. Many a times, heart problems starts from earlier but we are not aware of its symptoms or just brush it away as fatigue. Remember, this disease has nothing to do with age at all.  

                                                                                                                                    Subas Tiwari

 Heart attack is caused by a low supply of oxygen to the heart. Heart attack happens when the blood in the veins of our body does not flow smoothly. This results in clotting of blood. This clotting cuts blood flow to the heart.

Causes of Heart Attack at a Young Age

According to the American Heart Association, poor lifestyle and bad eating habits are making people prone to heart diseases at an early age. Smoking has emerged as the leading cause of heart disease and heart attack among young people. Some of the other major causes are

  • Consumption of drugs: One of the biggest cause of heart diseases is the use of drugs. Blood pressure increases due to drinking too much alcohol or consuming drugs. The direct effect of increasing BP falls on the blood arteries, due to which the heart starts pumping, which increases the risk of heart attack.
  • Consumption of spicy and oily food:Too much consumption of spicy and oily food is also bad for our heart. Fried and spicy things increase the amount of calories in our body and spoil our heart health.
  • Stress:Stress is a major cause of heart problem. If you want to keep the heart healthy, then keep your mind cool and stay away from stress.
  • Obesity:Increasing obesity also causes heart attack. Excess fat in the body starts to accumulate on the sides of the veins, which results in the narrowing of the veins. This results in a risk of clotting which ultimately results in a heart attack.
  • Metabolic syndrome:Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. This include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

 Health Insurance for Heart Patients

As per Indian Heart Association, more than 50% of all heart attacks are reported in individuals below the age group of 50 years. While 25% of heart attacks are seen in people below the age group of 40 years, which makes the need for cardiac health insurance plans even crucial. It helps the policyholder keeping up with the rising medical costs that can otherwise wipe most of their savings.

Cardiac health insurance plans cover acute heart diseases such as refractory heart failure, myocardial infarction or heart attack, cardiomyopathy, etc. Besides, to handle these medical emergencies without any financial stress, it is essential to buy health insurance for heart patients.  

 Importance of Health Insurance for Heart Patients

The rising number of cardiovascular ailments like heart attacks, strokes, high levels of cholesterol along with the increasing cost of treatment put an emphasis on the importance of health insurance for heart patients in India. It is a specific health insurance for cardiac patients and is beneficial for people with pre-existing heart ailments.

The main objective of these health insurance plans is to reduce the financial burden and help the insured avail the best heart-related treatments like CABG or Coronary by-pass surgery, stent, etc.

Features of Cardiac Health Insurance Plans

A range of the key features and benefits of cardiac insurance policies are given below:

  • Hospitalization Cover-The policy offers compensation for cardiac treatment cost and other related expenses including hospitalization expenses.
  • Financial Cover-The policy offers peace of mind in case there is a heart-related problem like a heart attack, then the insured can file a claim under cardiac insurance without worrying about the finances.
  • Lump Sum Payment of the sum insured-In case the insured is diagnosed with any cardiovascular illness, then the insurer pays the coverage amount in a lump sum.
  • Loss of Income Cover-Under cardiac care health insurance plan, the insurer also compensates for the loss of your income as the policy claim amount can be utilized to meet other miscellaneous expenses too.
  • Overseas Treatment-Depending on the policy coverage, a heart insurance policy may also cover treatment taken overseas.
  • Tax Benefit on the Premium-Under the Income Tax Act 1961, you are eligible to avail of tax benefits up to Rs 25,000 on the health insurance premium paid for cardiac health plans.

Nonetheless, these benefits of heart health insurance plans are subjected to certain terms and conditions.

Coverage under Cardiac Health Insurance Plans

One of the major benefits of cardiac care health insurance plans is that the policyholder receives a lump sum amount from the insurer. Listed below are a few coverage benefits that you can avail under a heart insurance policy for heart patients:

  • Coverage for in-hospitalization Expenses-These are the expenses that are incurred in the hospital like ICU charges, etc. These are also reimbursed by the insurance provider, depending on the hospital where the treatment is being done.
  • Pre and post-hospitalization Expenses-As a normal health insurance plan covers in-patient hospitalization expenses, these expenses are covered under heart insurance plans too.
  • Domiciliary Hospitalization/ OPD Treatment- Some cardiac health plans also cover expenses incurred on homecare treatment, if it is suggested by the doctor just like other health insurance plans.
  • Myocardial Infarction (First Heart Attack) Cover-Most of the heart insurance plans cover the first heart attack treatment that arises if a heart muscle dies due to inadequacy of the blood supply to the heart. The diagnosis of myocardial infarction may be supported by clinical symptoms like chest pain, electrocardiogram, or other biochemical markers.
  • Refractory Heart Failure-The diagnosis should be done by a cardiologist, or the report should reveal elevated biomarkers, or as indicated in the policy wordings.
  • Annual Cardiac Health Check-ups/Wellness Program-Health insurance for heart patients also provide annual health check-up benefits to help the insured make the right diagnosis.
  • Alternative Treatments-Health insurance for heart patients also covers expenses incurred on alternative medical treatments such as AYUSH which includes Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy.

Treatments or Medical Procedures Covered

Cardiac health insurance plans largely cover the following treatments:

  • First Heart Attack – of Specified Severity
  • Pericardiectomy
  • Balloon Valvotomy or Valvuloplasty
  • Open Chest Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
  • Surgery to place Ventricular Assist Devices
  • Surgery for Cardiac Arrhythmia
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery of Aorta
  • Open Heart Replacement or Repair of Heart Valves
  • Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
  • Angioplasty
  • Heart Transplant
  • Insertion of Pacemaker

Exclusion under Cardiac Health Insurance Plans

Health insurance plans for heart patients do not cover the following expenses:

  • Expenses attributable to self-inflicted injury and suicidal attempts
  • Treatment related to pregnancy and childbirth, abortion, miscarriage,  and other complications
  • Internal congenital diseases are not covered
  • Hospitalization required due to any illness resulting from to drug or alcohol consumption
  • Infertility and IVF treatments and tests are not covered
  • War, riot, strike, nuclear weapons induced hospitalization is not covered

Who should Buy Cardiac Health Insurance Plans?

Cardiac ailments are on a rise and can affect anyone in any age group. The lengthy course of treatment can impact anyone’s finances. Therefore, cardiac health insurance plans are suitable for people who are prone to lifestyle diseases including cardiovascular ailments such as heart attacks, heart failure, etc. where people need to undergo some heart procedure. People with existing heart conditions or those with a family history of cardiovascular illnesses are also advised to consider buying a cardiac health insurance policy.

Nowadays, the treatment for heart-related ailments can cost a fortune, and with adequate health insurance cover, even heart patients can avail the best treatment and lead a healthy life without worrying about the cost of the treatment.

Cardiac Care Insurance Plans in India

  1. Care Heart Insurance

This plan is a great option for senior citizens as there is no maximum entry age. However, it has a deductible that varies depending on the plan variant.

  • Comprehensive hospitalization coverage with deductible option
  • Coverage for family on individual or floater basis
  • Automatic recharge
  • Recommended for individuals who have already undergone cardiac procedure in past
  • Sum Insured Rs. 3 lakh- 10 lakh
  • Age Criteria- 18 years & above
  1. Star Cardiac Care Insurance

People who have already undergone some heart procedure in the last 7 years can opt for this plan. It also provides care for personal accidents and other non-cardiac ailments.

  • No pre-acceptance medical screening
  • Lifelong renewability
  • Available in 2 options SILVER and GOLD
  • 10% Deductible applicable ONLY for accident and non-cardiac ailments for patients aged 61 years or above.
  • Sum Insured Rs.3 lakh-7lakh
  • Age Criteria – 10 – 65 years
  1. ICICI Pru Heart/Cancer Protect Insurance

This plan offers coverage for heart and/or cancer. It offers a waiver of premium for defined minor heart and cancer conditions.

  • Separate sum assured for heart and cancer care
  • Optional hospitalization cash benefit of Rs. 5,000 per day
  • Optional Income benefit cover of 1% of sum assured
  • Survival period of 7 days for heart cover. None for Cancer cover.
  1. Future Generali Heart and Health Insurance

A bundled health and life insurance, this plan has an inbuilt death benefit without any waiting period. It also doubles up as a life insurance.

  • Premium waiver for 5 years upon diagnosis of defined minor and moderate conditions
  • Optional return of premium
  • Multiple claim benefit
  • Optional maturity benefit.
  • Sum Insured Rs.5 lakh- 50 lakh
  • Age Criteria-  18 – 65 years
  1. IFFCO Tokio Critical Illness Benefit Plan

The policy comes with a lifelong renewal process. One policy can cover all family members and has a maximum allowance of Rs. 1000 per day. Maximum sum insured can be of Rs. 1 crore and anyone of 50 years or below can purchase the policy without any medical tests.

  • Covers major organ transplant surgeries
  • Covers 25 critical illness and surgeries including heart attack
  • Covers open heart replacement, surgery of Aorta and CABG
  • Sum Insured up to Rs. 1 crore
  • Age Criteria- Up to 60 years
  1. New India Floater Mediclaim

The policy proposer can be anyone between the years 18 – 65. Children from 3 months of age and going up to 25 years can be covered provided they are dependent upon the proposer.

  • Covers critical diseases including heart attack
  • Coverage of minimum 2 people and maximum 6 people
  • Any new born baby to a mother who has been under continuous coverage for 2 years will be covered without any extra premium for all illness and injury till the expiry of the policy
  • Room rent and nursing expenses up to 1% of the insured sum per day and ICU charges up to 2% of the insured sum are covered
  1. Max Bupa Criticare

It is one of the best critical illness plans. The policy comes with the following features:

  • Customizable coverage of up to Rs. 2 crore
  • Pay out for child care benefits
  1. HDFC ERGO Optima Vital

This is a critical illness insurance covering first heart attack. It comes with the following

  • Critical care covering 37 critical illnesses including heart attack
  • No cover ceasing age
  • Lifelong renewal facility
  1. Oriental Insurance Individual Mediclaim

The policy is available to anyone between 18 – 70 years of age and offers the following features:

  • Lifelong renewals with maximum sum insured upto Rs 10 lakh
  • Coverage of hospitalisation due to accident, sudden illness and surgery during the insured period
  • No medical tests for people up to 55 years of age
  1. Bajaj Allianz Critical Illness Insurance

Bajaj Allianz Critical Illness Plan is a speedy resolution for all serious medical ailments. The policy provides the following financial aid.

  • Covers a total of 10 critical illnesses including heart attack
  • Coverage of expenses incurred in both India and abroad
  • During the renewal of the policy, the sum insured can be increased
  • Sum Insured Rs.1 lakh- 50 lakh
  • Age Criteria – 91 days- 80 years

Things to Keep in Mind While Getting Health Insurance

  • Before you get insurance, check your budget. Try to choose a better policy in the least budget, so that your family along with you is covered in it. For this, you can compare the policies of top companies by going on the internet. You can also take advice of an expert in this regard.
  • First of all, check the Claim Rejection Ratio (CRR) by visiting the website of the best insurance companies. CRR means the number of claims the company has rejected in the last few years. Avoid taking insurance of a company whose CRR is high.
  • If you choose a policy with better information, then it will be beneficial for you. There are many such policies available in the market, in which you and your family are covered in a lump sum premium. Apart from this, financial assistance is provided by the company to the family in case of any untoward incident.
  • While taking an insurance policy, read all the terms and conditions thoroughly. If you have any question, then discuss it with the concerned employee. However, now you can port your health insurance policy to another company if you are dissatisfied with the services of your company.
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