Health Insurance Add-Ons

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Health insurance add-ons are small additional covers that you, as a policyholder, can add to your basic health insurance plan without having to spend a fortune for decent coverage. Easily put, health insurance add-ons are an affordable way to get a better and greater level of comprehensiveness from your health insurance plan. Most prominently, the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the medical insurance add-on make them popular among so many health insurance policyholders. Since add-ons are added coverage on top of your health insurance plans, it goes without saying that they come with an added premium. This piece has attempted to cover all the essential add-ons and other related things you should know as a policyholder to clear the air. 

Why Should You Get Health Insurance Add-Ons?

  • Easy Customisation of Plans: Health insurance add-ons effectively help customise your health insurance plan. While most health insurance plans are comprehensive enough to satisfy the requirement of most policyholders, they are still designed keeping the needs of a particular group in mind. Therefore, to best align your plan with your specific needs, you can use health insurance add-ons to change and re-design your health insurance plans. 
  • Makes Comprehensive Plans More Affordable: Naturally, the assured sum offered by your health insurance plan may not always be enough to cover all your medical treatment expenses. In such cases, a top-up add-on for health insurance plans can come in handy. For example, it increases the assured sum limit of the plan and helps you save expenses of buying an entirely new plan just to cover a few extras.  Therefore, putting add-ons on medical coverage is a great way to ensure that you get the optimum coverage without spending extravagantly just for the additional coverage. 
  • Improves Coverage Scope of the Plan: Taking add-on covers in health insurance plans is an incredible way to improve the coverage's diversity by including a few health insurance add-ons with your insurance policy. From geographical coverage to assured sum, included benefits and sub-limits of each included benefits, there is a lot one can add to their basic health insurance plan without losing the flexibility element of the plan. 
  • Adds Flexibility: Since you can add and remove every time you renew your health insurance plan, you get complete flexibility for the coverage you decide to take. Moreover, you can either leave your add-ons for auto-renewal with the insurance plan or change, remove and/or add news as per your requirements. This added benefit comes in handy for most people because not all add-ons are required for a longer period of time. For example, maternity add-ons. You will probably need it for a maximum of one or two years if a long waiting period is attached to the plan. This is why the flexibility that add-on covers offer is crucial for all policyholders. 

Different Kinds of Health Insurance Add-Ons

As evident, there are various kinds of add-ons one can find in the insurance market of the UAE. Given below are some insights into all the different kinds of popular add-ons in health insurance:

Personal Accident Cover

Personal accident cover is an add-on that you can take with health insurance as well as car insurance plans. Having said that, a personal accident cover offers comprehensive cover for treatment taken for accidental injuries. In addition, personal accident add-on covers in health insurance also offer compensation for disabilities caused by accidents. As the crowning stroke, the death benefit is also offered to the dependents if the insured person happens to meet their demise in an accident. Over and above, personal accident covers come in handy if you are someone who drives a lot or travel expansively as a passenger. While health insurance plans cover the emergency treatment you may need after an accident, the additional benefits are not covered in the basic coverage span. 

Dental Treatment Cover

Many health insurance plans include dental cover as a part of the basic coverage of the plans. However, for plans that do not come with basic dental cover, policyholders can take dental health insurance add-on cover. Further, comprehensive dental add-ons in health insurance would cover everything from preventive care to teeth cleanings, root canals, fluoride treatments, dental exams fillings, extractions, crowns and implants. Apart from that, emergency treatment required for dental conditions is also generally covered. However, the coverage scope of a dental add-on covers health insurance mostly depends on the plan and the provider. 

Room Rent Waiver

The room rent waiver is a rather popular add-on that can be used to eliminate the limit imposed on the room rent benefit of your health insurance plan. Generally, almost all health insurance plans put a sub-limit on the room rent cover, whether in the form of the type of room covered or the maximum expenses covered. However, a Room rent waiver can remove this sub-limit and allow you to get complete coverage for all room rent expenses incurred during your stay. 

Critical Illness Cover

Health insurance add-on for critical illnesses allows the policyholder to get a lump sum compensation amount if they are diagnosed with a critical illness covered by the plan. Besides, the illnesses covered by the plan are pre-specified by the provider, and a list is given in your policy wordings. This lump sum amount can be used to cover the expenses of treatment you take for critical illnesses or to cover the loss of income faced due to the said illness. Moreover, critical illnesses are potentially lethal illnesses that still can be cured—for example, liver cirrhosis, kidney diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, etc. 

Hospital Cash Cover

The hospital cash add-on covers in health insurance plans offer cash allowance to cover the expenses incurred while the policyholder is hospitalised. However, this benefit only comes into play when the hospitalisation is longer than 24 hours- meaning that hospital cash benefits cannot be utilised for daycare procedures. The allowance is given as per the number of days the policyholder spends in the hospital may have a per-day limit. 

Maternity Cover

As the name suggests, the maternity add-on cover in the health insurance plan deals with the policyholder's pregnancy during the pre-natal and post-natal periods. This health insurance add-on generally covers benefits like doctor consultations, diagnostic tests, pre-natal ultrasounds, and specialist opinions. Additionally, normal deliveries, C-sections, and complication deliveries are also covered. Over and above, maternity covers in the UAE are also required to offer an infant cover for the newborn baby. However, the infant cover must be at least 30-day-long starting from the day of birth of the baby. 

Geographical Coverage Extension

The coverage area of a domestically or regionally applicable health insurance plan can be increased using geographical extension add-on covers in health insurance. In addition, different extensions may be available, including worldwide cover, worldwide cover excluding a few countries and gulf region extension cover. Therefore, policyholders can choose one as per their requirements at the time. 

Second Opinion Cover

Second opinions are generally not covered as a part of doctor consultation cover of basic health insurance plans. In addition, a second opinion add-on covers in health insurance can be taken to cover any additional advice apart from what you received from your primary physician; this add-on will also cover the cost of the consultation. However, keep in mind that the additional sub-limits may apply as per the maximum amount covered for each visit or the maximum number of visits covered. Another health insurance add-on called international second opinion gives you the same kind of benefit. But, the only difference is that it covers the medical opinion you take from a doctor abroad. 

Optical Treatment Cover

Much like dental add-on covers in health insurance, optical treatment add-on covers in health insurance covers the treatment cost of any optical procedures you get done. This will include most things from your prescription glasses to even more significant expenses like cataract surgeries. However, the extent of the benefit is primarily dependent on the provider and the plan. 

Health Insurance Top-Up Cover

Top-up health insurance add-ons are the best way to increase your assured sum limit without having to buy another full-fledged health insurance plan at full price. For example, a health insurance top-up cover functions as a separate cover that comes into play if you exhaust your primary coverage and a part of the expenses still remains. Moreover, it generally provides coverage for hospitalisation bills and other related expenses only in most cases. 

Restore Benefit Add-On 

Also known as the replenishing benefit, restoration add-on covers in health insurance are another way to increase the monetary coverage limits of your health insurance plan. However, the restoration cover functions a little different from the top-up add-ons in health insurance. For example, a restoration cover will restore your primary health insurance plan's assured sum to its original value. On the other hand, top-ups provide a pre-defined added coverage amount to the policyholders. 

Emergency Ambulance Expenses Cover

This health insurance add-on can be used to cover the charges incurred when using ambulance services in an emergency. As the name suggests, this add-on cover in health insurance does not cover any ambulance rides taken in non-urgent cases. Therefore, keep in mind that many health insurance plans may have this benefit as a basic one, so check well before you take an add-on for the same. 

Repatriation and Funeral Expenses Cover

Offered by several providers, repatriation and funeral expenses add-on covers in health insurance helps in handling the mortal remains of the policyholder. For example, if the policyholder happens to meet their demise while travelling, the repatriation benefit can bring their mortal remains back home. So, health insurance add-on for funeral expenses can be used to cover the expenses incurred in cremation or burial services of the policyholder, and the dependents or the nominees can access this benefit. 

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Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Health Insurance Add-Ons

Like anything else that you invest in, you always keep a few things in mind when you are planning to buy an add-on with your health insurance cover. Likewise, given below are things you should know and remember when buying and using add-ons:

  • Waiting Period: Some health insurance add-ons like dental, optical, or maternity covers come with a waiting period. This waiting period means that you will have to wait for that set duration of the waiting period before the coverage actually begins. Therefore, see if your insurance plans require you to go through a waiting period and buy your add-on cover accordingly. Finally, make sure that your waiting period ends before you need it, as in the case of maternity covers.
  • Additional Cost: Health insurance add-ons or any other kind of add-on for that matter are not free-of-cost and for genuine reasons. They, of course, come with an added cost. So, do not blindly take any and every add-on cover in health insurance that you come across. In fact, check which ones you actually require and take only those add-ons. For the last word,  customising the coverage is good but consider staying aware of the expenses that come with it. 
  • Coverage of the Plan: Thoroughly check if buying a certain add-on will benefit your current coverage. This is especially critical because some add-ons may be futile for your coverage or futile for you personally. For example, a geographical extension add-on cover in health insurance is of no use if you rarely ever travel. It makes no sense, right? Therefore, you should rather take a travel insurance plan in this case instead of add-ons covers in health insurance plans. In a word, how beneficial an add-on is for you and how it helps your coverage must always be checked properly. 
  • Exclusions: Just like basic health insurance covers, medical insurance add-on may also include exclusions. Therefore, be aware of everything that a particular add-on will not cover for you to avoid any hassle in the hour of need. For example, some dental add-ons in health insurance may not cover implants or crowns. So, read policy wordings properly and stay ideally informed. 
  • Timely Removals: Removing add-ons from your coverage is as important as it is to take them, even more so. Thus, keep evaluating your coverage from time to time and make sure you remove any add-on you do not need anymore. This timely removal practice will save you from spending additional money in vain. 
  • Availability: Not all medical insurance add-ons are available with all the providers. On top of that, some add-ons may be available with selected plans from a provider only and not others. For example, dental cover may be available as an add-on for comprehensive plans but not as an add-on for mediclaim policy, i.e. essential benefits plans. Thus, check the availability of the medical insurance add-on you may need in future before you choose your provider. If not, at least check the portability guidelines of the providers. 

In a Nutshell

Medical insurance add-ons are products of high importance when it comes to finding easy short-term fixes and covers. For good measure, they allow you a high level of flexibility in curating your health insurance coverage and ensure that customisation is as easy as it can be for all. However, certain cautions should always be exercised when dealing with add-ons. Therefore, make sure that you always double-check your needs before you set out to buy an add-on and remove it when you do not need it. At last, be aware of all the inclusions and exclusions of the medical insurance add-on you pick. Most importantly, always buy from your provider or a trusted partner like policybazaar.ae, as making utterly informed decisions is the way to go here.

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