Topic 2:
What is the Survival Period in Health Insurance?

The survival period is an important aspect of Critical Illness Health Insurance. To know more in detail read the entire article.

On the diagnosis of a critical illness, the insurer mostly pays a lump sum amount, provided the insured individual survives a certain pre-specified period.

Health insurance is an excellent method to keep yourself safe from any unexpected or unnatural medical emergency that can make you dig into your savings. To save yourself from the unexpected financial burden of treatment for critical illness, medical and surgical or operational expenses, health insurance is essential.

Critical illness covers are available under health insurance plans that pay out a lump sum to the insured on getting diagnosed with a critical illness listed in the policy. Being a health insurance policy, the cost of treatment would be covered, however, if the individual passes away due to the illness, a death benefit is not available.

What is the Survival Period?
The lump-sum amount that you receive can greatly help deal with the exorbitant expenses involved in treating such illnesses. However, there are certain terms and conditions that you need to keep in mind in order to receive the benefit. One such condition is the Survival Period. When the insured individual is diagnosed with a listed critical illness, the health insurance company pays a pre-defined sum provided the individual survives for a certain period.

Let us understand this with an example. Ravi Kumar purchased a health insurance policy that covers critical illness sum assured of INR 5 lakhs as well. There is a survival period of 30 days in the policy. Two months later, it is diagnosed that Ravi is suffering from lung cancer. Suppose, Ravi was diagnosed on 11 January 2022, he will receive the lump sum amount only if he survives beyond 10 February 2022. In cases he dies before that, no benefit will be paid.

Survival Period in Health Insurance is only applicable for critical diseases that are covered under a health policy. This is mostly found in critical illness covers under health insurance that furnishes life-threatening diseases such as cancer, kidney failure, and many more.

So basically, if you survive the minimum period after the diagnosis of a critical illness, the insurer pays for the treatment/ lump sum amount as mentioned in the policy. The minimum survival period varies from policy to policy, however, it is usually between 14 to 30 days. This period is set in place to ensure that only diagnoses don’t make a policyholder eligible for a payout because that would make it difficult for the company to have so much liability. Once you survive for a certain period after diagnosis, the critical illness insurance will pay out the amount that the cover entails.

What is the importance of the Survival Period?
The survival period in health insurance is extremely important. The shorter the survival period in health insurance will be, the faster you will be able to access the benefits. Therefore, be sure to read all the terms and conditions and try to understand the clause of the survival period before making a purchase.

Don’t Confuse Survival Period With Waiting Period
When you buy health insurance you also need to understand the difference between the waiting period and survival period. Though both may sound similar they are very different from each other. Survival period is found only in critical illness insurance covers and refer to the minimum amount of time a person should survive after getting diagnosed with a critical illness to avail the benefits. On the other hand, a waiting period is found in all health insurance policies and refers to the minimum time a person has to wait in order to be eligible for the policy benefits. The waiting period starts from the day of purchasing the policy. The waiting period tenure is often longer than the survival period and ranges from 30 days to 48 months depending on the illness.

Always take note of the survival period in a health insurance cover with a critical illness cover. The shorter the period is, the sooner will you be able to avail the benefits in case of an emergency. A shorter survival period will help in decreasing the financial as well as the mental burden that comes with the illness. Hence, understand the clauses of the insurance policy and compare different plans to choose the best one for yourself.

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