What is the Meaning of Survival Period in Health Insurance?

Health insurance plans have been gaining popularity in India in recent years with an increase in lifestyle-related diseases. The exponentially increasing costs of medical treatments have helped people understand the importance of having an adequate health insurance policy or risk losing their savings when a medical emergency arises. 

While health insurance policies cover many types of diseases, the policy might not offer adequate coverage for critical illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, etc. Hence, many people opt for a critical illness health insurance plan to enhance the scope of their policy to offer coverage for various critical illnesses. When you start looking for a critical illness plan, one term that you need to understand is the survival period in insurance, which we will explain in the article below.

Understanding the Survival Period

In a critical illness health insurance plan, the insurer pays the sum assured to the policyholder if they are diagnosed with a critical illness (provided the illness is on the list of illnesses covered by the insurer). The amount is paid to help the policyholder manage the treatment costs. 

However, it is important to note that the insurer does not make any payment if the policyholder dies due to the illness. To ensure that the sum assured is paid for treatment, insurers include a time period that the policyholder must survive after being diagnosed with a critical illness to receive the payout. This is called the survival period in health insurance. It is usually between 14 and 30 days.

What Happens if the Policyholder Does Not Survive the Survival Period?

If the policyholder dies during the survival period after being diagnosed with a critical illness, the insurance company does not make any payout. Please note that, unlike life insurance policies, critical illness health insurance policies do not have a return of premium option if the policyholder does not survive the survival period.

Things to Remember About the Survival Period

  • The survival period in critical illness can vary from insurer to insurer. Hence, look for a plan that has a shorter survival period in critical illness so that you can receive the amount faster to manage the treatment costs. Compare insurers and plans and find the one that best suits your needs.
  • The survival period and waiting period are not the same. While a survival period is applicable only in critical illness medical insurance, a waiting period is present in all types of medical insurance plans.
  • Survival Period: The duration that the policyholder has to survive after being diagnosed with a critical illness.
  • Waiting Period: The duration that the policyholder has to wait before raising a claim. This can be because of a range of reasons like pre-existing diseases, maternity, etc.

Why Do You Need Critical Illness Health Insurance?

Apart from the regular medical insurance plan, you must consider buying a critical illness insurance plan for the following reasons:

  • It boosts your existing health insurance policy by including coverage for various critical illnesses
  • Minimises the financial impact of the treatment of a critical illness that can be very costly
  • Usually, when a person is diagnosed with a critical illness, there is a loss or reduction of monthly income. However, with a critical illness cover, the policyholder gets a lump sum payout of the sum assured.
  • The premium of a critical illness insurance plan is usually highly affordable. Hence, the policyholder can protect his/her family from a financial crunch if diagnosed with a critical illness.

Thus, now you understand the health insurance importance and the survival period in health insurance. 

Summing Up

While one can never be completely prepared to handle all kinds of medical emergencies, health insurance policies can help you manage most of these costs without burning a hole in your pockets. The treatment of critical illnesses like cancer, blindness, etc., can be very costly. With a critical illness cover, you can manage the treatment costs of such illnesses with ease. The Survival Period is an important aspect of a critical illness cover as the policyholder needs to be alive for the specified number of days to be eligible to receive the payout. Make sure that you check the duration of this period with the insurer before buying the plan. Good Luck!