Individual Health Insurance
  • Independent Sum Insured
  • Separate Health Cover for each member
  • Quality treatment for Critical Illnesses
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Individual Health Insurance

For a young, independent person, an Individual Health Insurance policy is helpful to cover all healthcare-related costs. Such policies are designed to help meet the medical expenses related to hospitalization, diagnostics, treatments against Critical Illnesses, and several other conditions or unexpected emergencies.

Notably, Individual Health Insurance plans offer scope for customizations, which allows you to include family members/dependents under separate covers. The Sum Insured for each member is independent of the other. This essentially means that even if the Life Insured has a pre-existing clinical condition, the remaining members do not have to hold off on their claims till the end of the waiting period.

Why do I need Individual Health Insurance?

  • Protection against lifestyle diseases and Mental Health issues

    Lifestyle conditions such as PCOS, diabetes, obesity, coupled to mental stress and anxiety are likely to increase your expenses significantly. An Individual Health Insurance policy that offers psychiatric benefits in addition to covering the cost of health check-ups can help you deal better under such circumstances. However, the coverage of Mental Illnesses varies from Insurer to Insurer, therefore, it is advised to always read the policy brochure in detail.

  • Quality treatment against Critical Illnesses

    Critical or Terminal Illnesses such as cancer are associated with huge costs. Treatment, diagnosis, surgeries etc. require an individual to spend a large portion of their capital. However, a Health Insurance Cover at this stage can ensure quality care without the financial burden, given that these plans offer a percentage of the Sum Insured towards such expenses.

  • Security over healthcare inflation

    Healthcare inflation rose from 3.8% in December 2019 to 7.7% in June 2021*. If you are the sole earning member in your family, investing in an Individual Health Insurance plan should be one of your key priorities. It is important to remember here that prices are only going to increase with time which makes Health Insurance a crucial investment.

  • Opportunities to maximise Savings

    When you are covered under a Health Insurance policy, the Insurance Provider is liable to pay the expenses associated with your medical conditions. This allows you to save on unexpected healthcare expenditures and, in turn, protect/grow your existing capital reserves.

  • Individual Coverage amount for each member

    Sum Insured with an Individual Health Insurance plan is separate for each member covered under the policy. Therefore, claims raised are independently addressed, eliminating the need to wait for the Life Insured's claim to be settled.

* Source - The Hindu

Key Features of Individual Health Insurance

Lifelong Renewability

An Individual Health Policy can be renewed for life without any kind of restrictions.

Tax Benefits

Under section 80D of the Income Tax Law, policyholders can avail of Tax Deductions subject to a limit of Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 50,000.

Cashless Hospitalization

On receiving treatment at a Network Hospital, the Health Insurer covers your hospital bills, eliminating the need to pay out of pocket.

Coverage against Pre-Existing illnesses

You can avail cover for treatment expenses related to Pre-Existing medical conditions, subject to the waiting period.

Pre- and Post Hospitalization costs

An Individual Health Policy covers up to 60 days of Pre-Hospitalization charges and up to 90 days of Post-Discharge charges.

Ambulance / Day Care charges

Certain Health Policies cover the expenses incurred as a result of Day Care procedures and road ambulance costs.

Cumulative Bonus

With each claim free year, the Insurer increases the Sum Insured by a certain amount.

Individual Sum Insured

Sum Insured is specific to every member covered under the policy.

AYUSH benefits

Individual Health Plans also cover Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy based treatments.

Eligibility Conditions

  • Any adult above the age of 18 years is eligible to invest in an Individual Health Insurance policy.
  • Further, there is generally a waiting period of 2-4 years in case the policyholder suffers from a pre-existing medical condition.
  • Individuals in the age bracket of 45-65 years and above may need to undergo pre-medical screening prior to policy issuance.

Cost of Individual Health Insurance

The premiums charged for an Individual Health Insurance policy depends on the policyholder's Age, Annual Income, Pre-Existing medical conditions, Location, Family Members and Sum Insured, among others. It is important that you consider these aspects and decide on a budget that ensures comprehensive coverage.


Usually, the more benefits you wish to cover under your Health Plan, the more will be the premium that you have to pay.

Age & Income

Age and income directly affect the premium amount. Higher the age and annual income of an individual, higher is the premium payable.


The cost of healthcare is likely to be more expensive in metropolitan areas. Therefore, for individuals living in metros, a high cover is required, which effectively means that you've to pay higher premiums.

Medical Conditions

Those who are at high risk in terms of their health, should opt for an Individual Health Insurance plan. This ensures that they don't have to share the collective Sum Insured, unlike plans on a Floater basis.

Policy Tenure

Opting for a multi-year Health Insurance Policy makes you eligible for discounted premiums.


Adding a member to the policy increases the premium payable against it.

For in-depth insights into how premium amounts vary, visit 'Health Insurance Price Index'.

Claim Settlement for Individual Health Insurance

The Health Insurance provider, upon validating the legitimacy of your condition, moves to settle the claims raised. The amount paid is subject to the Sum Insured by the policyholder. For your information, Claim Settlement is done either through Cashless Hospitalization or Reimbursements.

Cashless Claims

If the policyholder chooses to get treated in a Network Hospital, they can avail Cashless Hospitalization. This means that the Insurance Provider directly settles the bills with the hospital, eliminating the need for the policyholder to pay out of pocket.

Claim Intimation

Fill up the requisites at the hospital and notify your Health Insurer.

Claim Approval

Following review, the Insurer updates you about the status of your claim.

Claim Settlement

On approval, the Insurer settles your claim directly with the hospital.

Reimbursement Claims

If you choose to get treated in a hospital other than the ones in the Insurer's network i.e. a Non- Network Hospital, you will need to pay the bills yourself and then later claim Reimbursement for the same.

Claim Registration

After hospitalization, send bills, invoices, etc. to your Insurer.

Claim Verification

The Insurer verifies the invoices and treatment related documents.

Claim Settlement

Once approved, the Health Insurer transfers the claim amount to your account.

Tax Savings with Individual Health Insurance Plans

Under the current Tax laws in India, there are certain Tax Benefits that you can avail of on purchasing an Individual Health Insurance Policy. These are:

  • Tax Benefits on Single Premium Payment

    As per prevailing Income Tax Laws in the country, Tax deductions (up to Rs. 25,000 or Rs. 50,000) can be availed under Section 80D for lump sum premium paid towards a multi-year plan.

  • Tax Deductions for Senior Citizen Health Policies

    Tax Deduction up to Rs. 50,000 can be claimed by policyholders for the premiums paid towards a Health Insurance policy bought for their parents. The Tax Deduction limit can range up to Rs. 1 Lakh for expenses incurred as a result of pre-specified illnesses.

  • Tax Savings on Preventive Health Check-Ups

    Costs incurred due to Preventive Health Check-Ups are eligible for Tax Benefits, to the limit of Rs. 5,000. Further, charges related to OPD consultations and Diagnostic Tests are also associated with tax exemption benefits.

Key Pointers to Note before Buying

In order to choose the best Individual Health Insurance policy for yourself, it is important that you scout through the available options carefully. There are certain pointers that you should take a note of prior to making a purchase. These are:

  1. Scope of Health Insurance coverage

    If you suffer from an illness, you should estimate the costs that you might incur as a result of it. You must consider Diagnosis and Consultation fees, potential need for future Hospitalization, Cost of Medical Procedures related to your condition, etc. This will help you decide the extent of coverage that you need and further shortlist Health Insurance providers offering these benefits.

  2. Sum Insured adequacy

    With healthcare inflation on the rise, your Sum Insured should be sufficient to cover expensive treatment costs. The amount should reflect both current and future medical needs. Ideally, experts recommend a range of Rs. 7 Lakhs to Rs. 10 Lakhs for an Individual Cover.

  3. Pre-Existing Illnesses and Waiting Period

    Pre-Existing medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid, cardiac and renal conditions are associated with a Waiting Period. The benefits under your Health Insurance policy start only after this period has lapsed. Different Insurance providers have set different waiting periods against these ailments.

  4. Premiums and Co-payment

    You must ensure that the premium charged is worth the coverage offered by the plan.

    Alternatively, if you wish to lower your premium against the plan chosen, look for options to share the medical charges with the Health Insurer.

    While Co-payment does not affect the Sum Insured, it can reduce the burden of high premiums to a certain extent.

    You need to check with your Insurance Provider to confirm if the plan comes with the Co-payment clause.

  5. Limits to room rent

    Room Rent sublimit is an important factor to consider when buying an Insurance policy. The clause basically caps the maximum amount that can be availed for the hospital room against the total Sum Insured. Typically, you should look for plans with minimal or no sub-limits in order to avoid paying out of pocket.

  6. Network Hospitals and Cashless Claim Settlement

    Network hospitals in your vicinity can guarantee Cashless Hospitalization, subject to the Sum Insured. Check for the list of hospitals networked with an Insurance Provider to come to a decision.

  7. List of Exclusions

    It is always advisable to check the benefits offered and Exclusions which your Individual Health Insurance plan does not cover. The following list mentions certain exclusions applicable under a standard Individual Health Insurance cover.

    Suicide Treatment for Alcoholism Substance Abuse Sex-changing surgeries Cosmetic/ plastic surgeries Sexually transmitted diseases Injuries from war, unlawful activities, adventurous sports, etc.

    Note: List of exclusions can vary from plan to plan. It is important that you refer to the policy brochures for the same prior to buying Individual Health Insurance.

Comparison between Individual Health Insurance and Family Floater

The following table highlights distinguishing features of an Individual Health Insurance Plan and a Family Floater plan.

Family Floater Health PlanIndividual Health Plan
Sum Insured
A Family Floater plan is a comprehensive Health Cover for the entire family, wherein the Sum Insured is shared among every member.On the contrary, the Sum Insured under an Individual Health plan is specific to the individual who bought it.
When a claim is made by a member covered under a Family Floater plan, the total Sum Insured for the entire family reduces by the amount that has been claimed.In case of an Individual plan, a claim raised by another member of the family does not affect the cover amount of the remaining members.
Premium Payable
The premium payable against the Health Plan is calculated (among other factors) based on the age of the oldest member covered under the policy.Under an individual policy, the age of the insured person who bought the policy determines the premium.
Premium vs. Coverage
While the premiums are lower under a Family Floater policy, the coverage offered by an Individual Health Insurance policy is more extensive.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are vision and dental related expenses covered by Individual Health plans?

No, dental, vision and hearing related treatments are not covered by Individual Health plans. Please check with your Insurance Provider for special clauses applicable under their plans.

2. Who should ideally buy a Family Floater plan?

Ideally, a young, nuclear family should buy a Health Plan on a Family Floater basis. The premiums are lower and also the possibility of requiring serious medical assistance at this stage is low.

However, if you, your spouse or your children suffer from illnesses that could incur significant expenses, a separate plan for each person is advisable.

3. Can I avail Tax Benefits under Individual Health Insurance plans?

Yes, policyholders can avail of Tax Deduction under section 80D of the Income Tax Act. Tax deductions can range from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1 Lakh, depending on the age and number of members added to the plan.

4. What is meant by Cumulative Bonus in Health Insurance?

Cumulative Bonus is offered against each claim-free year, wherein the Sum Insured increases by 5%-10% annually, depending on the Insurance Provider chosen by you.

5. What does Claim Settlement Ratio mean?

Claim Settlement Ratio is an aspect whose importance can not be undermined. It tells you the number of claims settled by an Insurance Provider of the total number of claims filed.

Visit 'Health Insurance - Claim Settlement Ratio' for insights into the CSRs of various Healthcare Insurance Providers in India.

6. Can I avail the existing benefits if I port my Health Insurance Plan?

Porting your policy to a different Insurer does not take away any of the original benefits associated with your Health Insurance Plan. It also ensures that you don’t have to go through a fresh Waiting Period.

7. What does a Pre-Existing disease mean?

A Pre-Existing disease is the one that you are already suffering from, at the time of buying the policy. Once you inform the Insurer about the same, a Waiting Period is added to the policy after which you can claim the treatment costs.

8. How does Copayment work in Health Insurance?

Copayment refers to an agreement between you and your Insurance Provider, under which the policyholder has to pay part of the expenses incurred as a result of any treatment. It is a fixed percentage that the Insurers specify in their plan brochures. For instance, if copayment is fixed at 5% and you incur expenses worth Rs. 50,000, you will have to pay Rs. 5,000 out of pocket while the Insurer pays the remaining Rs. 45,000.

9. Why do I need an Individual Health Insurance Policy?

An Individual Health Policy can help you beat medical inflation and receive quality care without burdening your savings. Moreover, these plans offer extensive coverage with independent covers for each member.

10. What is the right age to purchase Individual Health Insurance?

Experts say that it is best if you start investing in Health Insurance early or as soon as you start earning. The premiums also increase with age, therefore, buying an Individual Health Plan in your 20s is going to be relatively cheaper than doing so in your 30s or 40s.

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Last updated on September, 2021

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