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Types of Health Insurance: Different Types of Medical Insurance in India

Explore different types of health insurance plans in India: Choose the one that best fits your needs

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Health insurance acts as an excellent financial shield to protect your loved ones during medical emergencies and hospitalisation. There are multiple choices in the market, but you need to choose the type of plan that works for you. For that, you must first understand the different types of health insurance plans in India. This article provides deep insights into various types of medical insurance policies so that you can make an informed choice.

Different Types of Health Insurance Policies in India
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Refer to the following table for the popular types of health insurance in India.

Types of health insurance policies

Suitable for


Individual Health Insurance Plan

Single/individual person


Family Floater Health Insurance Plan

Family, including spouse, children, and parents


Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan

People above 65 years of age


Critical Illness Insurance Plan

Financial protection against expensive treatment for critical illness


Group Health Insurance Plan

Group of people, such as a company’s employees


Top-up Health Insurance Plan

Those looking for additional medical coverage up to a certain amount


Personal Accident Cover

Those looking to insure partial/total disability and death due to an accident


Maternity Health Insurance Plan

Covering expenses incurred in the prenatal stage, delivery and post-natal stage


Mediclaim Insurance Plan

In-patient expenses


Disease-specific (Corona Kavach, etc.)

Those seeking coverage for a specific health condition.


Hospital Daily Cash

Daily cash to manage expenses as long as the insured is hospitalised


Unit Linked Insurance Plan

Insurance and investment benefits both together.

Let us understand each of these plans in detail. Please note that the examples shared below are for explanation purposes only and the details can vary on a case-to-case basis. Also, details related to the plans are subject to changes and dependent on the insurer’s underwriting clauses.

Individual Health Insurance Plan
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The Individual Health Insurance Policy offers coverage on an individual basis. Under this type of health insurance plan, you are entitled to receive the incurred hospitalisation expenses. You can claim up to the sum insured.

For example, if you buy an Individual Health Insurance Policy with a sum insured amount of Rs. 5 lakhs, you can claim up to Rs. 5 lakhs.

Features of the Individual Health Insurance Policy

Family Floater Health Insurance Plan
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The Family Floater Health Plan is for the entire family. Under this type of health insurance policy, your family is covered in a single policy. The sum insured is equally shared by the beneficiaries of the plan. The premium is comparatively lower compared to the Individual Health Insurance Policy (considering each family member buys one).

For example, consider you have purchased a Family Floater Health Insurance. It covers your two children, your spouse, and yourself with a sum insured of Rs. 20 lakhs. If you are hospitalised for a covered surgery costing Rs. 10 lakhs, the policy shall cover the cost as per the terms and conditions. The remaining Rs. 10 lakhs is available for future medical emergencies or planned hospitalisation for you or the covered family members.

Features of a Family Floater Health Insurance Policy

Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan
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The Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policy provides coverage for those above 65 years of age. If you want to buy a health insurance plan for your parents or other senior citizens, you should opt for this plan. Typically, the Senior Citizen Health Plan’s premium is slightly higher than the above two types of health insurance plans.

For example, suppose your parents are more than 65 years of age and do not hold a health insurance plan. In that case, you can consider opting for this plan.

Features of Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plan

Critical Illness Insurance Plan
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The Critical Illness plan is designed to provide financial protection if you are diagnosed with a critical illness or condition. This type of health insurance policy offers coverage against critical diseases such as heart attacks, kidney failure, paralysis, stroke, cancer, etc. Typically, if you raise a claim against the policy, the insurer pays a one-time lump-sum payment.

For example, if you are diagnosed with cancer that is covered under a Critical Illness Health Insurance Plan of Rs. 15 lakhs, the insurer shall pay Rs. 15 lakhs as a one-time lump-sum payment, and terminate the policy.

Features of Critical Illness Health Insurance Plan

Group Health Insurance Plan
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The Group Health Insurance Plan is designed to cover a group of people. The most common type of group plan is the Group Medical Cover (GMC). Typically, an employer or a company offers the GMC to its employees. 

The GMC policy can be for an individual employee, or it may allow you to include your family members in the same policy. You may have to pay an extra premium to include them, but that depends on your employer.

Features of a Group Health Insurance Plan

Top-up Health Insurance Plan
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The Top-up Health Insurance Plan is ideal if you are looking for coverage that replenishes the sum insured up to a certain amount. The plan gets activated once you have utilised the maximum claim amount.

Features of the Top-up Health Insurance Plan

Personal Accident Insurance Policy
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Medical expenses arising from the treatment due to an accident can wreck your finances. Availing the Personal Accident Cover (PA) offers benefits against events such as partial/total disability and death due to an accident. 

Features of Personal Accident Insurance Policy

Maternity Health Insurance Plan
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You can purchase the Maternity Health Insurance Plan as an add-on along with the basic plan. The add-on is designed to cover expenses incurred during the prenatal, delivery and postnatal stages.

If you are planning to start a family, you should consider buying this plan. It helps mitigate the expenses related to maternity.

Features of the Maternity Health Insurance Plan

Mediclaim Insurance Plan
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The Mediclaim Insurance Plan usually covers the cost of hospitalisation related to accidents or illnesses. If you are looking for health insurance to cover only the in-patient expenses, you can consider Mediclaim Insurance

Features of Mediclaim Insurance Plan

Disease-specific health insurance plans (Corona Kavach, etc.)
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The medical costs for certain treatments can leave you financially drained. For example, treatment for COVID-19. It is, therefore, wise to opt for a plan that has exclusive medical coverage for the treatment of such diseases. One such plan is the Corona Kavach Health Insurance Plan.

Features of disease-specific health insurance plan

Hospital daily cash
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Hospital daily cash is a type of insurance policy that provides a fixed amount of cash benefit for each day of hospitalization due to an illness or injury. The benefit is paid to the policyholder regardless of the actual medical expenses incurred during the hospital stay. This type of insurance can help offset some of the non-medical expenses associated with a hospital stay, such as transportation, food, and lodging.

Unit Linked Insurance Plan
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Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) is a type of investment product that combines both insurance and investment components into a single plan. In a ULIP, a part of the premium paid by the policyholder goes towards providing life insurance cover, while the remaining amount is invested in various market-linked instruments such as equity, debt, or a combination of both.

Indemnity and fixed benefit plan
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Health insurance is broadly classified into indemnity and fixed benefit plans. Let’s understand what these stand for.

Indemnity health insurance plans
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The Indemnity Health Insurance Plan covers your medical expenses up to the specified sum insured. For example, if your policy comes with a sum insured of Rs. 10 lakhs, medical expenses only up to Rs. 10 lakhs shall be covered. Most health insurance plans belong to this category.

Fixed benefit health insurance plans
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The Fixed Benefit Health Plan is a health insurance plan that pays a one-time lump-sum payment (sum insured) to cover the cost of a predetermined illness or medical condition. There are different types of fixed benefit health plans, such as Critical Illness Plan, Daily Hospital Cash Policy or Personal Accident Cover.

Why buy health insurance?
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Here’s why you should consider purchasing health insurance.

Protection against high medical costs: Health insurance can help you cover the costs of medical treatments and procedures, which can be very expensive without insurance coverage. This can help protect you from financial strain due to unexpected medical expenses.

Access to preventative care: Many health insurance plans offer coverage for preventative care services, such as routine check-ups, screenings, and immunizations. These services can help you stay healthy and catch any health issues early, which can improve your overall well-being and quality of life.

Network of healthcare providers: Many health insurance plans have a network of healthcare providers that you can access for medical care. This can be beneficial because you can often receive care at a discounted rate within the network.

Peace of mind: Having health insurance can provide peace of mind, knowing that you have coverage for unexpected medical events. This can help reduce stress and anxiety, and allow you to focus on other areas of your life.

Things to consider while buying health insurance plans
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Here are some tips to consider while purchasing a health insurance plan.

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Now that you understand the different types of health insurance plans, you can easily choose the right health insurance plan for you and your family. Here are some key takeaways.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Here are some common questions and answers about the types of health insurance plans.


Why is health insurance important?

The cost of healthcare is skyrocketing with each passing day. A severe injury or illness can dent your savings. Health insurance acts as an excellent financial shield against medical expenses. Here are some of the reasons why health insurance is essential for you.

  • It offers financial protection during medical emergencies.

  • It helps you in tax deductions under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

  • It deals with medical inflation without burdening you financially.

  • It acts as an investment and also helps you save money during emergencies.

  • It provides coverage for alternative treatments such as Homoeopathy, Ayurveda, etc.

Is a Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) a type of health insurance plan?

ULIP is an insurance product that is a combination of both financial investment and insurance under a single plan. A part of the premium you pay offers life insurance cover, and the rest of the premium is invested for higher returns. Hence, ULIP is not categorised under the types of health insurance.

Is Hospital Daily Cash cover part of health insurance?

The Hospital Daily Cash cover is an add-on to the health insurance plan. Hence, it cannot be categorised as a health insurance plan. You can include it as an add-on to your primary health insurance plan.