Medical Insurance – Individual v/s Floater Plan

Individual v/s Floater PolicyUntil some years ago having a medical insurance was enough for people and most of them were not worried about its adequacy. But with increased awareness and rising medical costs people have even started considering the adequacy of their medical insurance cover i.e. would the medical cover be enough for them or their family.

Generally when you buy a medical cover you are often asked a question “Do you want a floater policy or an individual cover”. When this choice pops up we often tend to choose the one that we have seen others choosing or what our near and dear ones tell us to do. But very few understand its relevance. Whatever the case may be, this is not just another choice but it is something which is very crucial as this choice affects well-being of your family.

Floater v/s Individual Policy

Floater policy is “one policy for one family” whereas individual policy is “one policy for one person”.

For instance If Mr. A aged 32 (who has a wife aged 30 and two kids aged 3 and 5) takes a floater policy of Rs.5 Lacs, then all the four members are entitled to be covered collectively or individually maximum upto Rs.5 lacs.

However if it’s an individual policy then in case of Mr. A’s family he will have to buy four medical insurance policies. Now if someone does a cost benefit analysis, the floater seems to be a real good choice as compared to individual policies. Indeed it is but not for everyone.

What should you choose?

This answer of floater v/s individual policy depends upon the age of a family. Confused? So if you are young family i.e. if it’s just you and your wife or you have kids but they are young, then it’s best to go for floater polices. When a family is young, the chances of falling ill is less, hence a floater policy would be the best choice as it would give everyone the needed medical cover and would be cost effective as well.

But once you reach your late forties or your kids have become major, have separate insurance policies as health issues crop up with age and no one knows who would need the cover and when. As far as your kids are concerned, they might be a part of your policies, but once they turn 25 even kids are debarred from being part of their parent’s policies in most of the companies.

One size doesn’t fit all

Like your investments, you need to evaluate your insurance cover also from time to time. If as a young married couple you bought a floater policy, then do evaluate it’s adequacy as and when you have kids and consider increasing its cover. As you grow old i.e. when you reach your late forties, consider having separate policies for all the family members even if you are hail and hearty. Make sure you the strategy changes as and when there is a change in the prevailing circumstances.

You may not be able to cover yourself for every risk in life but it always makes sense to cover yourself to a reasonable extent.