Why we purchased United India Super Top Up Policy with 95 lakhs sum insured

United has recently made significant changes to its Family Medicare Policy and Super Top-Up Medicare Policy. I discuss why we purchased the revised top-up cover with Rs. 95 lakhs sum insured in this article. If you are looking to buy base or super top-up health insurance, this may be useful: Select the right health insurance policy with these free resources.

Warning: The following is not a recommendation of United India health insurance policies. Please select one as per your personal circumstances.

In Sep 2021, we reported the New features introduced in United India Insurance Family Medicare Policy. The most significant change is the In-patient Hospitalisation Expenses Cover for a sum insured of Rs. 5 Lacs and above comes with “1% of Sum Insured or Single Occupancy Standard AirConditioned Room Charges whichever is higher”.

This effectively means no room rent sub-limit for a single, standard AC room.  Also, there is no limit on ICU rent. The maximum sum insured has been revised from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 25 lakhs. These are welcome features in a PSU insurance policy. The biggest criticism of PSU policies has been removed by these changes in my opinion.

So last year, I revised the cover for myself, my wife and my son to Rs. 25 lakhs. This is an individual cover. The latest costs are listed below.

The above changes are only for the family medicare policy. The individual health insurance policy was not yet revised at the time of writing.

United India also removed the room rent limits on their Super Top Up plans by then. In Feb 2022, they launched a revised Super Top Up Cover with Rs. 95 lakhs sum insured. The key changes are:

  1. There are no room rent or ICU rent sub-limits.
  2. The revised sum insured and threshold limits (aka deductible in brackets) are given below.
    •  3 Lacs, 5 Lacs (2 Lacs)
    •  3 Lacs, 5 Lacs, 7 Lacs (3 Lacs)
    •  5 Lacs, 10 Lacs, 15 Lacs, 20 Lacs, 45 Lacs, 70 Lacs, 95 Lacs (5 Lacs)
    • 10 Lacs, 15 Lacs, 20 Lacs, 40 Lacs, 65 Lacs, 90 Lacs (10 Lacs)
    • 15 Lacs, 35 Lacs, 60 Lacs, 85 Lacs (15 Lacs)
    • 20 Lacs, 30 Lacs, 55 Lacs, 80 Lacs (20 Lacs)
    •  25 Lacs, 50 Lacs, 75 Lacs (25 Lacs)

New Policy Names: (links point to policy wording pdf files).

Our United India policy: We have held this policy from 2006 onwards and processed five claims: thrice for my mother, once for me and once for my son. The claim processing experience has been smooth to combative (complaints to United’s grievance portal are handled reasonably fast).

Over a lifetime, we are liable to make many claims for our family, and we should not know how to fight our case. Yes, the guy who sold the policy will say he will help you process claims, but it is naive to believe such deal-closers.

One lesson I have learnt the hard way is always opt for cashless if the admission is in a network hospital. Try to get admitted to a network hospital when possible.

I fully appreciate that not everyone can afford the high premiums mentioned below. Health insurance purchase is primarily governed by affordability.

Why we increased the base policy to Rs. 25 lakhs even though the super top-up has a deductible of only Rs. 5 lakhs?

  • To reduce the chance of invoking the top-up policy. Top-up policy claim processing is a pain, even from the same insurer.
  • With Rs. 25 lakhs, we can opt for a comfortable single room (better than a standard ac room) as per the  “1% of Sum Insured” clause.

Why we increased the super top-up to Rs. 95 lakhs: Unlike the base policy, which is an individual cover, this is a floater cover. So the higher, the better. Also, the cost will not be too high since Rs. 5 lakh is deductible.

Insurance details:

All costs include GST and no claim discounts.  The enhanced United Super Top cover begins on 1st Nov 2022. The annual recurring deposit meant for paying premiums matures in September each year so the renewal is made then.

  • Group health insurance offered by employer Rs. 3L. It can be enhanced up to 7L, but I chose not. We have made one claim with it – pregnancy which United does not cover.
  • United Family Medicare: Rs. 25L each for myself (age 48), my wife (age 46) and my son (age 12). Total cost: Rs. 68,007/-
  • United Family Medicare: Rs. 6L for my mon (aged 75): Rs. 43,986/-
  • United India Super Top Floater: Rs. 95 Lakhs with Rs. 5 lakh deductible (threshold) for myself, my son and my wife. The premium is Rs. 24,163
  • United India Super Top Floater: Rs. 15 lakhs cover with Rs. 5 lakhs deductible. The premium is Rs. 14,868
  • Notice the difference in cost due to my mom’s age.
  • In addition, before the above changes from United, I got a base and super top-up policy for my wife and son with no room rent limits from private insurers: See: Why we purchased a 2nd set of base & super top-up health insurance policies.
  • Future Generali Health Total Plan for 10 Lakhs for wife and son with a voluntary deductible of Rs. 50,000. Total premium: Rs. 11,500.
  • Liberty Health Connect Supra Super top-up policy for one crore (floater)with a 10 lakh deductible. Premium is Rs. 1400. We will continue these two policies just in case.

Caution: Do not get enticed by the low premiums private players offer, especially for top-up plans. Their market share is low, and their claims history is also low. As they sell more policies, they will pay out more claims, incur more losses and hike the premiums for everyone. Star Health is a good example of this. See: How to get claim settlement ratio for health insurers?

It may be far from rational, but I deeply distrust private insurers and ever deeper distrust of all agents. Therefore, I would rather pay a higher premium to an insurer that pays out many claims (PSU typically pays out more than the total premiums received each year).

Many readers have asked, “Is this not a bit too much premium to pay? Are you not making a song and dance about health insurance?” Hospital bills are one of the biggest net worth destroyers. So the goal is to protect our net worth by spending a fraction of it (or a fraction of annual income). When you see things from the right perspective, most expenses look diminutive. What is expensive or not expensive is a point of view.

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Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over nine years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation for promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.


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