Should I add a top-up plan to my basic health insurance plan?

Harish was a healthy 34-year-old banker. He had a health policy of Rs. 2 lakh which he considered to be sufficient. However, one day Harish fell from the door of a moving bus and was badly injured. Not only did he require an emergency surgery, he was also left temporarily paralysed. He had to stay in the hospital for over a month and two more surgeries and many physiotherapy sessions later, Harish finally walked out of the hospital. While he was ecstatic at being able to walk again, he was extremely worried when the bill of Rs. 4.2 lacs was handed over to him. Where was he going to get Rs. 2.2 lacs from?

Had Harish opted for a top-up health plan, his worries would have subsided.

What is a top-up plan?

In many cases, the sum insured in a regular health plan is not sufficient to meet a medical requirement. The top-up plans step in at such times and help you clear the deficit. A top-up plan can be bought along with a regular health plan or it can be bought individually as well. Even if you have a group health coverage through your employer, you can get a top-up plan for yourself.

What does the ‘threshold limit’ refer to?

The threshold limit is an important concept in a top-up plan. This refers to the deductible or the amount that the regular health plan provides. The top-up plan will only pay the deficit after the threshold limit has been reached. Let us understand this with an example. Akash has health coverage of Rs. 5 lacs and a top-up plan for Rs. 5 lacs. His hospital bill comes to Rs. 7.5 lacs. He pays Rs. 5 lacs from his regular plan and the remaining amount from his top-up plan. So the amount paid by the basic health plan is the threshold limit. Even if the top-up plan is of a higher amount, it is only eligible to pay the deficit.

What are the best top-up plans available in India?

Let us take a look at the best top-up plans available in India presently.

  1. Health Suraksha from HDFC ERGO: This is one of the most popular top-up plans available in India presently. This plan acts as a good back up medical insurance. You can also convert the top-up plan into a regular health plan. The plan can be renewed for as long as the policyholder is alive.
  2. Top-up Mediclaim from New India Assurance Company: The top-up mediclaim plan from New India Assurance Company is another very good option. New India is one of the oldest and the most trusted names in the insurance industry. If you take this plan, you can get reimbursements (after meeting the threshold limit) for all kinds of hospitalisation expenses. You can buy this policy for yourself as well as for all your family members.
  3. Extra Care from Bajaj Allianz: The Extra Care from Bajaj Allianz is another good top-up insurance option. This plan has many unique features and benefits like paying the ambulance charges and pre-acceptance without medical tests. This is a very good plan that offers coverage at an economical rate.


The top-up health plans actually are quite economical. They are much cheaper than the regular health plans. This is mainly because of the threshold factor. Since the insurance companies believe that the basic health plan bear the larger load, the top-up plans are sold at lower rates. This feature makes the top-up plans all the more attractive and logical for you to buy. So if you have a health insurance in place, make sure you get a top-up plan as well. You never know what surprise life will throw at you and staying prepared for the worst is always a great idea.

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