As our lifestyle is becoming more and more sedentary, we are at an increasing risk of contracting lifestyle-related diseases. As per the latest analysis and estimates conducted by various reputed organizations, with this elevating incidence of lifestyle-related health conditions at least one out of every four individuals in India is at the risk of death from these conditions before the age of 70.

What are these lifestyle related conditions?

Now, if you’re wondering what are these lifestyle related health conditions that everyone is talking about now and then, here is your answer. These are health conditions that have grown out of proportion due to our more sedentary lifestyle and lesser physical activities. As machines are making things simpler for us, they are also pushing us towards an unhealthy environment. Heart attacks, diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, stroke, etc. were never more prevalent than they are now.

How to prevent these lifestyle related diseases?

Well, it’s a little tough to do that, provided that we cannot go back to the Stone Age. Yet, we can always make for few of the things – We can replace the hard-physical work from that age to regular workout whether in the gym or at home. Also, we can optimize our eating habits and include lesser oil, salt and sugar, consume fewer calories and more protein, vitamins and dietary fibre. We can refrain from tobacco (smoking or chewing), toxic levels of alcohol, and harmful drugs. Despite taking these precautions, we cannot protect ourselves from what is already coded in our genes, or what we are going to fetch from the environment. Thus, we still need to be prepared financially and emotionally, should such a crisis arise.

Critical Illness Plan vs Medical Insurance plan

If your question is that when you already have a medical insurance plan, why do you need to buy a separate critical illness plan, then let’s answer your question. A critical illness plan differs entirely from a regular medical/health insurance. While medical insurance simply covers your medical expenses during the covered year as per the terms and conditions of the purchased plan, a critical illness plan provides you with an assured lump sum amount at the detection of covered illnesses. So, yes, even if you have a medical insurance plan, you should still invest in a critical insurance plan.

Financial preparation with Critical Illness Plans

Critical illness plan covers various critical illnesses as per the plan terms. Once any of the covered illnesses is diagnosed, the insured person may claim (after the waiting period is over which may vary from insurer to insurer) the lump sum amount irrespective of the hospital expenses.

Since the amount is fixed, you may use the finance as per your convenience; to cover the hospital expenses, recovery expenses or any other expense.

Which plan should I choose?

Since both of them have a different structure and benefit, it’s advisable to invest in both a medical insurance plan and a critical illness plan.

As for the amount of sum insured, it mainly depends on the family history of illnesses and your own financial condition. Since such illnesses can cost a lot, over several lakhs, it is advisable to invest in a sum assured of 15 lakhs or more if you can afford. Especially, since these illnesses occur at a relatively older age and greatly hamper your capability to earn, a critical illness plan can really be helpful.

Though, 40 is considered as the optimum age for purchasing a critical illness plan, it is advisable to buy it at a younger age, as the premium amount would be lesser.