Difference between Survival Period and Waiting Period in Health Insurance
There are many important terms you need to know when it comes to your health insurance. And, before buying a policy, you need to carefully understand these terms, and what they mean for you and your health requirements.
When it comes to health insurance, you may come across terms like “waiting period” or “survival period”. If you are confused by these, don’t worry you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at these terms, and how they are different from each other.
What is a Waiting Period?
A waiting period is the amount of time you need to wait for, from the start of your policy, to be able to use some of its benefits. It applies to all health insurance plans, and there are a number of different waiting periods:
- Initial waiting period – Usually, there is an initial waiting period of around 30 days, until you can start actively start using your health insurance policy.
- Waiting period for pre-existing diseases – Following this, there are also specific waiting periods for pre-existing conditions like diabetes, hypertension. This waiting period is up to 4 years.
- Waiting period for specific diseases – There are also waiting periods for specific diseases such as endometriosis, hemorrhoids, cataracts, psychiatric illness, or neurodegenerative disorders, which can range from 1-2 years.
- Waiting periods for maternity benefits – Apart from the above, there is also usually an additional waiting period for maternity benefits too, which will usually range from about 1-4 years.
These waiting periods will differ from insurance company to insurance company. Also, since accidents are by nature unexpected, health insurers will not account for any waiting period when it comes to accidental hospitalizations.
What is a Survival Period?
Unlike a waiting period, a survival period is only a part of critical illness plans. It refers to the period of time that you need to survive after the diagnosis of a critical illness (such as kidney or heart failure, cancer, etc.). This period can last anywhere between 14 to 90 days based on the illness and the insurer.
Only after this period can you get the lump sum amount from your insurer as mentioned in the critical illness cover. This period is calculated based on the first diagnosis of the critical illness and is in addition to the regular waiting period.
The lump sum received after the survival period can be used for any purpose, either medical treatment to personal expenses.
This is because health insurers don’t provide a death benefit, meaning that if an insured individual dies due to a critical illness before the survival period, the insurance company will not have to make any payments.
What does it apply to?
Applies to critical illness policies
Applies to all health insurance policies (including critical illness insurance plans)
What is it?
It is the duration that you need to survive after you have been diagnosed with a critical disease before you can get the monetary benefit
It is the time you need to wait before you can make a claim for some or all benefits of the health insurance
How long is this period?
The survival period can last anywhere between 14 to 90 days
There is an initial waiting period of 30 days as well as waiting periods of 2-4 years for pre-existing or specific conditions.
What will this duration depend on?
The survival period will depend on the critical illness and the insurer
The waiting period will depend on the disease and the insurer
In conclusion, while both the waiting period and survival period are there to keep an insurance company safe from unwanted risks, they are not the same.
While all health insurance plans will have a waiting period, the survival period is only applicable to those suffering from critical illnesses. Additionally, the waiting periods are usually longer than survival periods.
It is important to know what both of these are so that you can make the right choice when it comes to buying health insurance or a critical illness plan. This way, you can choose a plan with a shorter survival period or waiting periods so that you’ll get the policy’s coverage sooner.