Over the years, as medical technology has advanced rapidly, new treatment techniques have been invented, resulting in increased life expectancy. However, the sedentary lifestyle has also increased the risk of several lifestyle-related diseases. Medical inflation has been rampant, and it continues to grow every year. 

In such a situation, many people often find themselves with insufficient health insurance cover to meet the treatment expenses. Most insurance buyers tend to buy a healthcare policy with an affordable premium without realising that such plans don’t offer high coverage. 

If you are planning to buy a health insurance plan for yourself or your family, one of the pertinent questions you must ask yourself is ‘how much insurance cover do I need?’ The sum insured for the health care plan should depend on various factors like family health history, age, number of members in the family that need insurance cover, premium amount, etc. 

Health insurance requirement for an individual

If you want to purchase a health insurance policy for yourself, you can consider buying an individual policy. The coverage amount you choose must be based on the age when buying the policy. 

For example, if you buy a policy at a young age (20 years), and you are healthy and do not have any habits like smoking or alcohol usage, you can purchase a health cover up to Rs. 5 lakhs. 

The chances of you needing hospitalisation for a prolonged period at a younger age might also be low which will help you get a higher cover at a relatively affordable premium. Also, since the possibility of filing a claim is low when you are young, you can get the no-claim bonus or cumulative bonus and increase the coverage amount every year. 

Health insurance requirement for a family

Medical inflation has been rising at about 6-7% every year. This means the cost of healthcare services will increase significantly in the future. With rising costs, you would need sufficient health insurance coverage to manage the medical expenses of dependents. 

If you are not sufficiently insured, a single hospitalisation can exhaust your entire sum insured, and you may be left with zero coverage, leading to financial hassles. For a family of four people consisting of two adults and two children, it is better to have a health cover of at least ten lakhs.

Suppose you have a family history of critical illnesses like cancer, you can either buy a health insurance plan with a higher sum insured or purchase suitable add-ons or riders to extend the scope of policy coverage. You can consider buying add-ons like restoration benefit rider or a critical illness rider. 

Health insurance requirement for senior citizens

When choosing the sum insured amount for health insurance, you must be realistic. Today, even minor surgery can cost up to Rs. 1 lakh, and if you undergo any major surgery at a reputed hospital, it may cost up to Rs. 5 lakhs, and it may cost even more in the future. 

The sum insured, which may appear to be sufficient today, may not be enough for you to cover the healthcare expenses in the future. So, it would help if you considered the inflation before deciding the level of coverage you need. 

If you are looking to purchase a health insurance policy for senior citizen parents, it is advisable to opt for a high coverage amount as your parents may need frequent hospitalisation. You can consider buying a health insurance plan with a sum insured up to Rs. 15 lakhs or more depending on the health condition. 

All in all, there is no right answer to the question we are discussing. Rather, there is no standardized amount that can be decided for everyone. Health plans are supposed to support you when you need them the most. You know your requirements and situations better. Therefore, while assessing the health insurance coverage you need, it is vital to know your specific requirements and choose the coverage amount accordingly.