Types of Health Insurance in India

  • postauthorOnsurity Editorial
  • postdateMarch 10, 2024
  • postreadtime9 min read
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Types of Health Insurance

In a world where uncertainties cast long shadows, health insurance emerges as a crucial safeguard, ensuring that unforeseen medical expenses do not derail your financial life. This form of insurance acts as a financial buffer, directly or indirectly covering medical and surgical costs.

By paying a small annual premium, you secure coverage for a spectrum of conditions – from common ailments like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to more severe instances such as surgeries, injuries, tumors, and cancer.

Yet, to truly safeguard yourself against the unpredictable twists of life, it’s essential to choose a health insurance plan that aligns seamlessly with your unique needs.

This blog will explore how different types of health insurances work and outlines the features associated with each. The information provided is designed to help you confidently choose your health insurance, optimizing both your health and financial well-being.

As we delve into the diverse landscape of health insurance in India, exploring individual, group, family, senior citizen, and specialized plans, you’ll not only grasp the nuances of each but also gain the knowledge to make an informed and resilient choice for your well-being. Let’s dive in.

Also, Read: Health Insurance Claim Process

types of health insurance in india

Different Types of Health Insurance: A Comparative Table

Health insurances come in many forms which are suitable for different persons with different health conditions and risk profiles.

Here is a comparative table of which type of health insurance suits whom:

Type   Suitable for  Features   Benefits   Drawbacks  
Individual Health Insurance plan   Individuals seeking personalized coverage  Tailored policies, comprehensive coverage  Customisable plans, no-dependence on employer coverage  Potentially higher premiums but depends on age and fitness levels  
Group Health Insurance Plans   Employees, members of an organisation/association   Collective coverage, cost-effective  Lower premiums, broader coverage  Limited customisation 
Family Floater Health Insurance Plan  Families  Shared coverage among family members  Cost-effective, single premium payment  Limited coverage for individual family members 
Senior citizen health insurance   Individuals over 60 years of age   Tailored to senior health needs  Specialised coverage, lower waiting periods  Higher premiums 
Critical illness plans  Individuals that have a family history or anticipate any critical illnesses  Lump-sum payout on diagnosis  Financial protection against severe illnesses  Limited scope of coverage 
Top-up Health Insurance  Individuals with existing coverage  Additional coverage after exhausting base policy  Cost-effective, increased coverage  Higher deductibles 
Maternity Health Insurance   Expecting couples  Coverage for maternity-related expenses  Financial support during pregnancy  Waiting periods, limited coverage 
Disease-specific insurance covers  Individuals with specific health concerns  Coverage for particular illnesses  Tailored protection  Limited overall coverage 
Daily hospital cash cover  Individuals seeking daily hospital cash benefits  Daily cash allowance during hospitalisation  Additional financial support  Limited scope of coverage 

Types of Health Insurance Plans in India


1. Individual Health Insurance Plan

Individual Health Insurance is a personalised safety net, crafted for individuals seeking direct health insurance coverage for a certain policy term. It stands as a shield for those without employer plans or the self-employed, offering autonomy in healthcare choices.

With customizable policies, it provides comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, in-patient costs, from surgeries to diagnostic tests. The benefits include the flexibility of tailoring plans to specific needs and maintaining coverage independently of employment changes. While premiums may be slightly higher, the trade-off lies in personalised and uninterrupted health security.

Also, Read: Difference Between Life Insurance and Health Insurance

2. Group Health Insurance

A Group Health Insurance plan is a collective safeguard designed for employees within an organisation. This type of coverage provides a unified and cost-effective solution, spreading financial protection across a group. Typically sponsored by employers, Group Health Insurance ensures that employees benefit from broader coverage at lower premiums.

While customisation options may be limited compared to individual plans, the advantages lie in the shared financial responsibility and accessibility to healthcare benefits. The real strength of Group Health Insurance emerges in its ability to foster a healthier workforce and contribute to the overall well-being of the organisation.

However, new-age insurtechs like Onsurity are changing the norm by offering tailor-made plans based on the size and needs of businesses.

Relevant Read: What is a Group Health Insurance Policy?

3. Family Floater Health Insurance

Family Floater Health Insurance is a comprehensive safety net designed for families, offering collective coverage for all members under a single policy. This type of plan is a cost-effective solution, streamlining healthcare protection for spouses, children, and sometimes even parents.

With a single premium payment and high sum assured, families gain the advantage of shared coverage, ensuring that each member has access to medical support when needed. While individual needs are considered, the overall emphasis is on providing a cohesive and affordable health insurance solution for the entire family.

In real-life scenarios, Family Floater plans exemplify financial prudence, ensuring that the health and well-being of loved ones is prioritised.

4. Senior Citizen Health Insurance

Senior Citizen Health Insurance is a tailored safeguard meticulously crafted for the unique healthcare needs of elderly individuals. Specifically designed to address age-related health concerns, this plan offers comprehensive coverage for medical expenses in the golden years.

With features such as lower waiting periods in health insurance and specialised coverage, it ensures that seniors receive the care they deserve without undue financial strain. In real-life scenarios, individuals in their senior years find solace and support in a plan that recognizes and caters to their distinct health requirements.

5. Critical Illness Plans

Critical Illness Insurance is a robust financial shield designed to specifically address the challenges posed by severe medical conditions. This plan provides a lump sum payout upon diagnosis of critical illnesses, offering a crucial financial buffer during times of immense health strain.

Tailored to cover major health crises like cancer, heart attacks, kidney failure, and strokes, this insurance plan ensures that policyholders can focus on recovery rather than financial burdens. While the coverage is disease-specific, the benefits of substantial financial support and peace of mind in the face of life-altering illnesses make Critical Illness Insurance an indispensable part of comprehensive health insurance cover.

Also, Read: Domiciliary Hospitalisation Meaning

6. Top-up Health Insurance

Top-up Health Insurance is a strategic add-on supplement to your existing health coverage, providing an extra layer of financial protection when the need arises. This plan comes into play when your primary health insurance limit is exhausted, ensuring extended coverage without a substantial increase in premiums.

With higher deductibles, top-up plans offer a cost-effective solution, allowing you to customise your coverage according to your specific needs. While it complements existing plans, the real advantage lies in the increased financial safety net, offering peace of mind and comprehensive protection against unexpected medical expenses.

7. Maternity Health Insurance

Maternity Health Insurance is a specialised plan designed by insurance companies to embrace the joyous yet financially demanding journey of parenthood. Tailored for expecting couples, this plan provides insurance coverage for pregnancy-related expenses, ensuring that the arrival of a new family member is met with financial confidence.

With features such as coverage for prenatal and postnatal care, delivery, and sometimes even newborn care, Maternity Health Insurance alleviates the financial burden associated with bringing a child into the world.

While it may involve waiting periods, the benefits of securing the well-being of both the mother and the newborn make Maternity Health Insurance an essential investment for those embarking on the beautiful path of parenthood. Buyers should also take care of the room rent limit before making plans.

Quick Read: Maternity Leave in India

8. Disease-specific Health Insurance

Disease-specific health insurance policies cover the treatment of only a single disease, such as heart illness, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, etc. However, there are specific waiting periods associated with each disease.

The plan covers pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, daily cash, ambulance cover, and health checkups, among other benefits.

Since the coverage is for a single disease, the premium for such plans is usually less. These insurances are usually taken by people who have a risk of inheriting specific health-related issues.

Also, Read: Pre-existing Diseases in Health Insurance

9. Daily Hospital Cash Cover

Hospital Daily Cash Cover is a unique health insurance plan where insurance companies provide financial assistance during hospitalisation, ensuring you have additional support beside the sum insured (under the regular health insurance plan) to manage incidental expenses.

This plan provides a fixed daily cash allowance, allowing you to cover non-medical costs such as transportation and meals while you or your loved ones are receiving hospital care. Though it doesn’t directly cover medical bills, the extra financial cushion eases the burden during times of health crises.

Also, Read: Day care Procedures in Health Insurance

Indemnity and Fixed Benefit Plans


1. Indemnity Health Insurance Plan

Indemnity plans provide the reimbursement of the actual medical expenses incurred through a lump sum amount. They provide flexibility in choosing healthcare providers but may require upfront payment unless hospitalised in a network hospital. Some variations might also be known as mediclaim policy.

2. Fixed Benefit Health Insurance Plan

Fixed benefit plans offer a pre-determined lump sum on the occurrence of specific events or illnesses, irrespective of the actual expenses incurred. While they provide certainty, they may not cover all expenses. Critical illness plans are typically fixed-benefit plans.

Also, Read: Difference Between Network and Non-network Hospital

Importance of Buying Health Insurance

  • Financial Protection: Shields against unexpected medical expenses
  • Access to Quality Healthcare: Ensures access to the best medical facilities, without the need for an upfront payment when hospitalised in a network hospitalisation.
  • Safeguarding Savings: Prevents depletion of savings during medical emergencies.
  • Tax Benefits: Premiums paid towards health insurance are eligible for tax deductions through tax laws such as under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.

Benefits of Health Insurance Plans

  • Comprehensive Coverage: All-encompassing protection against various medical expenses even if in crores.
  • Peace of Mind: Assurance of financial support during health crises.
  • Preventive Medical Care: Encourages regular health check-ups and preventive measures to diagnose health issues at an early stage.
  • Network Benefits: Access to a wide network of healthcare providers
  • Little to no out-of-pocket expenses.

Things to Consider While Choosing Health Insurance Plans

  • Coverage Needs: Assess both individual and family healthcare needs by considering existing medical conditions, potential future requirements, and the overall medical history. This comprehensive evaluation ensures that the selected health insurance plan adequately addresses the specific health concerns of all members covered.
  • Affordability: Evaluate the premiums and benefits offered by different health insurance plans in accordance with budget constraints. Striking a balance between cost and coverage is essential to ensure that the chosen plan remains financially sustainable over the long term.
  • Network Hospitals: Confirm the availability of preferred healthcare providers within the insurers’ network. This step ensures convenient access to quality medical care and minimizes out-of-pocket expenses when seeking treatment from network hospitals.
  • Waiting Periods: Understand the waiting periods associated with specific coverages within the health insurance plan. Waiting periods can vary for different treatments or conditions, and being aware of these details helps manage expectations and plan for potential healthcare needs accordingly.
  • Exclusions: Scrutinise policy exclusions, terms, and conditions to avoid surprises at the time of making claims. A thorough understanding of what is not covered by the insurance policy is crucial to prevent any misunderstandings or unexpected financial burdens during medical emergencies.
  • Accident Insurance: Check if the health insurance policy includes provisions specifically tailored to personal accidents. Having coverage for accidents ensures additional financial protection in case of unforeseen events resulting in injuries, offering peace of mind and comprehensive coverage.
  • Pre and Post-Hospitalisation Expenses: Emphasise the coverage for pre and post-hospitalisation expenses. Recognise the importance of extending coverage beyond the actual hospitalisation period, as the costs of medical treatment often extend before admission and after discharge. Ensuring comprehensive coverage for these phases contributes to a more robust and holistic health insurance plan.


When it comes to buying the right health insurance policy, knowledge becomes the torchbearer. Understanding the diverse types of health insurance plans empowers you to make informed choices tailored to your unique needs.

As you navigate this comprehensive guide, reflect on your healthcare needs, weigh the pros and cons, and choose a plan that not only protects your finances, but also ensures your well-being. Onsurity encourages you to embark on this journey of health security, safeguarding your present, and securing your future.


1. Why do you need a health insurance policy?

An insurance policy helps you deal better with illness without having to destroy your financial life and those of your family.

2. How to purchase health insurance in India?

You can either buy health insurance online from insurance marketplaces or can buy them with the help of an agent.

3. How does smoking affect health insurance premium?

Generally, smokers need to pay a high premium for the same benefits and have reduced coverage, too.

4. How to port a medical insurance policy?

You can get in touch with the representative of the company you are porting your insurance to. You might need a portability form, KYC documents, and health checkup documents.

5. What is the difference between HMO, PPO, EPO, and POS health insurance plans?

HMO stands for Health Management Organization, PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization, POS stands for Point of Service and EPO stands for Exclusive Provider Organization. These are different institutions which take care of the patient and provide treatment.

6. What are the various types of health insurances?
  • Individual Health Insurance
  • Group Health Insurance
  • Family Floater Health Insurance
  • Senior Citizen Health Insurance
  • Critical Illness Health Insurance
  • Top-up Health Insurance
  • Maternity Health Insurance
  • Personal Health Insurance
  • Mediclaim Health Insurance
  • Disease Specific Health Insurance
  • Hospital Daily Cash Health Insurance
  • Unit Linked Health Insurance
7. What are the four most important types of insurances?
  1. Individual Plans
  2. Group Plans
  3. Senior Citizen Plans
  4. Critical Illness Cover Plans
8. What are the top three health insurances?
  1. Personal Health Insurance
  2. Senior Citizen Health Insurance
  3. Group Health Insurance
9. What is the most common type of health insurance?

The most common type of health insurance plan is personal health insurance plan.

10. What are the two basic types of insurance?

In terms of whether you get insurance benefit before or after treatment, there are two main insurance plans:

  1. Indemnity plan, where you are reimbursed after treatment
  2. Cashless plan, where you are admitted without any cost

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