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Health Insurance vs Medical Insurance: Which is better?

Medical Insurance

A health insurance policy is often the last line of defence that you have against incurring hefty medical bills. If you are looking for an insurance product that can help you minimize healthcare expenses, then you are bound to come across popular terms such as health insurance and medical insurance. Many people use these words interchangeably and consider these to be the same insurance products. While both types of insurance serve the purpose of preserving your finances against medical expenses, you must understand the difference between them and decide that which one of these do you need to take.

Health Insurance

Apart from the hospitalization, all the pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization expenses are also covered under the health insurance policy. This may include expenses such as diagnostics, medicine, ambulance charges, room tariff, maternity packages, etc. Some of the health insurance plans may additionally offer facilities such as annual or semi-annual health check-ups as well as OPD charges coverage. This makes health insurance a more comprehensive package for most people. You can pick and choose the policies based on your individual requirements such as specific plans covering pre-existing conditions or dental procedures. It includes both cashless as well as claim-based reimbursement type facilities and has a more extensive list of network hospitals.

Medical Insurance

As the name suggests, medical insurance takes care of the medical expenses that have been incurred during the hospitalization. It does not include pre and post-hospitalization charges and only works on claim-based reimbursement instead of offering you cashless treatment at the network hospital. The premium amount of medical insurance is usually lesser than the health insurance policy. There are also limitations placed on the minimum hospitalization as hospitalization under 24 hours is usually not covered by the medical insurance.

Deciding between health insurance vs medical insurance

While deciding whether to get health insurance vs medical insurance, you need to focus your attention on these few key things.

  • What is covered: Coverage is one of the biggest differences between health insurance and medical insurance. While medical insurance only covers the hospitalization expenses of 24 hours or more, health insurance can be a lot more flexible in covering scenarios from dental surgery to critical illnesses. Also, health insurance takes care of pre-hospitalization expenses such as ambulance fees and paying for expensive diagnostic tests. The follow-up expenses in the form of post-hospitalization expenses such as consultation fees are also covered under the health insurance.
  • Critical illnesses: Many of the critical illnesses are only covered under health insurance and not under the medical insurance policy. The health insurance plan also provides the lump sum payment in case of critical illnesses.
  • Add-on coverage: Accidents, maternity, disability, and other riders are included or can be added to the health insurance policy but not with the medical insurance policy.
  • Pre-assured sum: The pre-assured sum in the case of a medical insurance policy usually caps at 5 lacs however in the case of health insurance it can go up to 6 crores, giving it a lot more utility than the medical insurance.
  • Premium amount: The premium amount for a medical insurance policy is usually lesser compared to a health insurance policy.
  • Senior citizens and preventive care coverage: Health insurance also allows for preventive healthcare with full-body checkups and OPD consultations. This is a great benefit if you have senior citizens in your family as they are more prone to developing age-related ailments.

Both health insurance and medical insurance have their own benefits and you must choose which ones align with your needs better. If you wish to evaluate and compare these policies in real-time, you can visit the IIFL website and check out some of the examples of each kind. This will make it easier to decide on which one do you want to go for.


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