The old adage, ‘Health is wealth’ is a cent percent truth. The medical treatments available these days are no doubt expensive and can easily lead to a debt trap if not planned for. This makes buying a health insurance plan an absolute necessity.

Health covers not only assist you to get timely treatment, but also ensure your financially protected. But health insurance is often used synonymously with a mediclaim.

But did you know they are different?

Surprised? Often used interchangeably, most people assume it to be the same but it is not the case.

A mediclaim policy is a health cover that provides reimbursement for expenses towards hospitalisation of the insured. It is an economical way to mitigate financial risks of medical emergencies involving hospitalisation.

Health insurance, on the other hand, includes other ancillary coverage apart from just hospitalisation. It further goes on to cover the cost pre and post admission for your treatment. A health insurance plan has a broader coverage than a mediclaim policy. These benefits differ among different insurance players. Selecting the right health plan requires far more analysis of the different features and narrowing down to the one that suits you.

Let us look at few important points that distinguish health insurance and mediclaim policies –


A mediclaim policy offers cover for hospitalisation and domiciliary care which is generally incurred in case of an accident, surgery or illness. A health insurance policy includes the cost for hospitalisation along with other facilities. The treatments required before and after hospitalisation, diagnostics tests, any day care procedures, critical illnesses, and more.

Add-on covers

Mediclaim facilities do not have add-on covers but your health insurance can be loaded with additional coverage. These add-ons come handy when your standard insurance plan offers limited coverage. Customizing health insurance plans for family with or the like can be useful depending on your family’s medical history.


Each mediclaim policy can have different features differing among each insurer, but the same is not the case of health insurance plans. Most health covers have more or less similar features. All you need to select the right plan according to your requirements.

Sum Assured

Mediclaim policies have a limited amount of sum assured. The maximum amount that one can opt is ₹5 lakhs. Your health covers have no such limit. Moreover, the amount of sum assured is based on factors like age, number of family members insured, place of residence or more.

Hospitalisation Cover

A mediclaim policy requires the insured to be hospitalized whereas under health insurance, day care procedures, health check-ups, prenatal expenses are covered along with cases of hospitalisation. Health insurance for senior citizens is one area where the benefits are useful over a mediclaim policy as not all times one might need to get admitted to a hospital for treatment.

To conclude, mediclaim policies are a nifty tool which is useful during emergencies that involve hospitalization. But a health insurance plan offers a complete cover for all those possible scenarios where you need not get admitted to a hospital but need immediate medical attention. Moreover, precautionary treatments or check-ups are covered under your health insurance plan which can be critical to be aware of the ailments that can occur.