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Understand Waiting Period and Survival Period in Health Insurance Policy
Take informed decisions with IIFL Insurance:

What is the survival and waiting period in health insurance?

Health insurance involves different types of coverage benefits allowing policyholders to get protection against various illnesses. However, with the rising medical costs, it becomes difficult to manage them during emergencies. Therefore, it is wise to buy a health insurance policy to overcome problems caused by medical inflation. On the other hand, one should pick the correct type of insurance that suits their requirements and budget.

Most health insurance plans have certain concepts, and policy buyers should know more about them in detail. This, in turn, gives ways to select a plan that provides several benefits to a policyholder. Not only that, a person can make the best use of a plan after purchasing it from a company. He/she can claim amounts for critical disorders after getting admission into a hospital. Those who buy a health insurance policy for the first time should gather ideas from different sources that will help make the right decision. Also, they can select a policy that exactly suits their needs and budgets to get financial security in life.

A health insurance document comes with specific clauses such as waiting period, pre-existing illnesses, survival period, and so on. Hence, it is essential to know more about them in detail before purchasing a plan. 

What is a waiting period in health insurance?

Health insurance plans have a waiting period when a policyholder wants to claim amounts for specific illnesses. Therefore, a person should understand what is waiting period in health insurance while buying a policy. For example, an employee bought a plan at the age of 45, which has a waiting period of 60 days. As a result, he cannot claim quickly after getting hospitalized when suffering from diabetes or other medical conditions.

After buying a policy, a policyholder needs to wait for a certain period before the coverage comes into effect, that is the waiting period. That means that he/she has to bear the expenses himself/herself until the waiting period gets over. Therefore, buying a minimum waiting period health insurance plan enables a policyholder to gain more advantages. Moreover, it provides ways to claim coverage as soon as possible from a company.

Policy buyers should know the different types of the waiting period in insurance that will help invest money depending on their needs. For example, the waiting period for pre-existing illnesses may range from one to four years, and one should consider them while choosing a plan.

Types of Waiting Period in Health Insurance

Here we listed out the 4 different types of Waiting Period in Health Insurance Policy as mentioned below:-


1. Initial Waiting Period 

The initial waiting period is applicable only when purchasing a policy. For example, a policyholder cannot avail coverage for planned or emergency hospitalization during the initial waiting period. On the other hand, the coverage starts from day one for accident cases. 

2. Waiting Period for Specific Diseases

It is longer than the initial waiting period, and policyholders can claim against listed diseases after specific years of buying the policy. Anyone who has particular disorders should consult with experts before purchasing a plan. 

3. Pre-Existing Illnesses Waiting Period 

The pre-existing disease waiting period may range from 1 year to 4 years, depending on the insurance company. Therefore, policyholders need to wait for a long-time when they want to claim amounts for pre-existing disorders.

4. Waiting Period for Maternity

Some companies have a maternity insurance waiting period of 9 months to 4 years for maternity, and one should evaluate them with more attention before buying them.

How to reduce the waiting period in health insurance plans?

One of the best ways to reduce the waiting period is buying a policy at a young age. This is because health diseases are less susceptible at an early age and insurance companies offer health insurance without a waiting period at low prices. Furthermore, one can pay an extra premium to overcome the waiting period. Policy buyers should also know the factors that can affect the premiums properly. This will help a lot to buy a health insurance policy without any hassles.

What is a Survival Period?

A survival period in health insurance means a policyholder should survive for said number of days after being diagnosed with a medical condition. An insurance company will pay a lump sum amount to policyholders upon completion of the survival period. It is a part of critical illness coverage that provides amounts for cancer, heart failure, stroke, etc. While the waiting period will remain the same, a policyholder can get coverage for critical illnesses after 30 days or more. Buying a shorter survival period insurance will benefit a policyholder’s family to minimize emotional issues and financial obstacles to witness peace of mind.

Do health insurance plans offer critical illnesses coverage?

A majority of people doubt whether health insurance covers critical illness when they want to buy a policy. Insurance companies offer critical illnesses covered under the rider option, and customers have to pay an extra amount to buy them. It is wise to check the add-ons while purchasing a health insurance policy. On the other hand, they should know the difference between a waiting period and a survival period that will help achieve goals. They should compare the prices of add-ons because they are expensive. Besides that, it gives ways to get the best coverage when it comes to critical illnesses.

10 Things to keep in mind before buying a health insurance plan

Health insurance companies offer plans for individuals and families to ensure maximum protection from financial burdens. However, customers should keep certain things in mind before buying a policy.

  • Age
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Lifestyle Habits
  • Waiting Period
  • Costs
  • Claim Settlement Ratios
  • Number of Dependents
  • Network Hospitals
  • Pre-Existing Conditions


Buying a health insurance plan involves several factors, and customers should consider working with experts to handle complex issues. Also, they should evaluate the differences between policy clauses properly that will help reduce unwanted issues. Besides that, customers can plan their healthcare requirements and finance after choosing a policy. Finally, they should read reviews of plans and insurance providers online to understand the policy and the insurer in a better way.

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