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Mediclaim policies to cover OPD-maximizing Tax Benefit to individual policy holder

Cholamandalam MS has recently launched a new health policy called “Chola Tax Plus Health line” which helps the individual to avail the maximum benefit of Rs. 35,000 under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Now, under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961, an individual can claim tax deduction upto Rs. 15,000 for premium paid for self, spouse and children and another Rs. 15,000 for premiums paid for parents and if senior citizen than the limit of Rs. 15,000 is up warded to Rs. 20,000. However large numbers of people are not able to fully avail this benefit of tax deduction.

In order to encourage the people to avail the maximum benefit u/s 80D for Health Insurance Plans, the private Insurance players like Cholamandalam MS, ICICI Lombard and Appolo Munich had launched the mediclaim products that pay for patients who receives treatment as a hospital without staying overnight , dental expenses etc, in addition to regular hospitalization expenses. These products cover treatments that neither requires 24-hour hospitalization nor do they form a part of the 'day-care' procedures list. This segment includes doctor’s fees, vaccines, glasses and dental expenses. In addition to the above, Ayurveda and Homeopathy are also covered under the policy. Also there are no sub-limits under this segment.  

The good thing of this product is that unlike standard health plans, these products also pay for consultation fees, dental treatment, maternity expenses, diagnostic tests and pharmacy bills and it  will be appealing to the individuals whose main aim is to avail the maximum tax benefit u/s 80D of the Income Tax Act. 

However on a negative side with the additional cost charged being almost equal to the OPD coverage, the current OPD products in the market are mere tax-saving instruments, without creating any real value for the customer, defeating the purpose of buying such policy. Further, it can be always better to buy a cheaper, regular health policy and invest money saved elsewhere. This kitty can then be used for funding OPD expenses.

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