Care Supreme vs HDFC Ergo Optima Secure
Before we start comparing these two policies we have to set out some ground rules.
Both products are marketed by different insurance companies. Care Supreme is sold by Care and Optima Secure is sold by HDFC Ergo. So any meaningful comparison should include a comparison of the product alongside the insurers themselves.
Second, we know that both products are reasonably comprehensive. They do the basics quite well, but they won’t have all the bells and whistles (Think extensive coverage for international, dental, maternity and other such matters). So if you are looking for something else entirely, then both these policies may not cut it.
And finally, any comparison is ultimately futile without considering the use case. Who are you buying this policy for? You, your family, your parents?
That’s something you’ll need to answer before using this guide. So with that introduction out of the way, we can get to comparing the actual policies themselves.
Let’s start with Care Supreme. The product comes from Care’s stable:
Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare Health Insurance) was founded in 2012. And in that time, they’ve managed to corner a large part of the Indian Insurance market.
What’s more impressive?
Care Health Insurance has a remarkable claim settlement ratio of 91.8% and a network of more than 9,400+ hospitals.
Optima Secure meanwhile comes from HDFC Ergo’s stable:
Founded in the year 2002, the company is a joint venture between India’s HDFC and Germany’s ERGO International AG. It offers policies across motor, travel, health and other sectors. And it also happens to be one of the largest insurers in the country.
More importantly, HDFC Ergo boasts a claim settlement ratio of 97.55%, with a network of 12,000+ hospitals
All in all, an impressive resume.
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|Claim settlement ratio|
(avg. of last 3 years)
|Pre existing diseases waiting|
|No claim bonus|
50% per year
(up to 100%)
50% per year
(up to 100%)
(unlimited no. of times
for different illness)
(once for any illness)
|Out Patient Department|
With a co-payment clause, the insurer will mandate that you pay a part of the bill. So if the bill adds up to Rs. 2,00,000 and the co-payment is set at 20% then you could be asked to pay Rs. 40,000 from the bill. In this case, however, Care Supreme doesn’t impose a co-payment clause. And neither does Optima Secure.
If the policy does impose room rent restrictions then the insurer may only let you stay in a room of a certain specification or impose a cap on the total room rent. If you were to breach either criterion then the insurance company may ask you to pay a portion of all the expenses you incurred while staying in the room. In this case, however, Care Supreme doesn’t impose any restrictions on the kind of room you can pick. And Optima Secure also doesn’t impose any restrictions on this front. You can pick any room you want.
Some policies will tell you that they will cover all medical expenses up until the sum insured, but then impose caps on the total costs you can incur while dealing with a very specific list of diseases. We call these caps “Disease Wise Sub Limits.” In this case, neither Care Supreme imposes disease-wise sub-limits nor does Optima Secure
Waiting periods for pre-existing diseases
If you’re suffering from a lifestyle condition or if you’ve had surgery in the past, or if you’re dealing with an acute or chronic illness at the time of buying the policy, then the insurer may classify this as a pre-existing disease. And they may tell you that they will only cover these illnesses after some time. In this case, Care Supreme imposes a waiting period of 4 years on pre-existing diseases while Optima Secure extends a waiting period of 3 years on existing conditions.
Pre and post Hospitalization expenses
Most people aren’t hospitalized right off the bat. Instead, they’ll have to go through a whole series of diagnostic tests before hospitalization and take medication post-discharge. These costs are outlined as pre-hospitalization expenses and post-hospitalization expenses respectively. In this case, Care Supreme covers expenses incurred 60 days before hospitalization and expenses incurred 180 days post-hospitalization. Meanwhile, Optima Secure covers expenses incurred 60 days before hospitalization and expenses incurred 180 after hospitalization, although there may be different sub-limits
No claim bonus
Some policies will tell you that they will incentivize you for not making a claim in any given year. And they offer such incentives by offering extra cover on top of the existing sum insured. This extra cover is categorized as a no-claim bonus. And in this case, Care Supreme offers a no-claim bonus of 50% and Optima Secure similarly extends a 50% no-claim bonus.
Imagine you are forced to treat yourself at home because you don’t find a hospital bed, or you have a chronic condition that prevents you from visiting one, then, insurers may choose to cover your treatment even if you’re hospitalized at home. And such costs are collectively categorized as domiciliary treatment costs. In this case, however, Care Supreme offers domiciliary cover. And Optima Secure also coves domiciliary expenses.
Most policies only cover treatments administered in a registered medical facility. However, on some occasions, you may want to pursue alternative treatments including homoeopathy, Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. These treatments are collectively categorized as Ayush treatments. And in this case, Care Supreme covers Ayush procedures and Optima Secure also extends coverage for Ayush treatments.
If you’re hospitalized during childbirth, then you may have to incur significant costs during delivery of your newborn, child care and other related matters during the course of the hospitalization. These costs are collectively termed maternity costs. And in this case, neither Care Supreme offers maternity cover nor does Optima Secure.
Out Patient Department (OPD)
Doctor visits and regular consultations aren’t usually covered by health insurance policies. They are categorized as Outpatient consultations (or OPD treatments) and patients have to bear the cost on their own. In this case, however, neither Care Supreme extends coverage for outpatient consultations, nor does Optima Secure.
After considering all the features on hand and the claim settlement ratio of HDFC Ergo, we believe that Optima Secure is a better alternative to Care Supreme for most use cases that we’ve evaluated so far.
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