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Room rent capping in group health insurance

Hospital room rent is nothing but the per-day charges the patient has to pay towards occupying an ICU room or a hospital ward room during hospitalization. This can be a deluxe room, luxury room, etc.

Now they can have a sub-limit applied to them commonly known as room rent limit. This is directly related to your sum insured. Your room rent limit is a percentage of your sum insured. This percentage is prescribed by the insurer.

Sub-limit in insurance

A sub-limit in health insurance is the specific percentage of the sum insured which will be paid by the insurer for certain hospital expenses generated. There can be different sub-limits for different hospital expenses. Doctor’s fees, room rent, nursing expenses, and many more can have a sub-limit cap applied to them. However, they depend on the terms and conditions of your health insurance policy.

Let us understand the room rent limit or room rent capping concept with an example.

Sam goes to a hospital for surgery and he requires hospitalization of 5 days. He decides to take up a private room which costs him ₹6000 a day. He has a sum insured of ₹5 lakhs. His insurer has the room rent limit of 1% of the sum insured, which is around ₹5000 a day. Summing the details up,

Sum insured ₹5,00,000
Room rent limit 1% of 5,00,000 = 5000
Sam's room rent ₹6000

Here is what Sam’s hospital bill will look like:

No. of days hospitalized 5 days
Cost of surgery ₹1,00,000
Cost of medicines ₹23,000
Room rent charges ₹30,000
Other expenses ₹7,000
Grand Total ₹1,60,000

So, from the above bill, you can see that the actual cost of room rent is ₹30,000. So according to the prescribed 1% room rent limit, the insurer will pay you only ₹25,000 and you will have to pay the rest which is ₹5,000 out of your pocket.

Now let us turn the tables. Let us consider that Sam opts for a health insurance plan with no ICU room and hospital room rent limit. What happens then?

Very simple, Sam can opt for whatever room he wants and the insurer takes care of the entire room rent expense.

Typically what every insurer does is that they give you a limit up to which you can choose your ICU room and hospital room when you undergo treatment.

What are the average private room charges in a hospital?

The average private room charges in a hospital can vary according to a few factors.

  1. For instance, a metropolitan city can charge you higher than a non-metro city.
  2. The type of hospital you choose for your medical treatment. A super-specialty hospital may charge you more than a regular hospital.

Now considering all these factors, let us understand what a typical room ret charges will look like. Let city A be a metropolitan city and C a non-metro city and B a city that falls in between them.

Type of hospital room City A City B City C
ICU room ₹8500 ₹8000 ₹6000
Semi-private room(sharing between 2 or more patients) ₹4000 ₹3200 ₹2000
Private room R₹4500 ₹4100 ₹2400
General Ward ₹1200 ₹800 ₹550

Please note: The above-mentioned costs are for reference purposes only and not the exact costs. They may vary according to the hospital you choose.

Types of room rent coverage in health insurance

In the previous situation we explored what a room rent with sub-limit looks like. Now there are other types of room rent coverage in health insurance. They are

No capping on room rent

With a health insurance plan which mentions room rent without sub-limits, the policyholder has the freedom to choose any room he wants without any restriction. General ward or a private room, the choice is yours. A health insurance plan with no room rent capping is an ideal policy to go with.

No room rent capping meaning in insurance is there is no restriction on which room or price you choose your room when you’re hospitalized.

Room rent with co-payment

In a room rent with a co-payment option, the insurer specifies the room rent limit during hospitalization. The insured will have to pay the rest of the amount if the room rent crosses the prescribed limit. This is what Sam’s situation was like too. In this way, you can share the room rent payment with the insurer.

Room rent coverage - rooms are specified

Some health insurance companies mention the room types in advance for which the health insurance cover is applicable. So you can choose any one of the pre-mentioned rooms for hospitalization and room rent for the same will be provided by the insurer. In case you want to choose a different room, then you will have to pay for it out of your pocket.

Room rent as an add-on cover

A few health insurance companies let you buy a no room rent limit option as an add-on cover for an extra premium. So with this plan in place, you do not have to worry about the room rent limit.

Choosing the right insurance for ICU room and hospital room rent

Remember these pointers to purchase the right insurance for ICU room and hospital room rent.

  1. Best to choose a plan which has no room rent capping or room rent sub-limit to give your employees a wholesome experience.
  2. If your insurer has a room rent limit prescribed, then go for a plan that has a higher sum insured. Why? Because the room rent limit is directly proportional to the sum insured.
  3. You can choose to pay an extra premium to include no room rent limit as an add-on cover.

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