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A Look at Health Insurance for Paralysis Treatment in India

By Juhi Walia
12 September 2022, 12:09 PM

It’s not for nothing that paralysis is considered a critical illness. After all, it damages the nervous system and disrupts the relay of messages between the muscles and the brain. It also implies sensory and motor loss in the body parts it affects, along with an inability to talk. In other words, the patient suffers from loss of sensation and muscle function in the ‘paralysed’ area. The primary causes of paralysis are injury to the brain or spinal cord, peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis (MS), strokes, spinal deformity, spinal cord tumour, brain tumour, substance abuse, and so on. It can happen to anyone, anytime (even to those leading the healthiest lifestyle). Paralysis can make the patients’ and their loved ones’ lives extremely challenging, as the former suffers and becomes dependent on the latter. While one may have a strong support system to help them during this difficult ailment, health insurance is a boon for covering exorbitant medical expenses.

Kinds of Paralysis

Different types of paralysis are categorised according to the severity and the areas of the body it affects. These are:

  • Complete Paralysis — when one doesn’t have any control over the body part’s muscles or sensation.
  • Partial Paralysis — incomplete paralysis or paresis, the patient has some sensation or control over the paralysed muscles. 
  • Temporary – Some or all of the patient’s muscle control comes back.
  • Permanent – The patient loses muscle control forever.
  • Flaccid – The patient’s muscles get flabby and shrink.
  • Spastic – When the muscles tighten and result in uncontrollable spasms or jerks. 
  • Localised Paralysis – The condition affects a specific body area - arms, feet, face or vocal cords.
  • Generalised Paralysis – Related to an injury to the brain or spinal cord, it spreads across the body and is grouped according to how many body areas it affects. It’s further categorised into: 
  1. Monoplegia – loss of control over one limb (an arm or leg on one side of the body).
  2. Hemiplegia – loss of control over one side of the body.
  3. Quadriplegia – loss of control over all four limbs.
  4. Locked-in Syndrome – complete loss of control over voluntary muscles except for eye movements.

Why is Health Insurance a Necessity to Treat Paralysis?

As such, there’s no cure for paralysis, but the doctor will recommend a treatment plan that includes: 

  • Physiotherapy and regular exercise
  • Occupational therapy
  • Assistive mobility technologies such as special braces and wheelchairs 
  • Adaptive technologies such as special eating vessels
  • Full-time nursing
  • Medication

The disease does not just prevent one from leading a normal life but can also cause serious health complications such as high blood pressure, depression and chest pain. It’s crucial to seek treatment for paralysis to prevent one’s condition from worsening. Since paralysis is a severe disease, regular health insurance plans may not provide sufficient coverage for its treatment. This is where a critical illness health insurance plan comes in, providing the policyholder with a lump sum amount in one short. While indemnity-based insurance can cover medical expenses, the insured can use this amount for treatment, recovery and other medical care. Illness can also take care of unexpected financial problems such as income loss, lifestyle changes, clearing debts, etc. 

Health Insurance Plans for Paralysis Worth Considering

Most top insurers in India provide critical illness insurance. Here are some you could look at:

1. Bajaj Allianz Critical Insurance Policy

Covering people aged between 90 days and 80 years for many critical diseases, the policyholder can opt for a sum insured range between INR 1 lakh and INR 50 lakh.

2. Care Health Insurance Critical Illness Plan 

The healthcare plan provides coverage against 32 critical illnesses and boasts of a sufficient sum insured, other health insurance benefits, quick health insurance claim settlement and more. At the coverage cost of INR 2 crore, policy term options are one, two and three years. 

3. Aditya Birla Critical Illness Insurance Policy

Aditya Birla offers critical illness policies in three variants covering different numbers of critical illnesses. Plan 1, Plan 2 and Plan 3 cover 20, 50 and 64 critical illnesses, respectively. The minimum entry age for Plan 1 and Plan 2 is five years, while the same for Plan 3 is 18 years. You can get coverage up to INR 1 crore as 12 times the annual income of the proposer.

4. IFFCO Tokio Critical Illness Insurance Policy

If the policyholder is aged between 3 years to 65 years, one can opt for sum insured options up to INR 1 crore.

5. HDFC ERGO Comprehensive Suraksha

The comprehensive health insurance plan offers coverage for permanent paralysis of limbs with a sum assured ranging from INR 1 Lakh to INR 5 Crore. With additional premiums, you can also cover pre-diagnosis cover, loss of job and more. 


Like most critical illnesses, paralysis doesn’t affect just the patient but the entire household due to the financial burden and lifestyle changes required. Critical illness health insurance can support the patient in getting treatment and associated care, including physiotherapy, speech therapy, voice command systems, medication, mobility aids, nursing care and more. But you must compare health insurance plans to check factors such as sum insured, premium, network hospitals, waiting period, and claim settlement ratio, among others. 

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1. Is it necessary to buy a critical illness plan for paralysis if I already have a comprehensive plan or group policy?

Your group or comprehensive plan may cover the treatment costs if you have paralysis, but only to a certain extent. Meanwhile, a critical illness plan pays out a lump sum in a single transaction that you can use for therapies, special aids, care, etc. Besides, a critical illness policy will also provide coverage for many other diseases. Another option is to get a critical illness rider over a comprehensive health insurance policy. See which option offers more coverage against paralysis and choose that.

2. Does a critical illness plan for paralysis have a waiting or survival period?

Yes, critical illness health insurance plans have both. While the policyholder needs to have survived for 30 days after diagnosis of the disease, the waiting period in health insurance is 90 days from policy inception. 

3. Who should definitely opt for a critical illness plan for paralysis?

Any critical illness policy is a necessity for people with a family medical history of chronic ailments, sole earning members of a family, those in high-pressure jobs, and the ageing populace. 

4. Spina bifida is a form of paralysis. Does one get coverage for it?

Unfortunately, spina bifida is a congenital disease, and insurers do not usually cover it under a critical illness insurance policy. However, you could try agents who specialise in health insurance to try getting a policy from their network. Government insurers or insurance plans with banks may come to your rescue as those often look at medical cases differently. It’s worth mentioning that one could protect an unborn child financially as maternity plans provide coverage to newborns.   

5. Do the health insurance plans for paralysis include tax benefits?

Yes. If you buy health insurance for paralysis, you will get a tax benefit under Section 80D.

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