Review of ICICI Pru Medical Advantage Feature
I had invested a small sum in ICICI Pru Short Term Direct Plan Growth Option. And Recently I got an email from them on Medical Advantage Feature. I started wondering whether investments in this fund could be a good alternative to Mediclaim or Health Insurance. And what are the pros and Cons of it? So here are my thoughts on it.
Email Subject: E-CARD for ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund – Medical Advantage Feature
Welcome to *Medical Advantage Feature (MAF) of ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund powered by Vidal Healthcare Services Pvt. Ltd.
Attached is the MAF e-card for all the holder(s) in the folio. Please download the cards, check them and store carefully.
Also attached is the Welcome Letter & MAF Leaflet which gives detailed information about MAF and how to access various services available under MAF.
Hospital List: For checking the list of *empanelled hospitals & diagnostic centres please visit www.health4sure.in/iprumf. When you go to the hospital, please carry the e-card to avail Cashless feature or Medical Discounts.
Contact Us: To contact us please call 080- 49166710 or write to us at email@example.com . You can write to us or call us for any query on the card or on your hospitalization, or to know about the process to enrol additional members to MAF.
Please contact us before visiting any hospital or diagnostic centre, as it will enable us to suggest a point of care and to get best possible discounts pertaining to the medical case at the time.
You will also receive a bi-monthly newsletter called “Health Bhi, Wealth Bhi” as well as email tips on how to maintain your health.
To know more about MAF, its benefits, and T&C, please visit:
We hope you find MAF useful and look forward to a long and healthy relationship with you.
Team Vidal Health
First, understand that this fund is NOT a substitute for Mediclaim / Health Insurance. This is simply a Liquid Plus fund and you can expect to get around 7 – 7.5% percent returns from it in the current low-interest rate scenario. The investment objective of the fund is to generate income consistent with the prudent risk from a portfolio comprising substantially of floating rate debt instruments, fixed rate debt instruments swapped for floating rate return. They also invest in fixed rate instruments and money market instruments.
The way the Medical Advantage Feature works is as follows – Suppose you invest Rs 5 Lakhs into this fund. Now there is a medical emergency and you are admitted into one of their network hospitals. Then you can pay directly from the Mutual Fund Units instead of cash. Vidal Healthcare Solutions is simply a TPA (Third Party Administrator).
Now to answer the question – Whether investments in this fund could be a good alternative to Mediclaim or Health Insurance?
Understand that this is your own money invested in the scheme. Whether you pay from Bank or directly via Mutual Fund Units, it is your money that you are paying from your own pocket so what’s the big advantage? This is very different from health insurance wherein you only pay a yearly premium and in the case of medical emergency or treatment, the insurance company pays for your treatment. Health Insurance is your first line of defence in adversity. With Health insurance, you are protected against high medical costs. Its limit gets replenished every year.
As Emergency Fund:
This fund is more like an Emergency fund which will be helpful to cover medical expenses that cannot be availed through the cashless facility. It might be useful in scenarios where the hospital where you are taking treatment is NOT listed in your insurer’s network hospital list so you have no choice except to opt for the reimbursement based claim. Also
As Corpus for Medical Treatment:
This Fund might also be useful as a corpus for Medical Emergency or Medical Treatment (again Not Insurance) for those who are unable to get medical insurance or the premium is very high.
How ICICI Prudential Medical Advantage Feature Card Works:
- Get the Medical Advantage Feature (MAF) e-card: which can be utilized at hospital wards networked with Vidal Health. Vidal Healthcare Solutions is simply a TPA (Third Party Administrator). Click Here to check hospitals networked with Vidal Health.
- If the necessity of medical-related expense occurs then fill up the medical redemption form provided with medical advantage feature e-card.
- The hospital provides an estimation to Vidal health and some Mutual Fund Units are redeemed to fulfil present medical care requirements.
- Also, some units get blocked for near future cash requirements according to hospital estimation.
- Additional Benefits: Potential Special discounts in health-related bills( subject to hospitals authorization ), Free 2nd opinion from medical professionals empanelled with Vidal health.
Important Points to Remember :
- This is NOT a Health Insurance or Mediclaim plan. This is simply a service for the individual investor to route money from mutual fund scheme to hospital facility under emergency medical situations.
- Conventional online / offline redemption facilities available.
- Long term / short term capital gains as applicable.
- As per my understanding, these services are Free of charge & individual investor won’t be charged for this service.
- Similiar services: Vidal Healthcare Services provide this kind of service together with fixed deposits of Ratnakar Bank