IDFC Mutual Fund has tied up with Indian Health Organisaition (IHO) and will offer IDFC SIP Care wherein Systematic Investment Plan investors in IDFC Mutual Fund will get Medical Discounts at various Clinics, Labs and even Hospitals.
i. SIP Care is available only in the monthly frequency.
ii. SIP-Care would be available only for an SIP of 36 months or more
iii. In case of SIP-Care minimum amount has been kept as Rs. 2000/-. Any SIP care application for a monthly SIP of less than Rs. 2000/- would be rejected.
iv. The Health care benefits would be discontinued and the Card would be deactivated if the SIP is discontinued during the period for which the AMC is offering the facility.
v. The Health care benefits are available to the subscribers of IDFC SIP Care only for a period of one year from the date of subscription. The subscribers desirous of availing the facility beyond 1 year can get the card renewed by paying the fees directly to IHO.
There are certain specific health care benefits attached to this “SIP care”. The subscribers would be provided a Health Card which will help them in getting certain benefits provided by Indian Health Organization Pvt. Ltd. (IHO) through their network of doctors and medical practitioners and pathology labs etc.
Benefits of IHO plans as compared to traditional medical Insurance:
No Age limits – All age groups can avail the same benefits at same fees.
Pre-existing ailments are covered from day 1.
All day to day and Pre- hosptialisation medical expenses are covered.
Dental and cosmetic treatments are covered.
Discounts are upfront and no claims are to be filed.
No upper limit on the expenses.
Free chat facility with a doctor available.
Benefits to SIP Investor:
Dial a Doctor Benefits
Free Chat with a doctor
SHOULD YOU GO FOR IT?
As with all products this product has got both positive and negative aspects.
Let us look at them.
1. Investors can just call up the IHO Toll free number to get medical prescription for routine illness like cough, headache instead of going to their Doctors.
2. Upto 50% discount on Consultations with IHO empanelled clinics (about 14000 of them!!_
3. About 7.5% to 12% discount on Medicines purchased from the IHO network of Pharmacies.
4. Upto 30% discount on Tests done through IHO empanelled Labs.
5. The SIP Care facility will continue to be offered to the Investor even if he stops the SIP after the 1st year as the investors agreement is with the IHO and not IDFC Mutual fund.
6.No additional cost would be charged to the customer or to the fund for this benefit.
All these discounts are offered upfront and an investor need not file any claim with IHO or IDFC Mutual Fund.
The Investor will need to pay Fees to the IHO from the 2nd year onwards to continue availing this facility. The Fees ranges from Rs1500 to Rs.4000.
The concept looks great on paper, but the problems do exist.
1. The facility is only on 2 funds namely
IDFC Classic Equity Fund
IDFC Sterling Equity fund.
Both the funds performance are not anything to boast of.
2. The reviews on IHO's services are far from encouraging.
3. The facility is FREE only for the 1st year.
I personally, would NOT like to use their facility.
SHOULD YOU TAKE THE FACILITY?
Unless you are a IDFC fan and have a transferable job, you are better off taking a proper Health Plan and invest the SIPs in a better performing and consistent fund like BNP Paribas Equity Fund, Birla Sunlife GenNext Fund, Reliance Equity Opportunities Fund, L&T Equity fund.
Since the concept is eye-catching, surely other AMCs too could come with similar features and if the feature is better and the schemes on which the facility is also good, then you can surely go for the same.
Srikanth Shankar Matrubai
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