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Difference Between Top up and Recharge in Health Insurance

Updated On Dec 27, 2020

Health insurance policies offer a variety of options to the policyholder through different products and facilities. Amongst such facilities, top up and recharge options under the health insurance plans are offered by the insurers to their policyholders over the basic health plan. Policy buyers usually get confused between these two facilities offered by different health insurance companies. This article is meant to clear all the confusion regarding both the facilities offered by the insurer, by explaining both the concepts individually. Read on to know more.

Difference Between Top up and Recharge in Health Insurance

What is Top up in Health Insurance?

A Top up plan is a health insurance plan that offers coverage for hospitalisation expenses once the deductible limit has been crossed. A deductible is part of the claim amount that does not get covered by the insurance company and has to be met by the individual itself prior to availing the benefits of a top up plan.

With the help of a top up plan you can increase the coverage for your health insurance plan in a cost effective manner. A policyholder can consider taking a top up policy over and above the basic health insurance policy. Therefore, in this manner, the policyholder can make use of their basic health insurance policy till the deductible limit and for payment over it, they can use their top up plan. However, the policyholder needs to make sure that the deductible does not exceed the sum insured they have taken in the basic plan.

For instance, Mr. Shiv Kumar has a health insurance plan with a sum insured of Rs five lakhs, then he needs to ensure that the deductible limit in his top up plan does not exceed over Rs five lakhs. Therefore, in case a claim of more than Rs five lakhs comes, then in that scenario, he can make use of both his basic plan as well as top up plan to pay the bills.

What is Recharge Option in Health Insurance?

Mostly, the health insurance plans permit the policyholder to use just the sum insured limit during the plan year. If the coverage gets exhausted, then in such cases no more claims can be filed by the policyholder. However, upon policy renewal in the next year, the entire sum insured is available with the policyholder once again. Therefore, many insurance companies have now introduced the recharge option that restores the same sum insured in case the policy gets exhausted during the policy year.

For instance, Miss Priya Arora purchases a health insurance plan alongside the restore option with Rs 4 lakhs of the sum insured for a 1 year policy term. During this time, she gets admitted into a hospital and is required to pay a medical bill of Rs 4 lakhs. Now, the insurance plan would help him with the same and at the same time recharge the insurance plan with a sum of Rs 4 lakhs again. In case any other hospitalisation happens within the same year, then Miss Priya is entitled to get a cushion of Rs 4 lakhs. And when the health plan is up for renewal in the following year, the recharged sum would exhaust and the health plan would begin with the original sum insured of Rs 4 lakhs.


Both the facilities i.e. top up plan and recharge option provided by the insurance companies are for the ease of their policyholders. The facility that suits best to a policyholder depends entirely upon their individual preferences and requirements. Therefore, before making any decision, it is best to go through both the facilities and benefits offered by the insurer thoroughly.

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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