According to the studies done in the past, inflation of medical expenses in India has increased to over 17% every year. It is now is possible to cure and control almost all the diseases. Here’s where you will need a health insurance policy.
The market is full of products which makes the selection process challenging. It is not easy to choose a suitable health plan as many people are not sure of what features to focus on while looking for a product.
Some people only buy health insurance in India for tax benefits. They do not think whether the plan that is chosen covers them optimally. There are a few important features/ checks that need to be looked out for when you buy health insurance.
Also, it is important to know that even if we are covered by our employers, we need to have a separate health insurance cover. People usually do not feel the need to spend unnecessarily when they already have an insurance cover in place.
If you are looking forward to purchase the right health policy, go through the following points mentioned below:
- Buy adequate cover
It is essential to consider the medical history of your family as well as your residential city before choosing the sum assured. For people who live in the metropolitan cities, the sum assured should at least be Rs. 10 lakh given the high cost of living and the correspondingly high cost of medical treatment in these cities. The sum assured must at least be Rs. 4-5 lakh for people living in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
- Waiting Period
A waiting period is provided by insurance companies where the policyholder is not allowed to claim any benefit from the insurer. The different types of waiting periods are as follows:
- Initial waiting period: Some plans have a 30-90 day waiting period from the policy insurance. During the same period hospitalization expenses or other benefits that are payable under the policy will not be provided under any insurance claim. Accidents are still an exception to this rule. They are covered from the inception of the policy.
- Pre-existing ailment waiting period: Ailments that exists during the time of policy issuance are referred as a pre-existing ailments. Example: Diabetes, Blood Pressure, etc. The insurance companies have a waiting period for pre-existing ailments. The duration of this period varies with the provider. No coverage can be extended for the pre-existing ailments, during the waiting period. The coverage for these ailments begins once the waiting period is over. Therefore, a policyholder must purchase plan at a young age. An early investment significantly affects your premiums as well as your coverage.
- Pre and Post Hospitalization Coverage
Several health plans provide coverage for pre as well as post-hospitalization expenses.
Pre-hospitalization expenses include:
- Doctor’s fees
- X-rays, scans, medical tests, etc.
Most of the health plans cover the pre-hospitalization expenses for up to 30-90 days before the date of hospitalization.
Post-hospitalization expenses include:
- Medicinal tests, scans, X-rays
- Doctor’s fees
- Physiotherapy or other therapies that are related to the condition
The post-hospitalization expenses are covered for 160-180 days post-hospitalization.
- Cashless Hospitalization
Under cashless hospitalization, the treatment can be availed without the hassles of arranging funds. These cashless facilities are available only in-network hospitals.
- Insurer’s Claim Settlement Ratio
How the company has fared in terms of their claim settlement matters the most. The statistics are available on the insurance regulator, i.e. IRDAI’s website.
Health insurance plans, if chosen carefully, will help you deal with any health emergencies without denting your savings. Don’t just run after lower premiums, there are chances you won’t get many benefits, which in turn leads to the ineffectiveness of the policy. Hence, pay attention to the above points and choose the best suitable plan. Put a little more effort and check the plan features, sub-limits, room rent clauses, etc. and only settle for the best. Once you have purchased your policy, ensure that you set health insurance renewal reminders so you can avail all benefits continuously.