With the passage of time, every industry in India has undergone a major transformation. Health insurance is no exception. The skyrocketing cost of medical treatment and the changing lifestyle of people has led to a rapid increase in the number of health insurance customers in the last few years. In today’s time, having the right health insurance policy by side is nothing less than a boon. As a matter of fact, health insurance is the ultimate financial and emotional savior an individual can depend on during an unfortunate medical emergency, be it due to a sudden accident or an illness.
If ready to take your first step towards the world of health insurance, note that it is important to expand your knowledge level before taking a decision.
First and foremost, learn that the health insurance sector in India is laden with unnumbered health insurance companies and countless health insurance policies. At first, looking for a health insurance policy doesn’t come across as easy. However, with complete awareness of health insurance terms and things to look for in an ideal plan, you can undoubtedly end up making a perfect choice.
Listed below are 12 vital tips that will help you keep confusion at bay and buy the best health insurance policy in India:
1. Buy Health Insurance Early:
Buying health insurance plan, irrespective of age is a smart move to make. An investment in health insurance in the early years of life serves three major purposes.
- The first being, enjoying the benefit of low premium amount.
- Secondly, serving the waiting period at an age when you are in the best of your health.
- Lastly, enjoying low chances of rejection.
Wider coverage options, no claim bonus, superior financial planning, and others are also benefits of buying health insurance at a young age.
2. Invest in Health Insurance Even if You Have Corporate Insurance:
Many a times, people don’t feel the need to buy health insurance cover if they possess group health insurance plan or corporate health insurance. Make sure you don’t do the same mistake. Always choose an additional health insurance policy even if you have one from your company’s side. Doing so will always keep you and your family covered even if you leave your job at one point of time.
3. Look for the Right Coverage:
Analyze your specific medical requirements before starting your search for the right health insurance policy coverage. When exploring your options, look for a plan that covers you against a wide range of medical issues and offers a vast array of benefits.
Prime benefits offered by insurers usually include inpatient hospitalization, pre & post hospitalization, day care procedure coverage, domiciliary hospitalization, organ donor expenses, ambulance cover, maternity cover, newborn baby expenses, and many more.
Compare your chosen plan and its benefits with the precise needs of every family member to come up with an ideal alternative. Remember, compromising on your needs just because of money will serve no purpose in the end.
4. Make an Affordable Choice:
It is important to consider a health plan that meets your medical requirements as well as budget limit. But, remember to always give priority to the plan benefits over the price of the plan. At the end, choose a reasonably-priced plan with maximum benefits to ensure that you and your loved ones are covered properly in the first place. With time, you will be free to review your plan, increase the cover, add family members, according to your changing needs.
5. Emphasize Policy Type:
If you are an individual with no family responsibility, opt for an individual health insurance plan. However, if you have a family to look after, always choose a family floater policy with maximum benefits so that each member is taken care of during a tough medical situation.
In case, you already have a health insurance plan, but don’t feel it is enough to cover all your expenses, don’t hesitate in buying a top-up or super top-up plan so as to increase your total sum insured.
6. Prefer a Policy with Lifelong Renewal Feature:
Considering a health insurance plan that comes with lifelong renewability will help you and your dear ones stay covered for years to come. Keeping healthcare inflation in mind, it is best for you to choose a plan offering lifetime renewability. This will let you stay free from worries of any kind during the later years of age.
7. Check for Network Hospital Coverage:
When you have a list of selected plans by your side, look for the network hospitals tied up with the insurers. Check whether or not your preferred hospitals and doctors are included in the hospital network list of the insurers. Remember, preferring a health insurance provider with a wide network of hospitals will help you save a big amount as well massive inconvenience at the time of a claim.
8. Focus on Claim Settlement Ratio:
A health insurance company with a high claim settlement ratio is considered highly capable of settling claims. Choose an insurer with a high CSR so that you are never in doubt of your claim being rejected. Moreover, don’t forget to check whether the insurer settles the claims in a cashless manner or provides reimbursement facility. It is advisable to go for the cashless claim option to avoid paying for huge bills at the time of emergency.
9. Keep an Eye on Restrictions:
Health insurance policies provide multiple benefits to the policyholder. However, a customer should always keep a few health insurance factors in mind before becoming the policyholder. Below mentioned are some key elements you must check before arriving at a decision:
- Pre-existing clause – Remember to check the waiting period for pre-existing diseases so that you know the exact number of years you will be excluded from coverage. Choose a plan with a low waiting period to avail pre-existing disease coverage earlier.
- Limits & sub-limits – Your plan may cover ambulance, surgery, room rent and other expenses, but it might also include a limit or sub-limit. Pick a plan that has the highest sub-limit or no sub-limits at all in order to avoid uncovered expenses in your hospitalization bills at the last moment.
- Co-payment clause – Many health insurance policies come with co-payment feature, under which the policyholder has to pay a pre-fixed amount for hospitalization. It is advisable to look for this particular feature in your plan so that you are aware of any such amount to pay beforehand.
10. Have a Look at Exclusions:
Every health insurance policy comes with a specific list of exclusions. Always remember to check the list of exclusions so that you are aware of the specific conditions or illnesses that are not covered under the plan. Keeping your eyes wide open regarding exclusions will prevent you from facing regret or disappointment in terms of coverage in the later run.
11. Check for Discounts:
Health insurance policies provide numerous benefits to the insured. What’s best is that discounts are also a crucial part of the entire package. Other than the no claim bonus, premium discounts for buying a two-year plan, covering 2 or more family members, or following a healthy lifestyle also add value to a plan. Make sure you consider discounts available under different health insurance plans in your list to make your selection process easier.
12. Compare Quotes Online:
It is a must to perform policy comparison to make a superior health insurance choice. In this attempt, you can also ‘request a quote’ online by entering your details on the website of an insurance broker company such as InsuranceDekho to receive an estimated premium for your policy. When you get the quotes, collect them and perform detailed comparison to arrive at a decision.
Every health insurance policy package is different. Your health insurance policy purchase decision will be a successful one if only you consider every health insurance aspect from every angle.
When you make a final decision of purchasing a specific policy, remember to give away every piece of information to your health insurance company. Your proposal form should contain complete and accurate declaration so that there is no case of policy rejection afterwards. Do not try to hide your medical history while purchasing a health insurance policy at any cost to prevent later regrets.
Before finally buying the policy, go through the policy wordings in detail.