Buying health insurance can be complicated. With a plethora of options and intimidating terminologies, selecting the right policy can be a daunting task. Do not worry, as we have simplified this jigsaw for you. Here is a rundown of 5 factors to consider before you a health insurance policy.
1. Start with Introspection
It is essential to introspect your current situation and requirements from a health insurance plan. Select the policy keeping in mind your family members who need to be insured, their age, medical history, pre-existing diseases, medical costs in your city, lifestyle, etc.
If you are purchasing a family floater plan, the premium may depend on the senior-most person in the family. Also, a few companies have minimum and maximum entry age limits. Hence, choose the plan that fits your situation.
We buy a health insurance policy so we can raise a claim if things go wrong. A complex, tedious, and slow claim process can prove to be a nightmare in such situations.
On the other hand, a smooth and speedy process can be a boon while settling health claims. In times of need, it can be a big relief if you can raise a claim online without any paperwork.
3.The Balance Between Coverage and Premium
Buying a health policy with maximum coverage at a low cost is a lucrative option. Here are two important things to consider – your income and sum insured. First, analyse if the premium amount is affordable as per your income levels. Second, make sure the sum insured amount does not fall short during medical emergencies. At the same time, be cautious of going overboard with the sum insured.
If you are young and buying an individual plan, you can select a lower sum insured. Also, be wise with the add-ons as they impact the premium amount. Buy the policy that provides adequate coverage at an affordable cost without compromising on the benefits.
4.Consider all Benefits, Exclusions, and Inclusions
Most insurers will not accept claims arising out of pre-existing diseases such as diabetes, thyroid, hypertension, etc. during the waiting period. Meaning, you will have to pay for the expenses. The waiting period can range between 24 months to 48 months. Go with the policy that has the least waiting period.
Before you get admitted to a hospital, you visit a doctor, buy medicines, and undergo a few tests. After hospitalization, there are a few expenses such as follow-up visits, tests, etc. Look out for a plan that covers pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization expenses.
Also, with pregnancy costs hitting the roof, it is essential for women to buy a policy that covers maternity benefits. Check for the waiting period, newborn baby medical expenses, and sub-limits before you buy a policy.
Also, do not forget to check out for clauses such as deductibles, co-pay, room rent limit, and sub-limit that can increase your out-of-pocket expenses during claim settlement.
Health insurance companies have tie-up with hospitals across the country to offer cashless hospitalization benefits to their customers.
You do not have to arrange any funds nor undergo the process of filing reimbursement. Hence, it is important to go with an insurance company that has a wide network of hospitals.
The Bottom Line
While buying insurance, it is important that you get value for your money. The healthcare costs are swelling and do not look like they will decrease anytime soon. Hence it is important to check if your policy is comprehensive enough to avoid a hole in your pocket. Stay fit, stay safe.
Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Biresh Giri, Appointed Actuary, Head of Product Development & CRO, ACKO Insurance