Things To Consider While Purchasing Health Insurance During A Pandemic

Ankit Agarwal, Managing Director, Alankit limited

Health Insurance awareness and purchase saw a swelling rise in the past years due to the pandemic hitting on a global scale. There is a whole gamut of health insurance options spread out for the consumers to choose from and also have the option to create their bespoke health insurance plan to get an optimal cover and benefits. The features of the product play a pivotal role in ensuring sufficient long- term and wide-ranging coverage of one.

If we talk about the Indian populace, there is a noteworthy shift observed in the past year in the way Indians have started regarding Health Insurance as an integrated part of their existence during pandemic stricken times. Buyers are now pursuing imperative medical covers to soften the financial blows coming their way in the form of medical expenses due to the Covid-19 related treatment. Recently people have acknowledged the significance of sufficient and exhaustive medical coverage. It happened since the pandemic acted as a sporadic stimulus to reinforce the value of health along with the long-term repercussions of constantly rising medical inflations, the probabilities of early onset of various diseases related to the fast- paced lifestyle, and rise in the critical illness.

It is essential for a person to carefully consider all the crucial factors while choosing a Health Insurance plan since it is going to be a constant from a long-term investment point of view. It needs a thorough assessment of all the factors such as the personal profile, family medical history, the agreed budget for the plan, and the income of the person pursuing it. It should also keep other medical expense-related factors in mind preferably like the Health Insurance Plan must have a higher Room Rent Limit, Doctor’s Fees, ICU charges, including optional Add-ons like gloves, oximeter, injections charges, etc. You also need to make sure that the plan not only has the NO Co-payment clause but also a higher disease-wise sub-limit with the insurer that has the highest Claim Settlement Ratio in the industry.

Also Read: Opinion: Why to opt for Health and Life insurance policies during COVID times?

With the second wave of pandemic hitting the country, it became evident that the conventional insurance plans were going to be not of much help to people where the infrastructure of the health insurance was under a magnifying glass by policyholders. Where people were dealing with the rampant spread of infection cases, it became mandatory for people to look for plans that gave them the cover with Domiciliary Hospitalisation Cover (that means hospital treatment set-up at home recommended by the doctor) on proportionate level of Sum Insured for the maximum number of days along with coverage for Alternate Therapy Cover such as AYUSH (similarly to the sum insured).

One of the long-term investments that require careful consideration while making a choice is health insurance. In the given pandemic-affected times, a policyholder needs to have OPD cover as a part of his or her health insurance. Under the OPD cover, one can claim for expenses incurred without requiring to be hospitalised. Under this plan, medical costs related to the cost of medicines, diagnostics, or minor medical procedures are covered by some of the health insurance companies which are determined based on the age of the person insured along with benefits and the sum insured opted under the plan.

Also for those who are globe trotters or frequent travellers, it is a constant health threat to be travelling to new geographical locations. Hence, a health insurance policy that gives one Global Coverage in any part of the world. International health insurance cover benefits such as hospital stay, routine check-ups pre-existing conditions, chronic conditions, choice of medical providers under various plans.

Also Read: Optimizing use of digital channels significant to combat COVID: Ankit Agarwal, Alankit Ltd

Last but not least the most important factor, one should choose the insurer or intermediator who has strong after-sale service assistance during contingency/ies. It is mandatory to consider or choose the insurance company that has a high Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR) which is a determining factor for the propensity of the insurer to settle more claims out of the total received ones in a financial year. It is highly suggested to keep a wide-range list of network hospitals in your proximity to your location handy which will prove beneficial for Cashless Admission and Claim Settlement.

Uncertainty of life is the bitterest truth one cannot escape and the outbreak of pandemic has made it evident. It is essential to have an optimum Health insurance plan that would provide the consumer some financial relief from the medical expenses that come along with health issues and would prevent digging deep holes in one’s savings.

Views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of Ankit Agarwal, MD , Alankit Ltd.

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