Everything About the Waiting Period in Health Insurance
Published On Apr 08, 2019 5:30 AM By Gunjan Anand
In this fast-paced life, the chances of falling ill are on the rise. The reason for this are many, that mainly comprises of imbalanced lifestyle, junk food eating habits, ageing, and so on. The enhancement of diseases increases the significance of health insurance plans. The health-related policies cover a lot of medical expenses that may arise due to annual health check-up, consultation fees, screenings, etc. Thus, it is always considered a wise step to own medical insurance.
But, to properly avail the policy, one must be aware of various elements of the insurance scheme. A waiting period is one of the significant aspects of the health plan. It is a specific time limit before which any pre-existing disease of the policyholder can’t be entertained by the insurer. While a majority of health insurance companies offer a waiting period of 4 years, but some offer it for a lesser period too. Therefore, you can apply for the claim pertaining to the medical expenses of certain diseases only after the completion of the waiting period.
What are the types of waiting period?
a) The waiting period for Pre-existing diseases (PED)
If a policyholder is suffering from any disease while registering for a health insurance plan, that particular ailment of his or her will be called pre-existing disease. In such cases, the policyholder needs to go through a series of tests and medical assessments to confirm his or her health condition. Based on these reports, the insurers decide, as if the proposer should be provided with the policy or not. If they accept the proposal, they generally offer a waiting period of 4 years, which means the hospitalization charges of declared diseases can be availed only after 4 years. Thus, it is much better to opt for a policy when you are fit, so as to easily pass the waiting period.
b) The waiting period for specific ailments and conditions
There exists a list of diseases for which the waiting period is for a period of 1 or 2 years instead of 4. These ailments comprise of hernia, ENT disorders, and so on. While in the case of general insurance the waiting period goes around one month, except for the cases related to accidents. For an infant, the term the waiting period is around 90 days. In addition to these, some insurance organizations offer maternity benefits too with a waiting period of 9 to 36 months.
How to reduce the waiting period?
Some insurance companies provide the choice to lessen the waiting period by simply paying an additional premium. Whereas, in the case of group health insurance plans, where employers provide medical policies to their employees, insurers don’t emphasize on waiting periods thus making it a great deal. Also, as per the IRDA regulations, members of a group health plan can convert their group policy into an individual health plan at the time of leaving the company. The conversion can be done without a waiting period if a policyholder has spent the tenure already.
Points to remember related to the waiting period
1) If a policyholder is diagnosed with a new ailment during the waiting period, that disease will be covered under the plan.
2) Under the health insurance plans for senior citizens, the waiting period term has been done away by making an addition of a co-payment feature.
We hope that this article has answered almost every query you had related to the waiting period in health insurance. Thus, if you are looking for a health plan, select the one with the shortest waiting period and refer to our articles for more information.
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