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Exploring the Difference Between Grace Period and Waiting Period in Health Insurance

Updated On Feb 12, 2021

With the ever-increasing cost of healthcare expenses, it is getting difficult for individuals to cope with the medical treatments without going into any financial crisis. However, with a correct health insurance plan, not only you can afford good treatment but also meet the expensive medical costs. Health Insurance providers offer various types of health insurance plans that meet the individual requirements and pocket of their customers, and each of the health plans has a predetermined duration. In case a person wishes to continue with the same health plan, then they can renew it paying the premium amount during the grace period. Also, all health insurance policies constitute a waiting period, it is the duration before which your insurance coverage and benefits come in.

Exploring the Difference Between Grace Period and Waiting Period in Health Insurance

Health Insurance: Grace Period

When an individual forgets to renew their health insurance policy on time or before the expiry date, the insurance company provides an additional period known as Grace period to the policyholder. As a health insurance remains active just for a predetermined duration, therefore in order to continue with the existing plan you need to pay an additional premium amount. However, if it happens that you miss to make the payment on time, the insurance company would provide you with an extended period or grace period to renew your policy. Also, within this grace period, benefits of the health plan remain active.

Health Insurance: Waiting Period

Each health insurance policy has a qualifying or waiting period. It is a time period for which you need to wait before availing the benefits and coverage of the health insurance policy. If there is any claim by you during this period, it will get denied by the insurance provider.

The qualifying or waiting period is implied on annual health check-up, newborn cover, maternity expenditure, pre-existing diseases, etc. There is no set waiting period in case of accidental hospitalisation. The health insurance policies remain active only for a year, and in order to continue reaping the benefits of the plan you need to renew it. If you fail in getting it renewed on time, you may have to meet with lots of financial crises and hassles. Highlighted below are some of the disadvantages of not getting your health insurance plan renewed on time:

  • No Claim Bonus: In case a policyholder does not file a claim during the policy tenure, the insurance provider will offer a discount or bonus as a reward. This is known as no claim bonus. So, in case the policyholder does not make a claim for the whole year and get their policy renewed during the grace period, the policyholder will be entitled to receive it. However, in case a policyholder fails to renew it on time, they lose the bonus and suffer financial loss during the time of medical emergency.
  • Health Plan Expires: In case a policyholder fails to renew their insurance plan during the grace period, the policy expires and policyholder loses the insurance coverage.
  • Health Check Up: A detailed health examination is done prior to insuring a policyholder. However, it will not be needed if the policyholder gets the policy renewed on time. If your current health plan expires and you plan on purchasing a new policy, you are required to go through the medical examination once again, that can be time consuming.
  • Expensive Health Plan: When a policyholder misses to get their insurance plan renewed on time, they are required to purchase a new one in order to cover medical emergencies. It can turn out to be expensive, as the policyholder losses the No claim bonus. Losing out on NCB means that the policyholder is required to pay a higher premium amount.

Also Read

Discounts You May Find in Your Health Insurance Policy

How Can I File Claim for Two Health Insurance Policies?

Final Words

It is highly important to enroll for a health insurance plan on time, if you do not want to get yourself drained financially at the time of medical emergency. Once a person gets insured, they can avail benefits of the health plan worrying regarding the hospital bills. Therefore, go and compare different health plans online and choose the one that perfectly meets your requirements. Also, do not forget to get your health plan renewed on time and within the grace period to continue enjoying the benefits and insurance coverage. 

Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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