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Top Ten Essentials to Buy the Best Health Insurance Plan

Published On Apr 15, 2019 5:30 AM By Sakshi Aggarwal

Buying health insurance has become the need of the hour. But in case you opt-out for not the right plan even after investing time and money on it, then you may end up in despair. So, to escape that situation, you must essentially consider a few features keeping your requirements in mind in order to buy the best deal. 

To save yourself grief later, we bring to you a list of top ten considerations to make in order to narrow down the daunting process of finalizing a health insurance plan for yourself or your dear ones. This checklist of policy essentials brought to you by provides its readers insights for getting the most inexpensive plan, yet covering all your needs.  

1. Pre-existing diseases

In cases of pre-existing diseases, health insurance companies generally come with a waiting period of 2-4 years. The insurers are not liable to pay for any claim made during this period of time for the illnesses that occurred because of the pre-existing diseases. Pre-existing diseases are those which you had been suffering from before buying the policy.

So, as an intelligent consumer, you must lookout for a plan with a shorter waiting period and more pre-existing covering. 

2. Good Ratings 

Which you should not, but in case you are purchasing your policy from a new or unfamiliar insurer, then it is always a wise option to check out every potential provider’s reviews. Checking out details helps you get a fair idea of whether you are dealing with a valid and trustworthy health insurance company or not.  

3. Pre and post hospitalization expenses

Pre and post hospitalization expenses include various charges related to the hospitalization of the individual insured. For instance, tests such as blood test, urine test, and X-ray are categorized as pre-hospitalization expenses from all of them.

Generally, the time period offered by most health insurance companies to cover these expenses is 30 days prior to hospitalization and 60 days after the discharge day hospitalization.

But this time period is not fixed and may vary from one insurer to another. So, before finalizing a policy, make sure you choose the one that offers a maximum number of days for this cover. 

4. No claim bonus 

It is the bonus amount that gets accumulated to the sum insured amount for every year in which no claim is made. It can be considered as an award by the insurer for not making a claim during a particular policy year. 

5. Provision for renewal

Of all the provisions that a health insurance company provides, renewal is an absolute must. Most of the leading health insurance companies provide a facility for online renewal. It not only guarantees to save your time but also offers flexible payment options.

While renewing, you can also choose to port your health insurance policy from one insurer if you are getting better benefits. You won’t have to wear the waiting periods all over again in this case. So, to avail the most of your health insurance, go for the one which provides renewal benefit.    

6. Co-payment discount

A co-payment states that as a policyholder, you agree to pay some part of the medical expense out of your own pocket. Your insurer will pay the rest of the amount. It is usually a fixed amount for different drugs and services depending on the nature of the treatment or medication required. Some health insurance companies that offer co-pays in their policy are-United India Insurance Company, SBI General Insurance, New India Insurance Company etc.    

7. Network hospitals

Network hospitals are the enlisted hospitals of your insurance provider where you can avail of treatment without paying bills. It lets you enjoy a cashless facility where there is no stress of filing for reimbursement. In these hospitals, the bills are settled directly between the hospital and the insurer.

It is always good to opt for health insurance plans that have a larger number of network hospitals and in your area of residence so that distance does not bother your visit to the hospital in case of an emergency.  
8. Room rent

Normally the health insurance companies put a capping on room rent in case of hospitalization. This means that the policyholder has to bear a predefined room rent. Under some health insurance plans, the policyholders are provided a discount of 1% of sum assured in-room charges whereas of 2% in the case of ICU usage.

Notably, some health insurance companies do not put capping on ICU usage. So, individuals must verify this feature with their potential health insurance companies during the purchase in order to get the best deal. 
9. Premium 

Not the most important but, but definitely a considerable factor which cannot be missed while choosing a health insurance policy is the premium amount. You must remember the fact that lower premium does not always assure a beneficial deal.

Your health insurance policy might be of no use when you actually need it just because you sacrificed with the benefits by paying a lesser premium.

So, you must always look out for relevant benefits even if it costs you a little more amount of premium. 

10. Exclusions

Last but not least are the exclusions. Every time you purchase a policy must make sure to thoroughly read the exclusions, and terms and conditions. So, your preferred choice while buying a health insurance policy must be the one that offers a minimum number of exclusions so that you don’t have to suffer when you need to get yourself or your family members treated at any network hospital.         

Keeping these ten pointers in mind will not only help you make a calculative decision while choosing the best health insurance policy but will also help you live a financially managed life.  

Stay healthy, stay insured!   

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