What To Look For When You Are Buying Health Insurance?
Published On Nov 04, 2020 5:30 AM By Sakshi Aggarwal
Health insurance is important and comes to your aid in the times of emergencies. Thus it is important to make a well informed and right decision relating to your health insurance. Buying health insurance requires some amount of due diligence to ensure you get the best coverage at an optimal cost. In this article, we bring to a checklist of things which you should consider while purchasing health insurance plans.
Things To Consider Before Buying Health Insurance
Health insurance is a big undertaking, one which will help you a lot in the future and unforeseen health issues. When you are buying health insurance here are certain parameters you should consider:
1. Sum Insured
Health care costs are steadily on the rise, it helps to get more coverage if possible. Currently, hospitalization expenses in top tier cities in India can cost anywhere between Rs. 3 to 5 lakhs. This is a standard coverage recommended for families residing in such cities. For others, at least Rs. 2 to 3 lakhs of coverage is absolutely essential. So, consider a higher sum insured while shopping for health insurance
Of course, higher sum insured always comes at a higher cost. Comparing plans helps in this case in order to get the maximum coverage for the premium you can afford.
3. Insurance Coverage
Although sum insured is an important consideration, there are some other aspects that are also crucial:
- Pre-existing Diseases – Health Insurance plans generally have a clause called Pre-existing diseases which is basically a list of diseases that will not be covered till a certain period (usually 48 months from start date of policy). This needs to be carefully considered if the insured is suffering from ailments for which she/he is seeking insurance in the first place.
- Medical check-up – Related to the above, many insurance companies might require medical check-up before approving insurance. Generally, policies that waive this requirement are a better option.
- Hospitalization and Day Care – Terms around hospitalization and day care that qualify for a claim need to be clearly understood to avoid frustration later.
- No Claim Bonus – For every claim-free year, insurance companies reward the insured with a no-claim bonus which varies from one insurance company to another, this needs to be considered carefully to derive greater benefits from the plan
- Other Benefits – Health insurance products are evolving rapidly to include many benefits. Careful consideration can get a policy that serves multiple needs
You may also like to read: 6 Points to Consider Before Purchasing a Second Health Insurance Plan
4. Entry Age
It is best to enrol in a health insurance plan as early as possible. The premium is more affordable and also higher coverage is available at lower premiums for younger adults. For e.g. a cover of Rs. 5 lakhs for a 25-year-old could be as low as Rs. 5000, whereas the same policy could cost double for someone just a couple of years older.
Claim Settlement Ratio
An important consideration is the insurance company you choose. In industry terms, you would need to verify the claim settlement ratio for your preferred insurance company. The higher this ratio, the better your insurance company. While this may vary from time-to-time, good insurance companies have a consistent track record.
These are some of the considerations that need to be kept in mind before buying health insurance, especially if it is one for the long term. With current regulations on portability and plan migration, certain choices can be tweaked later, as well. This brief primer would hopefully increase awareness for a more informed purchase.
Also read: Tips to Consider Before Buying COVID19 Health Insurance Plans
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.