Kolkata, December 29: As we know having a health insurance policy is very crucial. However, there are several things one needs to keep in mind when buying a health insurance policy. We look at 6 common mistakes to avoid when buying health insurance.
Not getting adequate coverage: It is not enough just to buy medical insurance, but one needs to get sufficient cover. Many people tend to get a lower cover to save on premiums, but when a medical emergency strikes, it can lead to heavy financial loss. Medical inflation is higher than retail inflation and health cover of Rs 1 or Rs 2 lakh is not enough. While a Rs 5 lakh cover is a minimum, one should opt to increase the coverage to Rs 10 lakh, especially in the metros, by buying a top-up cover.
Not buying a personal insurance cover: Your insurer may be providing a health cover for you and your family, but even then you need to purchase personal health insurance. This is because the coverage may not be adequate and also because the coverage will terminate if you leave your job. So it is better to have personal health insurance which stays with you all the time.
Just taking a basic cover: When choosing a health cover, many people tend to select the most basic cover to save on premiums. However, it makes sense to consider some of the add-ons to make the policy more comprehensive. For example, it may make sense to add a critical illness rider with the policy or have add-ons such as ambulance charges, OPD charges and other costs.
Not reading the fine print: When buying any financial product, it is important to read the fine print and buying health insurance is no different. Read the fine print carefully and understand all the terms and conditions.For example, a policy may not cover pre-existing diseases for a certain period after the policy is bought, depending on the type of disease. Also there would be limits and deductibles in a policy you have bought. Reading the fine print ensures that you are not caught off guard when a medical emergency strikes.
Not disclosing medical history: Many of us do not reveal medical history thinking that the health cover may not be approved or that we might have to pay a higher premium. But this should be avoided because if an insurer finds out that you did not disclose relevant details deliberately , your claim is likely to be rejected. So be truthful when you are purchasing health insurance. It may mean a higher premium, but it would ensure that the health insurer honours your claim.
Purchasing insurance just to save tax: Health insurance also lets you save tax under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. However, buying insurance just for the purpose of saving tax is a bad idea. One should look at an adequate coverage and choose the right kind of policy. The idea of buying health insurance should be to get a cover when there is medical emergency and tax benefits should be considered but should not be the reason to buy health insurance.