Choosing the right health insurance plan is a serious decision as health is of paramount importance. Good health ensures peace of mind and a sense of security for individuals and their family too. A good health insurance policy provides financial protection against ailments.
It is pretty well-known that more than 80% of financial crisis originates out of a medical emergency and the same can severely damage one’s finances. Health emergencies not only require hefty funds for treatment but if the earning member of the family is rendered disabled due to the illness, it hits the family with a double impact. So, health insurance is a must today.
With increasing medical expenses, the reason to get health protection as early as possible is gaining importance because once an individual is diagnosed with medical conditions like fluctuating blood pressure or diabetes, chances of getting a health cover go low and the cost goes higher. There’s nothing more rewarding than to pay a small price and get peace of mind.
Here are few smart tips to consider while buying a worthwhile health insurance policy.
1. Early Protection: Buy health insurance at a young age as it has fewer chances of being rejected. It also provides benefits like no claim bonuses and tax benefits in addition to boosting one’s financial planning.
2. Claim Process & Waiting Period: Simple claim process and faster settlements are always better for the insured person. Health insurances policies in India often come with a waiting period during which the insured do not have access to claims even if there is an emergency. The insurer is not liable for any treatment which begins during the waiting period, except in case of an accident. Purchasing a health insurance policy at an early age allows insurance holders to surpass the waiting period. Also, it is always good to opt for a company which has a minimum waiting period.
3. Lifetime Renewal: There is a higher chance of suffering from diseases and illnesses when one is old as compared to when one had purchased the policy. Hence, it becomes vital to buy a policy which offers lifetime renewal.
4. Check for Sum Insured and Policy Period: It is necessary to select the amount wisely as it covers all medical expenses. Keep increasing the health covers from time to time. Be sure to choose a sum insured which will not fall short in case of an emergency and which has a low premium.
5. Maternity Benefits: For women, it is necessary to buy a policy that comes with maternity benefits. Make sure that the policy must also cover outpatient expenses. Furthermore, check for exclusions related to the policy.
6. Hospitalisation & In-patient Treatments: Before buying a policy, it is advisable to look into the various expenses covered under hospitalization, in-patient treatment, and other treatments for which an insured can claim. It is always good to choose a policy which also covers pre and post hospitalization, OPD and post-retirement aspects.
7. Critical Illnesses & Cancer Covers: The best health policies are those which cover critical illnesses, cancer, donor expenses during an organ transplant surgery, personal accidents and health boosters.
8. Network Hospitals: Check for cashless network hospitals linked with the insurance company as they are helpful during medical emergencies. Getting treatment in the network hospital is easy by showing the health card and avail cashless hospitalization as the hospital collaborates with the insurer.
9. Family Insurance: Opt for individual insurance policy along with employer insurance as it covers your family members, unlike the employer insurance. Also, individual insurance policy helps to cover a family member whose age is above 50 years.
10. Free Medical Checkups & Wellness Programs: Opt for a policy which insures the person for free medical checkups, assessment of medical reports, health coaching and monetary rewards.
In the end, it is wise to say that the points mentioned above are the most important things to consider if an individual is looking to build a safe future for his/her family.
The author is the Chief Actuary at Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company