Studies on the incidence of health ailments was published in The Lancet and its associated journals in September 2018, which showed that prevalence of common ailments like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases had increased substantially in India between 1990 and 2016. Stroke and heart diseases increased by 50% contributing to 28.1% of total deaths in 2016. Added to this rising trend of illnesses, medical costs also increased exponentially. A report by Mercer Marsh Benefits stated that medical inflation would rise by 10% while inflation would rise by 5%
This rise in ailments coupled with increasing medical costs spell financial trouble for average middle class individuals. To face this trouble, a health insurance policy becomes necessary. The plan pays for the medical expenses sparing you from financial doom. That is why buying and continuing a health insurance plan is important.
Health plans come with specified coverage tenure and to enjoy uninterrupted coverage, the policy should be renewed before it expires. On time renewal of health insurance plans is beneficial in many aspects which include the following -
Health insurance plans, nowadays, come with the feature of lifelong renewability wherein there is no maximum age when coverage stops. So, whether you are in your 80s or 90s, you can enjoy continued coverage under a health plan. However, this lifelong coverage can be enjoyed only if you renew the policy before it expires.
Moreover, as you continue coverage under an existing plan, there would be no additional restrictions on the coverage even in your older age and you can enjoy a comprehensive cover.
Health plans have a pre-existing waiting period for illnesses, which you suffer from at the time of buying the policy. This period ranges from 2-4 years and it reduces every time you renew the coverage. If you do not renew on time, your policy expires. You would then have to apply for a new plan wherein the waiting period would apply again from the first year. So, on time renewal is a better option as it reduces the waiting period.
When there is, no claim made under the health insurance policy in a policy year, the insurance company rewards the policyholder in the form of Cumulative Bonus or also called No Claim Bonus.
Most insurers increase your sum insured as a Cumulative Bonus for an entire claim-free year. This bonus is available only when you renew the policy on time, not when the policy lapses.
Imagine that your health insurance policy expired two days ago after which you or your family member met with an accident. Who would incur the medical costs? You! Since the coverage had expired, the policy was not active when the medical emergency occurred. As a result you would be burdened with the heavy costs of treatments which you could have avoided had you renewed the policy on time.
Medical emergencies are unforeseen and if you want to avoid their financial implication, on time renewal is recommended. The benefit of on time renewals is that you can enjoy non-stop coverage without worrying about the plan to lapse.
Renewing your health insurance plan on time is not a difficult task. The insurance company sends you various types of notifications to remind you of the renewal date. All you have to do is to review your coverage, pay the renewal premium and renew the policy well before the expiry date and you can enjoy uninterrupted coverage. Health plans also allow you a grace period after the policy due date for renewals. However, the coverage is absent during the grace period and in case of any eventuality, you would become liable to face the costs. Avoid these hassles instead and choose to renew your health insurance plan on time every time.
The author is the Co-founder at Turtlemint