Considering the spiraling costs of medicines, hospitalization, and healthcare in general, it is crucial that you have a health insurance plan in place so that you don’t have to bear the financial brunt.
Considering the spiralling costs of medicines, hospitalization and healthcare in general, it is crucial that you have a health insurance plan in place so that you don’t have to bear the financial brunt. However, there remains the need to understand a few factors before buying a health insurance plan in India.
Ideally, you should only proceed with a purchase after having understood your requirements as well as policy terms and conditions. Stated below are seven important factors that you should double-check on before settling for a particular health insurance plan:
The ideal sum insured
A policy should ideally be determined by your specific needs. If you are mulling a health insurance policy for your family, the number and age of all the members is crucial to identify the most suitable plan. For instance, chances are a relatively young family would need a lower sum insured as compared to a family with mostly senior citizens in it.
Also, make sure to factor in pre-existing diseases, if any, and your family’s medical history while arriving at the optimal plan. Simply said, identifying the exact level of coverage should depend on your unique requirements, age, and income level, among others.
The ‘right’ time to buy a plan
There is no ‘right’ time that you should wait for. Ideally, you should invest in a health insurance plan at the earliest - in order to access the two primary advantages of comprehensive coverage and lower premium.
The idea is that should you buy a policy when you’re still young, chances are you’d be free of major health complications. This way, you’d be able to get a wider scope of coverage that would potentially cover every aspect of your health-related claim. Also, insurers are likely to consider you a ‘less risky’ prospect and charge a relatively lower premium compared to what you will be charged at a later stage in life.
Should you be suffering from a pre-existing illness at the time of buying a health insurance plan, your insurer, in all probability, will attach a particular waiting period -- minimum time that you’d have to bide before coverage kicks in.
While leading health insurance plans almost inadvertently attach a specific waiting period, its tenure will vary across insurers. That being said, it usually ranges from 12-48 months. Try and choose a policy with shorter waiting periods; this way, you’d be able to access extensive coverage at the earliest.
List of inclusions and exclusions
Read the policy document carefully in order to know the list of inclusions and exclusions. This way, you’d be on top of all the circumstances wherein you’d be eligible for a claim. Also, most health insurance policies entail specific sub-limits that can potentially impact a claim.
For instance, your policy might cap the maximum room rent, diagnostic fees or ambulance charges, for that matter. In a medical emergency, you could be admitted to a high-end hospital – room rent of which exceeds policy sub-limit. In such a scenario, your hospitalization claim might be adversely affected.
Knowledge of policy exclusions and applicable sub-limits can prevent large out-of-pocket expenses.
Leading insurance providers have tie-ups with various network hospitals where you’d be able to avail medical intervention in times of an emergency. Going the cashless route can save you the hassles of arranging for funds at the time of discharge (considering bills are directly settled between the hospital and your insurer). Moreover, it also does away with the need to sit through heaps of cumbersome documentation.
Now that you are probably better equipped with the necessary knowledge, you should be able to make an informed purchase that best fits your needs and wants. To top it all, Bajaj Finserv has on offer a range of easy and affordable insurance solutions that offer comprehensive coverage for your health needs.