The Best Health Insurance Plan
Health insurance provides financial security when you need it the most. While it is important to make sure you are getting the best deal on health insurance, the truth is that buying health insurance can be overwhelming and confusing. Which health insurance plan is right for you depends on numerous factors, mainly your age, and in case you are employed, do you get insurance from your employer or you need to buy it on your own. Regardless of your situation, here are some easy-to-follow guides for what you need to consider to choose the best health insurance policy.
- Buy health insurance when young and healthy – Typically, people tend to consider buying a health insurance policy in the middle of their life spans – when they are in their forties or fifties. By that time, health risks might have increased with growing age. Further, all health insurance policies come with a waiting period for 2-3 years for certain pre-existing diseases. Buying a health insurance cover early in life ensures that you finish the waiting period by the time you get older and you are able to avail full benefits of your health insurance plan. Also, the premium of a health insurance policy is dependent on customer’s age and health status. Hence, buying a cover at a young age will be cheaper than buying it at a later stage.
- Choose an adequate sum insured – To make an informed choice, you should be aware of your personal priorities, after which you would be able to select the best health insurance plan that is in line with your needs. In addition to this, you also need to ensure that your health insurance plan offers you with adequate health care coverage by giving due consideration to factors like your age, age of all your family members, increased health care costs, etc. For instance, on one hand a person belonging to middle or young age group should opt for an indemnity cover with a range of INR three to five lakhs and on the other, a married individual should be wise enough to opt for a family floater plan that offers extended coverage to an individual and the spouse with sum insured between INR five lakhs to seven and half lakhs.
- Individual insurance policy Vs family floater policy – You must also consider whether you want to buy individual policies for all family members or a family floater policy for all. In case of a young nuclear family, it is better to opt for a family floater policy that extents coverage to two adults and two children. Compared to individual plans, family floater plans come at a marginally incremental premium.
- Understand the limits and exclusions – In order to offer effective coverage, each health insurance plan has certain broad exclusions along with waiting periods. Thus, you should refer to your policy documents to determine which health care services are covered and to what extent. Furthermore, you should make it a point to ask for sample policy wordings so as to get in depth knowledge about certain definitions, terms and conditions, exclusions and benefits being offered while comparing different insurance policies offered by other companies.
- Claim limitation related to treatment – You should carefully note the treatment-respective limits in the health insurance plan you choose. Certain policies cap the amount you can claim for a particular surgery. Such limits would restrict your claim, even if there is a large sum insured under your policy. You need to evaluate this factor to choose the best health insurance policy.
- Hospital network of the insurance company – It is important to take time in obtaining and reviewing the details of the hospital network of the insurance company. An insurer with an extensive list of hospitals in its network across cities should be a prime consideration.
- Choose a policy with no sub-limits – When you opt for a health insurance plan, you should be sure that the plan has no disease specific or expenditure specific sub-limit. In few cases, you may find such plans to be expensive but they will help you to evade greater financial risks as well as provide you with the freedom to opt for efficient medical treatment, that too at the best health care provider. A policy with no sub-limits will help you avoid unpleasant situations at the time of claims.
- Opt for additional coverage – Add on covers like Maternity Cover, Critical Illness etc. that can be bought along with standard health insurance plans give additional coverage for your specific needs. Maternity coverage offers coverage for medical expenses incurred at the time of pregnancy and delivery. Critical illness rider is yet another add on cover meant for illnesses designated to be critical, such as heart attack, cancer, diabetes, kidney failure, organ transplant or paralysis. In case any of these situations, you can benefit from these riders over and above your existing health insurance policy.
- Fill up the proposal form yourself – The questions asked in a proposal form are comprehensive as well as personal in nature, thus one should make it a point to fill up a health insurance proposal form on their own. Furthermore, for the insurer to be able to underwrite the policy in an appropriate manner, it is required that you fill all details correctly. You should never hide any information or overwrite on the proposal form. Inadequate information or exclusion of medical conditions during the proposal time can lead to issues of delayed or non-payment of claims during times of need.
- Read and understand the policy wordings – It is of utmost importance that you read the policy wordings and other documents carefully so as to reap maximum benefits from your respective health insurance policy. Every health insurer provides a policy wording document that contains details about the policy. It will help you gain a thorough understanding of the claim process, document requirement, payment options, special conditions, coverage and exclusions.
- Gradual increase in sum insured – In current times where medical inflation is increasing rapidly, as a precautionary measure, it would be best to keep on increasing the sum insured of your health insurance plan from time to time. You should compare various policies available from the websites of different companies, and speak to your insurance advisor to know what is the apt sum assured for you and your family.
- Clear all your doubts before taking the final decision – Before making the final decision of buying a health insurance policy, you should read all your policy documents once again. Turn to your insurance advisor or the insurance company and ask as many questions as you can to clarify all your apprehensions. It will clear any confusion or doubts that may exist.
- Source : Apollo Munich insurance company