Buying Health Insurance? Don't Miss These Critical Checklists

DIVYA NAIR

04 Oct 2016

Health Insurance

A fact that no one can deny is that medical emergencies can trouble anyone, anytime irrespective of age, gender or lifestyle. Be it a small or large, hospital bills can be equally painful for anyone. It’s difficult to meet such costs on our own without burning a hole in our pockets. With medical costs ever escalating, some even compromise on quality healthcare, because of affordability. Here comes the importance of health insurance. With health insurance policy, we and our families can avail better healthcare facilities. To top that up, any insurance policy entitles us to tax benefits under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

On the face of it, all health insurance policies may look identical, so how would you decide which one suits your specific needs? Here is a checklists you should pay attention to:

1. The Health Insurance Coverage Amount You Need

A suited health insurance plan should not just cover hospitalization expenses but also should cover expenses on various critical illnesses, surgeries and other medical checkups. While contemplating on the coverage amount you need, you should have a long-term view of your health costs, say about 10, 15, 20 years from present. In the coming years, medical bills are most likely to grow substantially.

2. Choice between Individual & Floater Health Insurance Policies

The decision of which plan to buy - individual policy for each family member or family floater policy - is one of the most common decisions policy seekers get confused about. While an individual policy works in all situations, it can be expensive and not affordable by all. Whereas, family floater plan offers flexibility in terms of utilizing the overall insurance coverage among the family as a group. If an individual chooses to purchase a family floater cover, the sum insured opted should be sufficiently high considering a situation where more than one person in a family needs hospitalization in the same year.

3. Expenses Covered

Analyze if the selected plan is comprehensive or not. Keeping the policy price aside for a while, compare the plan in terms of premium versus benefit. Benefits such as pre and post hospitalization, day care procedures, OPD cover and maternity extensions or ambulance service, should be considered.

4. Maximum Room Rent Charges You Are Entitled To

This varies from insurer to insurer and depends on the sum insured. Most of the insurance providers have a room rent cap of 1% of sum insured per day for normal rooms and 2% of sum insured per day for ICU.

5. Network Hospitals

The network hospitals associated with the insurance company shall be near your place of residence in case of emergencies so that you avail cashless treatment benefit effortlessly.

6. No Claim Bonus

An important point to be considered wherein if an insured does not file for any claims in a financial year, some companies increase his’s/her’s cover at no extra cost. That apart, such companies also offer discounts on premium keeping the cover amount same.

7. Insurer’s Background

Most of the times, we tend to go for plans that our friends and family suggest as we trust their judgment. But the market is flooded with products and marketing gimmicks to lure customers. You should conduct a due diligence on the insurance company (keeping track of how smooth their claim settlement is, how many claims have been settled, efficiency and well networked).

Conclusion:-

Having reviewed the most important aspects of health insurance plan, hope that you now have a clear understanding about various health plans. However, you need to understand that there is no perfect plan. Understand your needs well, plan for the long term, and go for the closest suitable plan. Don’t wait for that perfect plan with everything covered to arrive and risk delaying your coverage.

Also Read: Tips on How to Make a Successful Insurance Claim


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Buying Health Insurance? Don't Miss These Critical Checklists

by Santosh Jayram | Oct 05, 2016
Health Insurance

A fact that no one can deny is that medical emergencies can trouble anyone, anytime irrespective of age, gender or lifestyle. Be it a small or large, hospital bills can be equally painful for anyone. It’s difficult to meet such costs on our own without burning a hole in our pockets. With medical costs ever escalating, some even compromise on quality healthcare, because of affordability. Here comes the importance of health insurance. With health insurance policy, we and our families can avail better healthcare facilities. To top that up, any insurance policy entitles us to tax benefits under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

On the face of it, all health insurance policies may look identical, so how would you decide which one suits your specific needs? Here is a checklists you should pay attention to:

1. The Health Insurance Coverage Amount You Need

A suited health insurance plan should not just cover hospitalization expenses but also should cover expenses on various critical illnesses, surgeries and other medical checkups. While contemplating on the coverage amount you need, you should have a long-term view of your health costs, say about 10, 15, 20 years from present. In the coming years, medical bills are most likely to grow substantially.

2. Choice between Individual & Floater Health Insurance Policies

The decision of which plan to buy - individual policy for each family member or family floater policy - is one of the most common decisions policy seekers get confused about. While an individual policy works in all situations, it can be expensive and not affordable by all. Whereas, family floater plan offers flexibility in terms of utilizing the overall insurance coverage among the family as a group. If an individual chooses to purchase a family floater cover, the sum insured opted should be sufficiently high considering a situation where more than one person in a family needs hospitalization in the same year.

3. Expenses Covered

Analyze if the selected plan is comprehensive or not. Keeping the policy price aside for a while, compare the plan in terms of premium versus benefit. Benefits such as pre and post hospitalization, day care procedures, OPD cover and maternity extensions or ambulance service, should be considered.

4. Maximum Room Rent Charges You Are Entitled To

This varies from insurer to insurer and depends on the sum insured. Most of the insurance providers have a room rent cap of 1% of sum insured per day for normal rooms and 2% of sum insured per day for ICU.

5. Network Hospitals

The network hospitals associated with the insurance company shall be near your place of residence in case of emergencies so that you avail cashless treatment benefit effortlessly.

6. No Claim Bonus

An important point to be considered wherein if an insured does not file for any claims in a financial year, some companies increase his’s/her’s cover at no extra cost. That apart, such companies also offer discounts on premium keeping the cover amount same.

7. Insurer’s Background

Most of the times, we tend to go for plans that our friends and family suggest as we trust their judgment. But the market is flooded with products and marketing gimmicks to lure customers. You should conduct a due diligence on the insurance company (keeping track of how smooth their claim settlement is, how many claims have been settled, efficiency and well networked).

Conclusion:-

Having reviewed the most important aspects of health insurance plan, hope that you now have a clear understanding about various health plans. However, you need to understand that there is no perfect plan. Understand your needs well, plan for the long term, and go for the closest suitable plan. Don’t wait for that perfect plan with everything covered to arrive and risk delaying your coverage.

Also Read: Tips on How to Make a Successful Insurance Claim

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