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Things to Check before Buying a Second Health Insurance Plan

Wondering whether to buy another health insurance policy, which covers your your parents?

Or should you buy a critical illness plan covering more than 30 types of illnesses?

Whether to go for high sum assured, or buy a policy with higher premium with no-claim bonus?

If you feel your existing health insurance policy is not providing sufficient coverage, you can port your policy to another insurer. If your spouse is living abroad, there is no point covering them under the local health insurance policy.

But before buying a second health plan, you must do an analysis, based on the current situation and future requirement. You must consider the number of members in your family, your earnings, your lifestyle, current illnesses and existing coverage through corporate insurance before porting to another policy.    

For instance, if you are going to get married soon, you can buy a policy which covers your partner or kid future. Also, if you have dependent parents, you can buy a separate health plan for them. 

Or you can port to a family floater health insurance policy that can offer coverage to your parents, spouse, children, brothers, sisters, nephews and so on.  

So if you are wondering how you are going to manage multiple health insurance policies – it is not that difficult. With the right policy, you can get to avail the best of treatment in some of the best hospitals. There are various benefits that you can avail including cashless hospitalization cover; room rent expenses, ambulance charges etc. In your second policy, you can opt for additional benefits as well.

However, below are some of the factors that you need to consider before buying you actually buy another health insurance policy:

Sum Assured Amount

The cost of medical treatment is increasing with time. It’s the right time to port your plan if you are anticipating changes in your medical requirements. Consequently, you can also increase the sum assured amount to meet your health concerns. Based on your claim history and medical conditions, your request would be taken by your insurer.

The premium of your health insurance policy depends on the age of the insured. With age you become more vulnerable to health risks and there is an increase in premium to cover you adequately. For instance: If you  have two family floater plans of Rs. 3 lakh then considering today’s expenses it might not be sufficient. Ideally, you should have two health insurance policies one with a cover of Rs. 10lakhs, and a critical illness cover of Rs. 10-15 lakhs

Policy Coverage

First assess your health needs, your family members’ health concerns, and other factors that might affect your medical insurance in comparison to the previous year. Consider factors like the birth of a new baby, a family member’s, job changes etc. If your current plan has a co-payment clause, sub-limits, and room rent capping then you can opt for a better plan. Always choose a plan that comes with minimal limitations and let you enjoy the maximum benefits.

For instance: If you are having a baby in two years, you can look for a health plan with maternity cover, as it includes 2-3years of waiting period. Only, a few insurance providers give an option to reduce the waiting period, by increasing the amount of premium (especially for those who are doing family planning).

Look at Top- up Plans

You can also choose a top-up plan on your existing insurance policy. You can get top-up on your current policy or even buy it individually on a standalone basis. This top-up would increase your insurance benefits and it will be an add-on to your basic health insurance policy. For instance, if you have Cigna health insurance you can look at a top-up plan from same insurer or other insurers such as HDFC Ergo, Star health insurance etc.

If you have an insurance cover provided by your company, then you can take a top-up on that and save money. Looking at the sedentary lifestyle and rising medical expenses. So, the sum that is insured by your employer would be deducted from your top-up amount covered.

Also, if you check online insurance renewal you would see plans which offer Critical Illness Rider to protect your family financially, in case of some unforeseen critical illnesses.

Nowadays, insurance companies provide cover to around 30 critical illnesses. So, if you have a plan which covers only 3-4 critical illness, you can customize it and get covered up to 30 Critical Illnesses, based on your health conditions and your family health conditions.

See If You Want To Switch Your Insurance Provider

If you are facing a gap between what is assured and what is, you can upgrade your plan and buy a policy from another insurance company. When you port your plan you can look for higher sum insured and additional benefits like critical illness cover. As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, the insured will not lose the benefits of the current policy while porting out. Or you can upgrade your plan with your existing insurance provider, as it will be easier to claim both the plans.

Lifetime Renewal

If your current medical insurance plan comes with a cut-off age for renewal then you should definitely choose a plan with lifetime renewability. Because when you grow old, it will be difficult for you to buy a new plan as the health deteriorates with the age.

There is a grace period that most of the insurer’s provider to their customers. During this period you can easily renew your policy if you missed the due date.

Most of the health insurance companies such as Cigna health insurance, HDFC Ergo etc. send a reminder to the policyholders to help them renew the policy in time. Timely renewal will save you from unnecessary stress.

To summarize the above points –

  • Consider the number of members in your family, the city you live in, your earnings, lifestyle and existing insurance cover
  • If you are doing family planning in the next 2-3 years, make sure you include maternity cover in time
  • Check for critical insurance cover in case of elderly parents or current health conditions
  • Check for top-up plans, if you do not want to pay a high base amount

Conclusion

If you are facing issues with your current health insurance policy, then you should definitely buy another policy. Having a medical cover is important but having an adequate cover is essential if you to avail the best treatment in a hassle-free manner. Before you renew your policy, you can think of the benefits that you would like to avail. It is not necessary to continue with the same insurance provider. You can always change the insurer and get sufficient coverage to help you meet any medical emergency without any hassle.

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