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How to Choose the Best Health Insurance Policy in India

Health insurance is an essential buy in the present times of ever-soaring medical expenses. A fair number of millennial are aware of the benefits of health insurance. However, a large portion still considers it the ultimate instrument for tax saving only. Mostly, young employees take health insurance to be exempted from the tax slab. But, believe us it is extremely essential hence correspondingly a more intricate product that comes with enormous riders and health benefits.

Though your employer covers you with group health insurance, it is insufficient to meet today’s requirements. We tend not to buy a separate plan considering the facilities one gets without paying anything and continue with the group health plan. But, what if you leave the organisation? Bear in mind that once you leave the organisation, you’re no longer a part of this health plan. Here’s why you always need a separate health insurance that covers you and your family. 

With so many variants, this insurance product binds you to be particular while choosing the best health insurance policy in India. With the health insurance market flooded with thousands of plans, purchasing an adequate health plan is not a cakewalk! However, you may find the below pointers relevant while hunting for a health plan that meets your requisites.

Here’s Why You Need a Health Insurance Plan

As the medical expenses have increased drastically, one single hospitalisation is enough to wipe out all your life's savings. It will leave you stunned to find out how these small expenses ruin you financially. With a health plan, you can bear these costs to some extent. The reason you need a health plan is quite evident, once you consider the following:

  • Protects and prepares you to face any unplanned medical expenses.
  • Bears the high-cost medical expenses on your behalf
  • The premiums of health insurance plans are comparatively less.
  • Best health insurance policy in India always provides coverage for medical expenses in an extensive manner.
  • The claim process is simple and hassle-free with most of the insurers.
  • Less chances of your claim being rejected with a trusted insurer.

In this article, we will take you through a few tips to consider while choosing a health insurance plan:

Choose the Coverage Amount Smartly

Always go for the plan that offers maximum health coverage and maximum amount for the treatment. With medical inflation, health care expenses are going up drastically and therefore, you’ll need a sufficient amount to deal with the inflation. For instance, a simple heart surgery costs around 4-5 lakh and for a middle-class family this amount is quite huge and it matters a lot if a medical policy covers this amount.

Family Floater Heal Plan is a Good Option

Individual health plans are designed keeping the needs of an individual in mind. However, if you are a family person, we will advise to buy a family floater plan, which covers your entire family. This way you aren’t required to buy a separate policy for each member and can keep their health secured. The premium is also lesser as compared to individual plans and the sum assured is higher. Most importantly, anyone can utilise the amount during a medical treatment. Also, you can cover your senior citizen parents as well by paying a slightly higher premium.

Choose the Sum Insured Precisely

Take the right sum insured based on your marital status and age. At a young age, the risk factor is less, however, your needs will evolve as you become older or cross 40. At this age, people may begin to be prone to a variety of illnesses including lifestyle diseases like diabetes, BP etc. Similarly, once you are married, you should select the sum insured of your health plan considering the health status of your spouse as well.

Plan with Minimum Waiting Period for Pre-existing Illness

Every health insurance plan has its own set of terms and conditions regarding pre-existing diseases. It means if you have any disease prior to taking a plan, the claim made for taking treatment against that illness will be accepted after the insured serves a defined waiting period. In most cases the waiting period ranges anywhere from 2-4 years, however, some plans have a lesser waiting period like mediclaim policy. While purchasing a health policy, you should opt for the one with less waiting period.

Maximum Age-renewal

You may not require a health policy at a young age but when you grow older, possibilities of health issues you encounter increases. So take up a plan, which you can renew at the age of 75 or 80 years of your age.

Insurer with High Claim-settlement Ratio

Claim settlement ratio is the number of claims settled by the insurer over the total claims it receives. Always opt for a health plan from an insurer that has a high claim settlement ratio. This way you will ensure that your claim will not be rejected until the insurer has a valid excuse. However, you should be careful at the time filing a claim. Make sure you’ve attached all the relevant documents and proofs supporting your claim.

Go For the Plans with Sub-limits

Most of the health insurance policies come with sub limits on per day medical expenses, room rent in case of hospitalisation etc. Consider those plans that offer the highest slab on room rent or other health care expenses. Well, the best health insurance policy in India always comes with the maximum sub limits on health care expenses. You just need to select the plans, compare them online, calculate the premium and finally get the best deal for you.

Consider Network Hospital

With health insurance, you are entitled to avail treatments from network hospitals which are a group of hospitals associated with a particular insurer. For instance, if you are taking a health plan from Max Bupa, you can avail treatments from the hospitals that are in Max Bupa's network hospital list. If you are purchasing a health plan for yourself/spouse or your parents or other family members residing in a rural area, always consider taking a plan, which has a wide network of hospitals in those areas. There is no point purchasing a plan if you are struggling to find an associated hospital to avail the cashless benefit.

Don’t Forget to Compare Premium

It is essential to compare the plans as well as the premium. There are many online aggregators that, help you compare the insurance policies in terms of benefits, features, premiums, maximum returns, etc.; picking a plan without weighing all the options available in the market is like inviting regret. By comparing the plans you can avail all the benefits at a comparatively cheaper premium rate.

Don’t Ignore the Reviews

Reviews are essential when it comes to online purchasing. From grocery to medicines, clothes to footwear, electrical items and food orders, we are so inclined towards online services offered by various companies. The insurance sector is no exception. Many insurers have introduced insurance plans keeping the convenience of the customers in mind. And we often put a lot of stock by the reviews posted by other customers. In fact, reviews can make or break our decision to purchase any product or service. In the same way, what others’ experiences have been about the product certain health plan are very insightful. Reviews are always a mixture of negative and positive opinions which highlight the relevant pros and cons. This will help you take a firm and informed decision.

Mind the Exclusions

Most of the policyholders ignore this point and end up experiencing something unexpected. Exclusions are part and parcel of a policy and you can’t avoid it. If a plan covers something, it is equally entitled to not cover some illnesses, like some plans that exclude Hernia, Cataract, Sinusitis, Gastric, Joint Replacement etc. in the initial period. While some others exclude expenses incurred on dental treatment, HIV/AIDS, eye-related healthcare, STD, cosmetic surgery etc. You should choose a health plan with fewer exclusions.

Add-on Rider/Critical Illness Rider/Accidental Rider

With a critical illness rider, you ensure that your financial planning would not get disturbed if any unplanned medical expense arises. Critical illness cover is an add-on rider which you can opt for by paying an extra premium. In return, you can avail health coverage against those life threatening diseases. We believe, you won’t mind paying a higher premium if you’re getting a huge financial cover in return, right?

Things to Consider Before Buying a Health Plan

  • Premiums
  • No Claim Bonus
  • Waiting period to be served for pre-existing ailments
  • Co-payment
  • Is there any waiting period for specific illness
  • Incurred claim settlement ratio
  • Maximum renewal age period
  • Critical Illness add-on option
  • Network hospital

Well, this is not the comprehensive list however, we believe you will find this helpful in taking a firm decision at the time of purchasing a health plan. With a plethora of health insurance policies, it is quite a tedious task to find the best health insurance policy in India. That’s why it is a wise decision to take help from the comparison tools online. There are innumerable premium calculators or insurance calculators that help you find the best deal. This way you can bargain with the insurer regarding the premium. Also, at the time of renewal, you can compare what the other insurers are offering in the same plan. If you find them alluring than yours, switch your insurer. Also, do not forget to transfer your earned No Claim Bonus at the time that you change the insurer.

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