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Choosing a Health Insurance Plan - Which one is the Best for You?

When you go for apparel shopping, do you buy any item on the display? Or do you go with the shopkeeper’s suggestions completely or buy the one your friend or neighbour recently bought? The modern day is spoilt for choices, be it appliances, apparel, gadgets, financial products, etc., you name it and the choice is endless. Most of us or rather all of us buy any product after a lot of consideration. Suitability, affordability, durability, attractiveness, and so on is measuring yardsticks.

Therefore, when it comes to buying insurance, why do we suddenly become ignorant? I agree that the technical juggernaut clearly stumps a layman’s understanding but it is no reason to invest in just any plan either propagated by your advisor or bought by your dearest friend. Just like a simple dress is not universal for everyone, a health insurance plan also cannot be universally bought.

Every individual’s need is unique and so is the requirement of a health plan. With the rising awareness among the masses, more and more people are investing in a health insurance policy but are they buying the right plan as per their requirements? Choosing the best health plan depends mainly on the actual requirements, and here, I have tried to categorize certain groups and the corresponding types of plans most suited to such groups to help you choose a better Health Insurance plan.

  • A Young adult with a new job - You got your first job and you feel on top of the world. New job, new environment, new learning experience and new financial responsibilities. Usually, corporates provide for a group health plan which is basic in nature and since you are young and have minimum responsibilities, the employer-sponsored health plan is sufficient. However, if you have dependent parents, buying a separate plan for parents is recommended since they will be facing frequent medical attention which may not be completely met by your group health provider.
  • Newly Married Young Couple - Marriage brings with it new responsibilities and as such the earlier mentioned employer-sponsored health cover is not sufficient. Here, plans with a higher cover should be bought with a provision for maternity cover because plans with maternity clause generally have a waiting period before covering the maternity expenses. So, planning early overcomes this hurdle.
  • A couple with kids - For this category, a family floater plan with considerable coverage is the best answer. Often people mistake higher coverages for very high premiums. While it is true that higher coverages have high premiums but the proportionate increase in premium is very low. For instance, Apollo Munich’s Optima Restore Plan with a cover of Rs. 10 Lakh charges a premium of Rs.9,861 while the same plan with an Rs. 50 Lakh cover demands a premium of just Rs.19,884, which is just about double the former premium for five times higher cover. So, buying a plan with a higher cover is advisable for a family earlier. In the older ages such a high cover may not be granted and even if granted will come with a lot of terms and conditions and very high premiums.
  • People affected with specific illnesses - New plans addressing specific illnesses are coming up these days. For example, Apollo Munich’s Energy is specifically designed to support people with diabetes. So people with such diseases should avail these plans. Moreover, several Critical Illness plans are also available in the market which can be bought for more comprehensive coverage.
  • Senior Citizens - Senior citizens are generally not offered the common plans available in the market. Specific senior citizen plans are designed for their needs that take care of the medical costs entailed by older people.

This is not an exhaustive categorization but covers more or less everything. However, the following points should be checked before buying any plan:

Renewability - Look for a lifelong renewal plan to retain coverage in older age

Claim process - Check whether the plan has cashless or Reimbursement type of claim settlement process and go for the former one because reimbursements tend to cause a lot of financial strain initially

Sub-limits - Look for room rent and other sub-limits and make sure the limits meet your requirement

Day-care procedures covered - Needless to say, the higher the numbers of processes covered the more secure you are against the rejection of the claim.

So, go ahead and choose the best plan that suits your requirements and enjoy your life without any worries because planning ahead always benefits.

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