Medical exigencies arise in all families and somehow one requires planning accordingly. Looking at the rising medical costs, it seems very tough for one person to bear the medical expenses of his family. In such situations, health insurance comes into play. In fact health insurance policies come with another major advantage: you can save Rs35,000 under Section 80D, over and above the 1.5lacs under section 80C.
Besides saving tax, you can save further by paying nominal annual premiums and claims a guaranteed sum whenever required. It is essential to realize the importance of a good health insurance plan as it covers you against medical and surgical expenses that are incurred in case of illness or physical injury. It is a crucial financial decision to choose the right health insurance policy for you and your family.
Here are a few important points to keep in mind while buying a health insurance policy:
1. Assess your needs and budget
The two things you need to know before buying a health insurance plan are your requirements and your budget. Requirements include the coverage you need, your medical needs and whether you need extra protection. Assessing your budget involves calculating the amount your pocket allows you to spend on health insurance. Buying a health insurance plan is a financial commitment in which you might end up paying for more than your needs or paying more for your needs.
2. Decide the sum assured wisely
While calculating the required sum assured, do keep the rising medical costs in mind. What you pay for a treatment or a medicine today might not be sufficient in future. But to keep the premiums affordable, ensure that the amount is not very high either. You can also compare various health plans according to premiums and sum assured on Policybazaar.com. For instance, a 25-year old, non-smoker, single male, earning 5 to 7 lacs a year needs to pay an annual premium of Rs. 4,466, to get an assured sum of Rs. 4 lacs.
3. Check the hospital network
The most important thing to know while buying a policy is the list of hospitals associated with the insurer. It is advisable to check for the reputation, specialty, and most importantly the location of the empanelled hospitals. You should always opt for insurers who have their listed hospitals located in your vicinity; because at the time of medical emergency, proximity becomes a key concern.
4. Carefully go through the clauses
Every health insurance policy comes with a series of clauses (called the fine print), and it is your responsibility, as a consumer, to read, understand, and ask questions (if any) about them. Also, every plan has its Unique Selling Point (USP), which you can get to know only by reading the fine print. To analyze, choose and get the best out of a plan, it is wise to read all the scheme related documents carefully before investing. A hidden clause can leave you uncovered at the time of emergency.
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