Medical emergencies can occur anytime anywhere. The growing cost of healthcare facilities has made it prudent for everyone to buy a health insurance policy. Medical insurance enables you to get financial aid if you or one of your family members get unwell and require medical treatment. Basically, it keeps you adequately prepared to handle any unforeseen medical emergencies that pose a burden on your finances.
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In India, there is no dearth of health insurance providers, including Care Health Insurance. Previously known as Religare Health Insurance, the insurer provides a variety of health plans to individuals of all ages. Besides, you can purchase a Care health insurance policy online from the comforts of your home or offline by visiting the nearest branch of the insurer or an insurance agent.
But before you buy a Care health insurance policy, you must check a few things that may help you assess the relevance of the plan. Not every plan is suitable for all kinds of people. You need to know the efficiency of the chosen health insurance plan in meeting your health needs.
Here are 12 things that you should know before buying a Care health insurance policy:
Every health insurance policy has eligibility criteria. The criteria state the kind of people eligible to apply for the health plan. Care Health Insurance has specific plans for families, senior citizens, heart patients, diabetic people, etc. Not everyone can apply for all kinds of Care health plans. For example, a person in his 20s cannot apply for Care Senior plan meant for senior citizens only.
Moreover, every health plan also comes with a minimum and maximum entry age. The applicants of the plan must suffice the said age criteria to be able to purchase the plan. For example, your dependent child of 26 years cannot be covered under the Care Advantage plan as its maximum entry age for children is 24 years.
Therefore, you must check the eligibility and age criteria of a Care health insurance plan before buying it.
Before you buy a Care health insurance policy, you must decide the coverage amount you want under your health plan. The coverage amount or the sum insured is the maximum amount payable by your health insurer in case of a claim. You should opt for a coverage that comfortably covers your annual medical expenses without overshooting your premium budget. The rule of thumb is to opt for a higher sum insured as your age increases as the health needs of a person increases as he/ she grows old.
Once you have set your coverage amount, you must look for plans with a similar or higher sum insured. For example, if you want a health cover of Rs 75 lakh, you cannot purchase the Care Advantage plan which offers a sum insured of Rs 1 Crore.
Extent of Coverage
Apart from the sum insured, you must also be clear about the level of coverage you seek from your health insurance policy. You must analyse your health needs and decide on the coverage benefits you want under your health insurance. You should opt for a plan that fulfils your health needs and provides a coverage close to your ideal cover. For example, if you want a maternity cover, you will have to opt for Joy maternity insurance plan.
Pre-Policy Health Check-Up
A few Care health insurance plans may need the applicants to appear for a medical check-up before buying the policy. This pre-policy check-up is mostly required for applicants above a certain age. For example, applicants of Enhance top-up plan above the age of 50 years will be required to undertake a pre-policy health check-up to buy the plan.
Every health insurance plan comes with certain waiting periods. The waiting periods refer to the cool-off period on completion of which additional coverage can be availed. For instance, Care family health insurance has an initial waiting period of 30 days and pre-existing disease waiting period of 4 years. This means you can file a claim under your Care health insurance policy after 30 days of policy start date and a pre-existing disease-related claim after 4 years of continuous coverage.
Thus, you must check the applicable waiting period on a Care health insurance plan before buying it.
Exclusions are a part of every health insurance plan. It is important to go through the exclusions of a health plan before you buy it. This will ensure that you know what you are being covered for. Moreover, you can skip buying the policy if a crucial cover is not been offered. For example, the Care Freedom plan does not cover OPD treatment expenses. So if you want coverage for OPD expenses, you will have to buy another policy that offers the OPD cover.
Under a health insurance plan, the maternity cover ensures that your insurer pays for the medical expenses incurred on pregnancy-related treatment. It also covers the medical expenses arising out of a newborn baby. This cover is extremely important for women who are planning to start a family. Care Health Insurance offers a maternity insurance plan - Joy - for such women. If you want maternity cover under your health plan, you must look for a plan that provides this coverage.
It is advisable to enrol in a maternity plan as soon as you decide to start a family as most maternity plans come with a waiting period of at least nine months. For example, Joy plan has a waiting period of nine months and 24 months depending on the plan variant you choose. Thus, if you plan to have a baby in the next couple of years, now is the time to invest in a maternity insurance plan.
Before you buy a Care health insurance policy, you must check for any applicable co-payment. The co-payment refers to a fixed amount that you have to pay if you raise a claim under your health policy. For example, policyholders above 60 years will have to bear a co-payment of 20 per cent of the claim amount under the Care family health insurance plan.
It is important to check for any applicable co-payment under your chosen health plan beforehand as paying for a co-pay amount that you can’t afford will leave you bankrupt.
No Claim Bonus (NCB)
No Claim Bonus is a discount offered by a health insurance company on renewal premium if you do not raise any claim in your previous policy. You can earn a minimum NCB discount of 10 per cent to a maximum of 50 per cent if no claims are made for five consecutive years. Since NCB can help you reduce your health insurance premium substantially, you must check if the Care insurance plan you want to buy offers NCB discount or not.
Before you buy a Care health insurance policy, you must go through the claim process of the insurance company. The idea is to buy a health plan with a quick and hassle-free claim process. A fast and efficient claim process acts as a proof that your claims will be approved quickly and your insurer will not take ages to pay your claim amount. Therefore, make sure to go through the claim process of Care Health Insurance before buying one of its plans.
Availability of cashless hospitalization facility is another feature to check before buying a health insurance plan. Cashless hospitalization facility is offered by insurance companies only if they have a network of empanelled hospitals. Care Health Insurance has more than 7800 network hospitals across the country. Although, you can check if any network hospitals are located in the city or area of your residence.
Free Health Check-Up
Several health insurers in India offer free preventive health check-up facility to its policyholders. Most of these companies offer free health check-up facility only if you don’t make a claim. However, Care Health Insurance offers this facility under select health plan irrespective of the claim history. Thus, you must check if your chosen Care health insurance policy offers free health check-up facility.
Summing It Up
Health insurance is extremely important to ensure the well-being of yourself and your loved ones. If you plan to buy a Care health insurance policy, you must check the things listed in this article to ensure that you don’t get any unpleasant surprises later and get a policy coverage of your liking.
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