Waiting Period in Health Insurance

You should buy a health insurance policy with a minimal waiting period. The lower is the waiting period, the sooner you will be able to avail coverage. You should go through the policy terms & conditions carefully and check the waiting period before buying a policy.

Read More

Get ₹5 Lac Health Insurance starts @ ₹200/month*
Tax Benefitup to Rs.75,000
Save up to 12.5%* on 2 Year Payment Plans
7 Lakh+ Happy Customers

*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan. Standard T&C Apply
*Tax benefit is subject to changes in tax laws. Standard T&C Apply

Get insured from the comfort of your home No medicals required
I am a

My name is

My number is

By clicking on ‘View Plans’ you, agreed to our Privacy Policy and Terms of use
I am a

My name is

My number is

Select Age

City Living in

    Popular Cities

    Do you have an existing illness or medical history?

    This helps us find plans that cover your condition and avoid claim rejection

    Get updates on WhatsApp

    What is your existing illness?

    Select all that apply

    When did you recover from Covid-19?

    Some plans are available only after a certain time

    What is Waiting Period?

    A waiting period is a pre-decided time span post which a select list of ailments starts getting covered under your health insurance policy. Also known as the cooling period, it begins with the commencement of the policy. For instance, a waiting period of 4 years for pre-existing diseases is an extremely common clause in most health policies.

    In case the policyholder raises a claim with the health insurance company before the waiting period is over, the insurer can reject the claim. But if the policyholder raises a claim once the waiting period is over, the insurance company cannot deny the claim. For example, if the waiting period for diabetes is 90 days and you raise a claim in 60 days, the insurer will reject your claim. But if you raise a claim after 90 days, your claim will not be denied.

    Types of Waiting Period in Health Insurance

    • Pre-existing Diseases (PED) Waiting Period: At the time of taking health insurance, if the insured has any existing ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid, etc., they are called pre-existing diseases. Almost all health insurance plans cover pre-existing diseases after a waiting period of usually 2 to 4 years. This implies that any hospitalization expenses related to the declared ailments can be claimed only after 4 successful years with the insurer.
    • Waiting Periods for Specific Ailments/Procedures: There are certain listed ailments & procedures, such as ENT disorders, hernia, osteoporosis, joint replacement surgery, cataract, etc., for which health policies normally have a one or two years of waiting period. Any medical expenses resulting from such diseases/ procedures are covered only after the 1 year/ 2 years waiting period is over.
    • Initial Waiting Period: Almost all health insurance plans have an initial waiting period of one month or 30 days during which no claims are accepted, except for accidental cases.
    • Critical Illnesses Waiting Period: Regular health insurance plans cover critical diseases after a waiting period of 90 days and reject any claims for such diseases received during this period.
    • Maternity Benefit Waiting Period: There are several health insurance plans that offer maternity benefits and newborn baby cover only after a waiting period ranging from 9 months to 36 months is over.

    *All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan. Standard T&C apply.

    Is it Possible to Reduce Waiting Period?

    Yes, it is possible to reduce the waiting period under a health insurance policy. Some insurance companies offer an option to reduce the waiting period by opting for a waiting period waiver. However, such waivers can be obtained by paying an extra premium amount. For example, several health insurance plans come with a PED waiver that reduces the waiting period for such diseases from 4 years to 2 years.

    Normally in group health plans offered by employers to employees, insurance companies do not insist on waiting periods. Moreover, employees can get a health policy without a waiting period if they convert their group health plan to an individual plan. As per IRDA guidelines, employees who are a member of a group health plan offered by their employers can convert their group cover to an individual retail health policy at the time of leaving their employer. In such cases, they will be given a policy without a waiting period as they have already spent the waiting time in the group health cover provided to them by their respective employers.

    Important Points Related to Health Insurance Waiting Period

    Take a look at the following important points related to the health insurance waiting period:

    • If during the waiting period, the insured is diagnosed with a disease for the first time, it will not be called a pre-existing disease. In such a case, the policy will cover such ailment.
    • Several health insurance plans for senior citizens are available today where waiting periods have been done away with by adding a co-pay clause. A co-pay or co-payment clause implies that the policyholders will have to bear a certain percentage of claim amounts while the remaining will be paid by the insurance provider. For example, with a co-pay of 30% in a claim of Rs 1 lakh, the policyholder will have to pay Rs 30,000.

    So, if you have been planning to invest in a good health insurance plan, do well to check out the plan with the shortest possible waiting period.

    Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.

    Health insurance articles

    Recent Articles
    Popular Articles
    Does Health Insurance Cover Brain Tumour?

    17 May 2022

    The brain is one of the most important organs in your body. It is...
    Read more
    12 Tips to Avoid Common Health Problems During Summers

    12 May 2022

    India experiences a hot and dry summer season that lasts for up to...
    Read more
    Does Medical Insurance Cover Hearing Aids?

    12 May 2022

    The number of people who require hearing aids continues to grow...
    Read more
    Are Accidental Injuries Covered by Health Insurance in India?

    12 May 2022

    Accidents are unpredictable. Getting injured in an accident not...
    Read more
    6 Most Effective Ways to Prevent Viral Fever

    12 May 2022

    A change in weather can bring respite from the scorching summer...
    Read more
    PMJAY Scheme: Ayushman Bharat Yojana Eligibility & Registration Online
    Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced the launch of (PMJAY) Ayushman Bharat Yojana in his Independence...
    Read more
    Best Health Insurance Plans in India 2022
    Finding the best health insurance plan from so many different health insurance companies can get confusing for many...
    Read more
    Best Maternity Insurance Plans
    Maternity insurance offers comprehensive coverage for medical expenses incurred during pregnancy, including the cost...
    Read more
    Best Health Insurance Plans for Senior Citizens in 2022
    Considering the increase in medical inflation in India, buying adequate health insurance for your loved ones has...
    Read more
    10 Major Benefits of Ayushman Bharat Yojana
    Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is the second component under Ayushman Bharat Scheme. PM Narendra Modi...
    Read more
    Download the Policybazaar app
    to manage all your insurance needs.