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5 Things You Need to Know Before Porting Health Insurance Policy Amidst Covid

5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Health Insurance Policy amidst Covid

Thirty years old Archit residing in Delhi tested positive for Covid-19 and was hospitalized for 10-15 days. His parents also contracted the virus and were hospitalized when the symptoms got severe. The hospital made a hefty bill of Rs 15 lacs. Whereas Archit and his parents had health insurance of only Rs 10 lacs. So, he had to pay Rs 5 lacs from his own pocket.

Had Archit ported his policy to a higher sum insured, he wouldn’t have had to dent his savings to pay the hospital bill. In a world where Covid-19 cases are not seeing any respite and we have already witnessed two dreadful waves, having an adequate and comprehensive health cover has become a must these days.

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If you are not satisfied with the services of your current insurer or want more features, you can port your health insurance policy at the time of renewal. Portability is when you switch your health insurance policy from one insurance provider to another. When you want to port your health insurance policy, you need to approach the new health insurer at least 45 days before the expiry of your existing policy.

Before porting your existing policy to a new one, you should definitely keep a few things in mind:

Increase the sum insured

Before porting to a new policy, you must assess the sum insured to combat medical inflation. An individual with a spouse and a kid should go for a health insurance cover of at least Rs 25 lakh. A cover of that size for a young family of three with a 5-year-old child will cost about Rs 17,408 a year.

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Coverage for domiciliary hospitalization

During the second wave, as the number of Covid-19 cases increased exponentially, the number of hospital beds availability declined. In such a scenario, domiciliary hospitalization became pertinent. Domiciliary hospitalization is a situation where the insured is considered or treated as hospitalized even when he is at home or at a makeshift hospital. Coverage for Domestic hospitalization happens only when no medical facility is available at the hospital, and when the patient is not in a condition to physically visit the hospital. A doctor’s prescription for home isolation and treatment is also required. Medication, nurses' and doctors' visits at home to measure vitals and tests such as CT scan X-ray, COVID treatment, home ICU charges are covered.

Coverage for consumables

Consumables including PPE kits and gloves contribute to 30-40% of Covid-19 treatment bills. Check whether the new policy you want to port to, provides coverage for consumables or not. A lot of insurers are offering riders for coverage of consumables including Max Bupa Safeguard rider, Care Health Insurance- Care Shield rider. Digit health insurance has an insurance plan called Ultima Option that provides coverage for consumables upto sum insured.

Sub-limit

Check the restrictions in your policy such as room rent limit. It is the maximum amount covered by an insurer for the room in your policy. This means customers will have to necessarily bear some part of the medical bill. Typically, room rent capping is in the range of 1-2% of the sum insured. Go for health insurance plans which don’t have a room rent limit. It is recommended to go for a plan that provides coverage for a minimum single private air-conditioned room which ensures treatment in privacy. Suppose you have a health cover of Rs 5 lacs and the room rent limit is 1%, then your insurer will cover only Rs 5000 as part of your room rent expenses. However, in any good hospital, room rent typically starts from Rs 10,000. So, you should never overlook this feature when buying health insurance.

Check the cool-off period

If you have had Covid-19 in the past, you will have to wait for a few months to port to a new policy as some insurers have put a cool-off period. It is usually between 1-6 months. Go for a policy that has a lesser cool-off period. If you haven’t been infected with Covid-19 till now, then buy health insurance as soon as possible because you don’t want to be in a situation in which you will have to wait to get a health insurance policy.

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