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In the last 12 months, health insurance has successfully transformed from being a good-to-have product to a must-have commodity – all because of the rising COVID-19 cases across the country. The year 2020 saw health insurance become the most valuable segment in terms of premiums collected and lives insured as over 300 million lives were insured under health insurance from April – September 2020. People have realised that the novel coronavirus can infect them anytime anywhere and the only way to stay financially protected against the pandemic is by investing in a comprehensive health insurance plan. Interestingly, even the number of people renewing their health insurance policies this year are much higher than ever before.
As per the available data, of all the family-floater health insurance policies, sold last year, over 85% of the policyholders renewed their policies before expiry. Similarly, approximately 80% of the customers with individual health insurance plans renewed their policies before the due date. As it turns out, this could not have happened at any better time! For people who bought health insurance during this time last year, it is very important for them to renew the policy before the expiry date. Akin to all other types of insurance policies, a health insurance policy also needs to be renewed annually to reap health insurance policy benefits without any hassle.
You can easily renew your health insurance policy online within a few clicks from the insurer’s website or any of the online insurance market places like PolicyBazaar. You can also renew offline, however, online renewal is a fast and simple process that takes just a matter of minutes to complete. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:
While a significant number of people bought health insurance last year, many people bought the plans in a hurry without giving due consideration to some important aspects like sum insured, waiting period, co-payment clauses, etc. However, now that it is time to renew the health insurance policy, it is important that you make the much-needed changes and convert your policy to a comprehensive plan.
When choosing the total sum insured for the insurance cover, most people fail to take into account the inflation rate which is significantly responsible for increasing the healthcare cost. Due to this, they often end up taking a cover with insufficient sum insured. As a policy seeker, you must take into consideration various things including your age, your lifestyle, any pre-existing diseases if any and medical history of your family.
You could consider Rs 1 crore health insurance policies. This is mostly because health plans with Rs. 1 Crore sum insured are now available at almost the same price as Rs. 10 Lakh health cover. For a 30-year old individual, while Rs. 10 Lakh cover costs Rs. 600 – Rs. 800 per month, for the same customer Rs. 1 Crore sum insured health plan costs Rs. 800 – Rs. 1,000 per month. By just paying Rs. 200 – Rs. 400 more, customers can now get much-enhanced coverage with a plethora of added features.
Some insurance plans have restrictions such as sub-limits and co-payments. It is crucial that you are aware of these conditions. If you bought a policy with mandatory co-payment clause and sub-limit on room rent, it is advised to revamp your policy while renewing it. There are now policies available in the market which come without any co-payment clause yet are priced reasonably. Also, under these policies there are no sub-limits on any procedures or room-rent that means during hospitalisation you may choose any room of your choice for availing treatment. To avail maximum benefits, it is always advised to buy plans with higher sum insured.
Thirdly, you must check whether the health insurance plan has a shorter waiting period. Most health insurance plans do not cover pre-existing diseases right away. There is usually a waiting period of two to four years for such ailments to be covered. So while buying a health insurance plan, one must pay attention to such details and compare the waiting period in different policies, and go for a plan that offers the lowest waiting period.
However, if you have bought a plan that has longer waiting period for pre-existing diseases, while renewing your policy you can easily port to plans that have lesser or even zero waiting period of pre-existing conditions. These days, some insurance companies offer Pre-Existing Disease (PED) cover, which starts protecting them immediately after they purchase the policy. That way, even if you have diabetes, hypertension or any other pre-existing ailment, you would be covered from day one even when it comes to medical costs related to these ailments.
Modern insurers these days offer specifically designed plans to suit very specific needs of policyholders. For example, there are specific health insurance plans for women, for critical illnesses, for senior citizens, for individuals, for families etc. These plans offer different types of coverage at affordable premiums. So when you decide to renew a health insurance policy, consider if you have any specific requirements and take a call based on your needs. For example, when you are unmarried, it is good to have an individual health insurance plan. But, if the chosen plan allows you to add another member, perhaps when you get married or have children, it is even better. Choose a plan that suits your needs at every stage of your life.
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.
18 Apr, 2022