Health insurance plans have become very important in the modern-day world with growing medical costs and increased lifestyle-related health risks. In India, hospitalisation in a private hospital is a whopping six times more expensive than being hospitalised in a government-run hospital. Unfortunately, almost 56% of Indians don’t have any form of health cover and are likely to incur tremendous out-of-pocket expenses in case of hospitalisation. Moreover, many people buy health insurance plans without understanding the benefits and various terms & conditions associated with the same.
The onset of COVID-19 has reinforced the need for a proper health insurance plan to save oneself from financial instability amid a global catastrophe.
Health insurance plans are a vital part of the financial planning of any individual or family. These policies can save one’s family during a medical emergency and allow a patient to get the best treatment.
With a growing number of health insurance providers as well as a variety of riders attached to a policy, here are few important facts to be kept in mind before selecting health insurance plans for you and your family:
1. Total sum insured
The total sum insured will play a massive role in the health coverage and treatment available to you. Most health policies allow bed charges to a maximum of 1-2% of the total sum insured. A higher amount of sum insured will increase your total premium, but allow you to avail the best services in the hospital of your choice. A medical insurance policy covering your entire family should be with a higher total sum insured to allow you to avail of multiple benefits on the same policy if required.
2. Cashless facilities
Health insurance plans generally allow for cashless treatment with the hospitals covered under the insurance provider’s network. Policyholders should carefully study the list of hospitals, and the illness wherein such cashless facilities are available. A cashless facility will allow the insured person not to shell out any money for the hospital’s treatment.
On the other hand, if the cashless facility is not available or the chosen hospital is not in the health insurance plan network, the policyholder will have to apply for reimbursement of the treatment expense. The awareness about the cashless facility will allow the insured person to choose the hospital carefully and do the necessary short term financial planning in case of unavailability of cashless facilities.
Health insurance policy plans offer a variety of coverage options depending on the option selected by the user. Specific health insurance plans provide both pre and post hospitalisation coverage, along with health check-up expenses. Any customer should carefully study the overall coverage being offered in different plans before picking one. A health insurance plan that provides both pre and post-hospitalisation expenses coverage would be suitable as it would cover the entire cost of treatment, including tests and medicines.
4. Waiting period
Most policies have a waiting period from the date of the policy being taken until a stipulated period during which the policy can’t be used to claim any benefits. The waiting period would differ for different types of diseases covered under the policy. If the additional cover is taken in certain situations, such benefit is available only after a certain cooling-off period. The policyholder must consider this aspect and select policies with a minimal waiting period.
5. No claim bonus
A medical insurance policy can include a no claim bonus plan. If an insurance policy is renewed every year and no claim is availed in the previous year, the insurance company would hike the sum insured under the policy or provide a no-claim discount on the health premium payable. A policyholder must study the terms and conditions of such a bonus from the insurance company. Ideally, a policyholder should push for such a bonus and avail a higher sum assured to increase the insurance coverage without any extra cost.
A health insurance plan is one of the most critical tools of financial planning for any person that’s why it is recommended to compare insurance online before choosing one. It allows them to tackle their medical bills without worrying about the total costs associated with such treatments. Therefore, the selection of health insurance plans is equally important. You can go through the list of points mentioned above carefully before zeroing in on a health insurance plan.