7 Important things to check before buying a health insurance plan
We list down some of the key points one must check before buying a health insurance plan which will ensure adequate protection whenever need arises.
Coronavirus made people realize that buying a health insurance plan is more of a requirement than a choice. Slowly people are becoming aware that unexpected medical emergency can occur at any time and wipe off huge amount of hard-earned savings. Hence, it is crucial to take a health insurance coverage which can provide a shield to you and your family against rising medical expenses. However, just like other investment avenues remember market is flooded with so many health insurance policies. We list down some of the key points one must check before buying a health insurance plan which will ensure adequate protection whenever need arises.
Checkpoints before buying health insurance plan
- Make a choice regarding individual and family floater plan – Health insurance plans comes in two forms: individual and family floater plan. Individual plan offers coverage to an individual wherein the premium amount for the sum assured is calculated post evaluation of the individual’s age, medical history, existing health condition among others. On the flipside, a family floater is the group insurance plan which will cover the entire family. The sum assured will cover all the members of the family i.e., parents, children, spouse etc. In case of the family floater plan, in event of the eldest member of the family reaches a specific age, the policy is closed and even the members who are still younger cannot renew the same policy. However, in case of individual policy there is a standalone policy for each individual.
- Get a right blend of premium and the coverage – Lesser premium is always a point of attraction. However, it is crucial to ensure that the plan is offering extensive coverage or at least cover most of the aspects with not so high amount of premium or premium as per your budget. It is important to check if there is co-payment clause which is amount that you would need to pay at the time of claim and the rest will be paid by the insurer or any sub-limit because all of this if not checked will lead to paying more amount during actual claim.
- Extent of coverage and list of exclusions – Buy a health insurance plan which covers both pre and post hospitalization expenses. It is important to check if the plan covers ICU room rent, ambulance charges, OPD expenses etc. Also evaluate if the plan covers maternity expenses and also any of the alternate treatment such as Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani etc. Take a note of the exclusions which are expenses on certain illness or a cosmetic treatment which are not insured. Find out whether there is any waiting period for the exclusions and accordingly select policy which best fits your requirement.
- Provision for preventive health checkup facility - Cost of preventive health check-ups like heart diseases, cancer screenings, MRIs, etc. are expensive. So, when you decide to buy the health insurance plan, check if the cost of the preventive health checkup is also covered which can help you to save some amount of money.
- Evaluate the waiting period clause – Waiting period is the period one needs to wait for before the insurer can cover your existing health conditions. Usually, the waiting period ranges between two to four years, depending upon the insurer and policy type. This period applies to illness like blood pressure, diabetes, etc. that one may have before buying the policy and also to treatments like arthritis. Hence, check the policy document to get information about the waiting period. Best is to have a policy with minimum waiting period.
- Benefit of cashless hospitalization treatment - Health Insurance plans offer cashless hospitalization benefit which ensure that one need not arrange the funds at the time of the medical emergency. Individual need to submit all the bills and documents and hospital will settle the bills directly with the insurer. So, before buying the policy check which hospitals in your vicinity have tie up with the insurance companies and is there any limit or only certain types of expenses are covered under cashless treatment.
- Track record of the insurance company – While buying insurance policy it is important to check the track record of the company which most importantly includes the claim settlement ratio. This includes the proportion of claims honored by the company against the total number of claims raised. Higher ratio better it is. Also, it is important to check customer reviews and do some research on kind of services provided which will help in seamless settlement of claims.
Keep a note of all the aforementioned pointers before buying a health insurance plan. Remember a good health insurance plan can help to cover the hospitalization expense and protect your wealth too. With covid-19 crisis there are specific health insurance plans which covers medical expenses for hospitalization, pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization as well in event of testing positive. One can always take a help of the insurance advisor who can guide you and also ensure to take the health insurance plan at a young age which can help to take wide coverage at a lesser premium amount.