Health Insurance is a type of insurance that provides you and your loved ones financial security in times of need. Thus, whether an emergency or a planned hospitalisation due to illness or injury, a health insurance policy ensures health coverage by paying for the covered medical and surgical expenses of an insured person. These expenses could be related to hospitalization costs, cost of medicines or doctor consultation fees.
Other than safeguarding your finances from hospitalisation expenses, one can avail tax benefits on the premiums paid towards the health insurance under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
Factors need to be considered while buying Health Insurance:
Better to select a Floater Health Insurance Plan, If you are having a family, as it provides you a higher medical coverage with a lower premium as compared to Individual insurance plan for each family member.
Restore Benefit: With Restore Benefit, you can restore the sum insured that you have already spent during the policy period for previous claims. But the limitation with the restore benefit is that the restored sum insured cannot be used to claim for the same member for the same disease for on which the original sum insured was exhausted.
Scope of cover : Don’t buy a plan solely on the basis of less premium. You should also look at what the plan covers. The plan that you buy should be comprehensive and cover all your medical insurance needs.
Life time Renewable: One should check the age limit also that till which age policy can be renewed. Your Health insurance policy should have life time renewability benefit.
Cashless Claim Transaction: Before purchasing health insurance policy, you should check whether the Hospitals in your area are the part of cashless network list of that co.
Benefits you must compare before buying a Health Insurance Plan:
Sub-limits on Room Rent: Room Rent is one of the major expenses you have to bear if any member of your family gets hospitalized; so some insurance companies put room rent capping. Generally such limit is to the extent of 1% of sum assured and in case of ICU (Intensive Care Unit) the maximum limit is 2% of sum assured.
Pre-Existing Diseases: Pre-Existing Diseases are those which you are suffering from before opting to buy a health insurance plan, and therefore insurance companies do not cover them from day 1 of your policy. They have a waiting period ranging between 2-4 years in which they will not be liable for any claim arising on account of your pre-existing disease. Therefore you should look for health plans which will cover your existing disease and have the least number of years of waiting period.
Co-payment: In Co-payment a specified percentage of the admissible claim amount has to be paid by the insured from his pocket and the rest is paid by the insurance company.
Network Hospital: Network hospitals are those which have a direct tie up with your health insurance company; so in case of a claim you can avail the cashless facility. Cashless facility saves you from the headache of settling the bill amount with the hospital, as insurance companies directly settles your bill on your behalf.
Pre & Post Hospitalization Expenses: Pre-Hospitalization expenses are those expenses which are incurred before you are hospitalized while Post-Hospitalization expenses are those which are incurred after you are hospitalized. Pre-Hospitalization expenses are generally covered for minimum of 30 days while Post-Hospitalization expenses are generally covered for 60 days. But there are insurance companies which cover pre and post hospitalization expenses for more number of days as well. So you should look out for health insurance plans which cover you for maximum number of days of pre and post hospitalization period.
No Claim Bonus: If you have a claim free year, the insurance companies also provides you with a no claim bonus. This has an effect of increasing your sum assured in next renewal of the policy. Such bonus can range between 10-50% for a claim free year. Hence you should look for a policy which provides you highest no claim bonus.
Exclusions: Once you buy a health insurance plan, you might feel relaxed that you have covered you and your family against any possible hospitalization in future. But if you don’t go through the exclusion section of your policy, then you might get surprises at the time of claim. So before finalizing on any health insurance plan go through its exclusion and select the one which has least number of exclusions and are clearly defined.