Many ignore health insurance plans thinking that they are in good health. Once they fall ill, hospitalization expenses would ruin their financial status and all their hard earned money is spent on medical bills. With the rising illness probability and the ever-increasing cost of hospitalization, health insurance has become a must product to buy. In this article, we would provide some of the best health insurance plans in India to consider in 2021. We would also provide some tips on choosing a good health insurance plan based on features.
What is a health insurance plan?
A Health insurance plan is a type of insurance that offers financial coverage for medical expenses incurred in case of a medical emergency. It is an agreement between the insurer and the insured to pay for the medical expenses incurred by the insured up to the limit of the sum insured. According to a study, the cost of hospitalization is increasing at a rate of 10%. So, at times it is impossible to finance the hospitalization expenses completely from your savings. In Metropolitan cities, if you are admitted to a good hospital for some disease, it would sweep away your years of savings.
In olden days, our forefathers rarely visited the hospital to seek medical advice. In the current world, our lifestyle has become full of stress. We have to suffer from one or other medical ailments. These days BP, Diabetes, Obesity, Thyroid etc.. has become common diseases, even for the younger generation.
How do you choose a best health insurance plan?
At the time of claim, many people do not get their claim as expected. Their claims might be rejected on many grounds, citing several reasons. There are many hidden clauses and conditions attached to the health insurance plan. One must go through the offer document very carefully before finalizing a particular health insurance plan. The following are a few tips that would help you in choosing the best plan.
1) Take enough coverage
Keeping in mind the rate of inflation of hospitalization you should try to go for a health insurance base plan that has sufficient sum insured. Consider the total number of members you are adding in the policy and based on that you should decide sum insured.
2) Be careful with premium rates
Check the premium rates properly, especially at the older age as few companies raise the rates drastically for older age coverage.
3) Be vigilant
Read the blueprint of the health insurance policy very carefully. If you have any doubt in the features, clarify it then and there.
4) Day-care treatments
We should choose a health plan that offers the highest day-care treatment coverage. With the advancement in medical technology, many treatments have been converted into day-care treatments. So, it is important to understand how many day care treatments your health insurance product covers.
5) Room Rent Capping
Many companies put a room rent capping refraining you from taking a claim on room rent. We must try to choose a policy where there is no such capping if possible.
6) Hospital criteria
Most of us are unaware of the fact that there is a certain definition of the hospital as per the health insurance company. There are certain eligibility criteria that a hospital should meet to make the claim eligible. You should refer to this point very clearly before choosing a policy.
7) Maximum Cover
Covering all the diseases and all the features is not possible in one policy, so you should try to identify the features you want to cover. Try to identify the product that covers the maximum illnesses that you have in your family history, as many diseases are genetically transferred.
8) Buy early stage of life
Buying the health insurance policy at an early age is always better than postponing it for a later stage. The more you postpone the higher will be the premium it would cost you.
9) Family floater or individual
It is always advisable to go for an individual policy if the age of one family member is quite higher than the others. For instance, in a family of four, if the age of the oldest person is 65 years, but the rest other three members are less than 50 years, then it is better to buy an individual plan for that 65-year-old individual and the rest three members can be covered in the family floater. Always remember that one of the factors of fixing the premium is the age of the oldest person.
Nowadays, when insurance companies are offering lifetime renewal options. You should choose the one in which you have the option to renew it forever. This way you don’t need to take a fresh plan with higher premiums.
11) Waiting period
Generally, all the insurance companies have a waiting period of three to four years for the existing diseases. If your concern is to cover the existing diseases, identify the company which has less waiting period in health insurance.
12) Incurred Claim Ratio: Another important factor is checking the incurred claim ratio. This is nothing but how much amount of claims are settled over the premiums received. Ideal is 50% to 80%. If it is lower, this means, company is not honoring health insurance claims. Higher means, it is honoring majority of claims, but running without profits and company cannot sustain in medium to long term. You can check more at Incurred Claim Ratio in health insurance.
5 Best Health Insurance Plans in India for 2021
Here are the list of best health insurance plans for 2021 in India.
1) ICICI Lombard – Complete Health Insurance Plan
2) Max Life – Health Companion
3) HDFC Ergo – Optima Restore (erstwhile Apollo Munich Optima Restore which is taken over by HDFC Ergo few months back)
4) Royal Sundaram – Lifeline Supreme Family Floater
5) Religare – Care Health Insurance Plan
Comparing Health Insurance Plans in India for 2021 with their features
The following is the comparison drawn between the Best Health Insurance plans in India. They have been compared based on the few features like day-care coverage, room rent cap, waiting period, pre and post hospitalization claims. It also provides the sample premium for an individual or family floater package for 30 years individual with Rs 5 Lakhs of sum insured. Note that such premium are indicative can change without notice. One can select a suitable plan comparing health insurance plans and their features indicated here.
*click on image to enlarge
FAQs about Health Insurance Plans in India
1) Which are the top 10 health insurance companies in India 2021?
Here are the top 10 health insurance companies list.
i) SBI Health Insurance Company
ii) Star Health Insurance Company
iii) Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
iv) Oriental Health Insurance Company
v) Max Bupa Health Insurance Company
vi) Religare Health Insurance Company
vii) Manipal Cigna Health Insurance Company
viii) Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company (which is taken over by HDFC Ergo now)
ix) ICICI Lombard Health Insurance Company
x) New India Assurance Health Insurance Company
2) Which is the best health insurance company in India as per claim settlement?
Health insurance companies have incurred claim ratio. If one has to consider ICR, here are the best health insurance companies in India.
|S.No.||Insurer||Incurred Claim Ratio|
3) What is the difference between the family floater and individual plan?
In a family floater health insurance plan, a single sum insured is shared by all the family members during the policy period, whereas in the individual health insurance plan, each member has their own sum insured.
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4) Can I add my spouse to individual health insurance policy which I have opted?
Some of the health insurance companies would allow spouse name to be added in health insurance plan provided the shift is to a family floater health plan.
5) Does health insurance provide income tax benefits?
Yes. The premium paid for health insurance is eligible for deduction as per income tax act 80D. An individual can claim a deduction of up to Rs 25,000 for the insurance of self, spouse, and dependent children. An additional deduction for the insurance of parents is available. This is to the extent of Rs 25,000, if the parents are less than 60 years of age. The additional deduction can be up to Rs 50,000 if the parents are aged above 60.
6) What documents are required to buy a health insurance plan?
Generally, the following documents are required to buy health insurance
i) Age proof
ii) Identity proof
iii) Address proof
iv) Passport size photo
v) Some plans may require medical check-up reports, usually for people above the age of 45
Conclusion: With the changing lifestyle and increasing vulnerability to diseases, health insurance has become a mandatory product for everyone. Today, the market is flooded with a plenty of health insurance plans. It is not possible to cover all the features in a single plan. You need to be wise while choosing the health insurance plan that suits you the most. There are many clauses and terms and conditions attached to the policy. So, one MUST read the blueprint of the policy very prudently before opting for any such health policy.
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