Review Checklist before Buying Health Insurance
There are various health insurance plans in India. However, a health insurance plan suitable for one person, may or may not suitable other person. One has to consider some of the key parameters before choosing a good health insurance plan. This article would help you in considering some these parameters as a checklist before buying Health Insurance Plan in India.
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What is Health Insurance Plan?
If you are already aware about health insurance plans, skip this section.
Health Insurance is an insurance that provides coverage for medical expenses during hospitalization to the policy holder. Based on the health insurance plan chosen the policy holder one can get coverage for critical illness expenses, surgical expenses, hospital expenses etc.
For example, while some would like a comprehensive cover, others would prefer one with international travel protection. Thus, one must buy health insurance as per each individual’s needs and medical condition. Further, one must not make the mistake of purchasing a policy simply because of tax benefits U/S 80D of the IT Act. Besides, with rampant marketing by insurance companies and each one promoting its policy product as the best one, it can be an impossible task to zero in on the best health insurance policy. However, one can consider some checklist guidelines on choosing a good health insurance plan.
Review Checklist before Buying Health Insurance
1) Buy a health insurance plan based on Goal
This is crucial. One needs to decide whether one is buying a basic plan early so as to avail lower premium charge or whether they would prefer to opt for a senior citizen plan. Thus, one needs to read the terms and conditions before buying a plan.
2) What kind of health insurance plan you want?
Insurance companies offer a wide range of medical plans. This is because the ailments and treatment procedures are unique to each patient. While medication works for some, others may need surgical operation. Some health insurance plans like surgical and critical illness rider plans offer cover only for certain pre mentioned diseases. Plans like maternity plans are suitable for to-be mothers. Other plans have the imposition of co-payments, where the insured shares the financial burden or sub limit i.e. a cap on the financial assistance. One should choose a health insurance plan considering all these facts.
3) Track record of claim settlement of insurance companies
There is a popular adage ‘proof of the pudding lies in the eating.’ Similarly, one can evaluate the creditworthiness of the insurance company by studying the promptness of claim settlements in the past. One can study the customer reviews so as to be assured that one would obtain funds sanction from the insurer at the time of a medical emergency.
4) Network of empanelled hospitals
At the time of a sudden medical issue, it is most convenient for the patient and the family members if they are able to access quality health care at a nearby location. Thus, one must also consider whether the insurance company has pre tie-ups with hospitals that are near one’s residence.
5) Outlay of the insured
Some medical insurance companies charge a lower premium, but insist on co-payment. Under this, the insured has to bear a certain portion of the medical costs. Further, some policies include premium loading, whereby the premium charge is hiked after a claim. One should consider these points as part of the checklist when buying a health insurance plan.
6) Health Insurance Plan Coverage
A policy pays for diverse medical expenditure like pre and post hospitalization, surgical procedures, nursing expenses, doctors’ professional fees, medicines and diagnostic tests. However, some plans exclude ambulance charges and impose a cap on room rent. Some insurers also offer free medical check-ups. Thus, one needs to select a plan with comprehensive cover, suited to one’s medical needs.
7) Cashless facility
The cashless facility helps in reducing out-of-pocket cash expenses for the insured. The insurance company directly pays the network hospital for the medical expenses incurred. This is a huge relief for the patient and the family as they can focus completely on the clinical outcome of the operation, rather than worry about fund mobilization. Check for insurance companies that offer a health insurance plan which has a cashless facility for a wide range of hospitals near to you.
8) Waiting period for Pre-existing diseases
Often, one has to wait for a certain period of time, i.e. 2-4 years before the policy is activated to cover pre-existing diseases or critical ailments. One should select a plan with minimum waiting period.
Conclusion: One must keep the above checklist in mind when buying health insurance. This way one would be able to zero in on the most suitable plan and won’t have to face any difficulty later at the time of making a claim or in any disputes with the insurer.
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This is a guest post from Kalpana, SEO Specialist at Reliance Health Insurance.
Disclaimer: We have not received any monetary benefits to post this article.
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Thanks for the article. Really helpful. It would have been better if reviews comparing the top 5 or 10 health insurance plans were also provided.
Can you also provide your views on travel (overseas) insurance plans?