Are NRIs Eligible for Health Insurance in India?

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Updated on Sep 19, 2022

Is Health Insurance Available to NRIs in India?

Any unexpected (and unprepared for) medical emergency can put a huge burden on one’s pocket. Treatment costs and other medical facilities don’t come cheap anywhere in the world. This is why Non-Resident Indians or NRIs prefer to buy health insurance in their native homeland, India, to avail health services at a reasonably affordable cost. However, the question arises: Is NRI health insurance even possible in India? Do they stand eligible to buy a policy in their home country upon returning? All these questions and many more answered in the following post

Let’s start with the basic question – can NRI buy health insurance in India? The answer is yes. It is indeed possible for NRIs to secure health insurance plans in their homeland; however there are certain conditions that they must satisfy before proceeding to obtain the insurance.

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Terms and Conditions to Obtain NRI Health Insurance India

As stated above, there is a legal provision for medical insurance in India for NRI citizens. There are certain terms attached to this provision though, which are explained below:

  1. Geographic coverage restrictions – An NRI is entitled to receive coverage from a health insurance policy bought in India only if he/she takes the treatment within the country’s boundaries. This means that any medical expenses incurred by the said person, including those on hospitalization, treatment cost, etc., would be covered by health insurance only if the said expense was borne within India and not outside.
  2. Limitations on insured sum – Owing to their residency outside India, NRIs are generally believed to be more vulnerable to contracting infections and diseases, especially those that are not common in India. For this reason, some health insurance plans in India may impose limitations on NRIs while opting for higher insured sums in the policy.
  3. Claim settlements as per foreign currency value – This is one of the most important points to remember when considering to buy health insurance for NRI in India. According to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), the total amount of claim requested by an NRI should only be up to the total premium amount paid by them in the respective foreign currency. This is why it becomes important to take the currency exchange value into account while buying or renewing a health insurance policy in India.

How to Apply for NRI Health Insurance in India?

If you plan to obtain a health insurance policy in India during your stay in the country, here’s what you’d need to do:

Step 1 – Fill out a form required by the respective insurer that you wish to buy the policy from. Before making your choice, it’s wise to do a thorough research of the top 10 health insurance companies in India and compare each of their policy plans in terms of maximum coverage limit, premium amount, and other terms and conditions for NRIs. This would ensure that you end up buying only the best health insurance in India for NRI citizens.

Step 2 – After duly filling out the form for application, the respective insurance company may ask you to furnish all relevant documents for the procedure. These include copies of your passport, proof of bank account in India, PAN card details, and the like.

Step 3 – The insurance company would then conduct a thorough check of all the furnished details before approving your application. You would then need to make the required payment for the health insurance plan that you intend to purchase. Also note that many insurance companies would only be open to accepting policy payments in Indian currency.

Benefits to NRIs for Buying Health Insurance in India

Health insurance is absolutely essential for everybody, whether Indians or NRIs. In case of any unexpected medical emergency, a health insurance plan has your back, saving you from the hassle of paying a large sum from your pocket. Here are some more benefits for NRIs if they opt for getting a health insurance plan in India:

  • It lends security against unforeseen and unprepared for contingencies that might happen during your stay in India. A health problem or condition often comes unannounced and uninvited. You may have planned a long enjoyable vacation in India with your family but before you know it, you or a family member might fall severely ill, perhaps even need to be hospitalized. This is when medical insurance in India would really come in handy, helping you cover hospital and treatment costs at ease.
  • You stand to enjoy tax benefits as well! Section 80D of the Income Tax Act entitles all policyholders of health insurance in India to claim taxation benefits in lieu of premium payments on medical insurance. The same rule applies to NRIs as well. You are entitled to tax benefits up to Rs. 50,000 on Indian health insurance policy.

Read More: Important Factors to be Considered by NRIs Before Buying a Life Insurance Policy in India

3 Health Insurance Plans in India for NRIs

Now that we know why buying health insurance in India would be a good idea for you, let’s look at the different insurance plans that you can choose from:

  1. Health Insurance Plans for Individuals – Provides coverage for medical claims made only for treatment of the said policyholder
  2. Health Insurance Plans for Family – Coverage for medical expenses incurred not just for the policyholder but their family members as well (spouse/kids), as mentioned in the policy plan at the time of purchase
  3. Health Insurance Plans for Parents It is a good idea to secure the health of your parents living in India by taking health insurance for them. This way you’d be able to easily get their health expenses covered (which would become inevitable as they age).

To sum up, health insurance is always a wise choice for all – Indian residents or NRIs. Plus, when you can avail benefits too, it only makes sense to look for the best health insurance plan in India and go ahead with obtaining it so you can enjoy a tension-free stay with your family when in your homeland.

Found this post informational? Browse PayBima Blogs to read interesting posts related to Health Insurance, Car Insurance, Bike Insurance, Term Life Insurance and Investment section. You can visit PayBima to Buy Insurance Online.

 

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