Easy Steps to Buy & Extend Health Insurance Online

5 min read

Health insurance plans in India certainly do not feature in the list of easy on wallet insurance plans. Yet, not having a health insurance plan can prove to be even more fatal for your finances. The lack of a health insurance plan can put undue pressure on your savings and future.

One of the smartest ways to tackle this conundrum is to buy health insurance online. But one needs to be careful with online health insurance plans. Do not opt for the cheapest plan available, as it can leave you asking for a lot more. If you are looking for an affordable health insurance plan, here is how you can get them.

Affordable Health Insurance Plans

The first step to getting access to affordable health plans is to buy health insurance online. Buying the policy online opens up several different avenues. You can visit the website of individual insurance companies or even better, insurance aggregators.

Once you are on the website of an insurance aggregator, you can compare insurance plans. Here are all the factors that you must keep in mind.

1. Sum Assured

Healthcare inflation is one of the highest in the country, at 17% to 20% annually. As you compare insurance plans, look for the ones that offer the highest sum assured for your budget. Cutting corners on sum assured might not be the best idea.

2. Factors Influencing Premiums

There are several factors that influence the premiums of a health insurance plan. These include the sum assured, medical history of an individual or family, lifestyle, age of the proposer, smoking habit, etc.

3. Insurer’s Credibility

As you buy health insurance online, you need to check the insurer’s credibility as well. ICR or incurred claim ratio indicates the total claims paid by an insurer versus the premiums earned. An insurer with a better ICR is preferable. Similarly, you should also look at the customer service of the company along with the claims process.

Several insurance companies and insurance aggregators offer an online tool called premium calculator. The tool helps you to buy online health insurance plans. As you visit the website of an insurer or insurance aggregator, you would need to enter the following details.

  • The type of plan (individual or family floater)
  • Number of family members (for family floater plans)
  • The desired sum assured
  • The current city of residence
  • Contact details of the policy proposer

After you enter these details, the website will return with policy quotes. You can compare insurance plans if you are on an aggregator’s website. Choose a plan that offers features and benefits that you are looking for and that fits your budget. If needed, you can opt for add-ons to improve your policy’s capabilities.

Buying online health insurance plans is one of the easiest ways to find affordable plans. The entire process saves you a lot of time, money and helps you make a more informed decision. You also gain a lot of understanding about the plan, which can come in handy during claims.

Steps To Extend The Health Insurance Plan

The ongoing pandemic has brought the healthcare system down its knees across the globe. And India is no different. The treatment costs have been sky-rocketing and there are several instances where people had to resort to crowdfunding for adequate treatment. This just accentuates the need to have a good health insurance policy.

And for the ones who already have a health insurance policy, it might be a good time to revisit and extend the plan. Irrespective of the pandemic, medical expenses have constantly been rising. To ensure that you provide your family with the best healthcare out there, a medical policy is crucial. 

Here are a few simple steps by which you can extend your health insurance policy.

1. Super Top Up

A super top up plan can turn out to be extremely handy if your expenses exceed the standard health insurance policy’s sum insured. Before you can buy a super top up, you need to select a deductible. It is the amount that you agree to pay in the event of a claim.

Your insurer will take care of all the expenses once the expenses cross the deductible. One of the biggest advantages of a super top up is that you can file multiple claims in a year by paying the deductible once. 

It is advisable to buy the super top up plan from your existing insurer. This will ensure the claims are smooth and have easier coordination. Another advantage of opting for a super top up plan is that the premiums are tax deductible under Section 80D.

2. Increase Sum Insured

During the time of policy renewal, almost all the insurers provide you with the option to revise the sum insured. Thus, renewals are always a good time to assess your situation and opt for higher coverage if you do not already have one.

An advantage of increasing the sum insured during renewal is the lack of any waiting period, unlike a brand-new health insurance policy. This enables you to continue with the benefits albeit a higher sum insured.

3. Portability

If due to some reason you are not happy with your current insurance provider, you can opt for portability. Portability allows you to switch to a different insurer from your current one. This is also a good time to seek a higher sum insured. Though the process might not be as smooth as policy renewal with the same insurer.

Your insurance provider will assess the validity of the request by looking at various factors, your previous claims being one of them, before accepting the same. It is essential that you look at the benefits of the new plan properly before porting. Another important thing to keep in mind is that you must reach out to a new insurer at least 45 days before the current policy’s expiry.

If you wish to expand your health insurance policy, the above simple steps will help to do the same. Expanding the policy will ensure that you are better equipped for health-related issues.

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Gayatri Prabhu, Head-Digital Business at Mahindra Insurance Brokers Limited (MIBL) is one those few digital leaders who has the width and depth that is required to execute an ROI driven holistic digital strategy. She cuts through the noise, identifies the critical levers and leads her team to successful execution of the defined strategy. Her core mantra to win new and retain existing customers is: understand the consumer behavior and craft experiences around it.

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