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Despite its importance, the penetration of health insurance is still very less in India as compared to many other countries. Most people in the country depend on the health cover offered as part of their employment by their organizations/employees. There is a very miniscule percentage of people who actually buy health insurance using money from their own pocket to cover them and their families against diseases. Most people shun health insurance on the pretext that they are costly and they would have to pay the premium every year even if they do not use the coverage. Further, many people avoid buying health plans because of lack of awareness and the process being complex. There is another category of people who avoid health insurance plans because they cannot trust the health insurance company and their promises made regarding the health coverage.
So, overall, most people do not feel the need to buy health insurance, especially those who are getting certain benefits as part of their employment. But the fact is with the rising cost of healthcare services and the inflation in the health industry, which is increasing at the rate of 14% per year, having a health policy by your side is the most significant thing if you want to avoid a dent in your pocket caused by a hospital bill.
Health insurance plans are of various types and are available with numerous variations. The comprehensive health insurance plans are the most common and important ones that allow coverage on most things. But everyone may not afford a comprehensive health insurance plan. However, there are certain things to consider before buying a health insurance policy.
There are basically two types of health insurance policies – the individual health insurance plan and the health insurance plans for families known as Family-floater plans. The individual policy allows coverage to a single person, whereas the family-floater plan covers your entire family including your spouse and kids within a single plan.
Almost all health insurance plans offer hospitalization coverage. But you need to check if your policy also covers pre- and post-hospitalization expenses. Further, you need to check things like consumable expenses, coverage on critical illnesses, and waiting period etc., before buying a policy.
You must choose the sum assured of your policy as per your healthcare requirement. This is because the sum assured is the maximum coverage limit that a policy would offer when it comes to hospitalization and other expenses made in a claim. You may also note that hospitalization costs might be different in different cities and hence depending on your location and family members you must choose the sum assured of your family floater health plan.
The list of hospitals that are included under the network of your preferred insurance company is another important aspect to consider. This is because if you get your treatment done in a network hospital, you can avail the facility of cashless claim settlement. Hence, you may like to check that your preferred hospital is there in the network of your insurer before buying a health insurance policy.
Waiting period is the time duration during which medical coverage under some insurance plans are not provided for certain pre-existing medical conditions. There are several policies which come with a waiting period. You must ensure to check the waiting period that is levied under your health insurance plan.
As already mentioned, most health insurance policies cover pre-existing diseases after a particular duration of waiting period. So, you need to check if your already-existing health conditions are covered by your insurance policy. In case they are, you must check the waiting period levied on such diseases.
Another crucial factor is related to the room rent limits which might affect the claim amount. Room rent is normally pre-defined and some insurers set the room rent capping in terms of a particular percentage of sum assured.
Certain health policies require the policyholder to share the medical expenses by paying a particular percentage on their own. Hence, being aware of the co-payment conditions is also important. You should check the co-payment option while buying health insurance for parents.
Sub-limits are the charges levied on some treatments or procedures under your health policy. Ensure to check if there is any sub-limit applied under your policy.
It is very important to check if the health insurance policy is renewable or if there are any set limits of age in terms of renewability. Some policies can be renewed for lifetime and you can use them throughout life by continuously keeping them active.
Many insurers offer no-claim bonus to policyholders for a claim free year. The NCB supports in enhancing the sum insured of the policy and allows you to avail 10 to 50% increase in the base sum assured amount for every no-claim year.
Health insurance is a must have element of financial planning and people should procure it to ensure continued coverage throughout life. In case of any confusion, you must take help of an insurance advisor to get the needed advice and help to buy the best health insurance in India.
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In simple language, the insurance cover purchased to protect against the expenses of healthcare/medical costs is known as health insurance.
Here are the things to consider before buying health insurance:
Type of coverage
Types of Policy
Pre-existing diseases etc.
HDFC ERGO Health Insurance
Star Health Health Insurance
Niva Bupa Health Insurance
ICICI Lombard Health Insurance
Care Health Insurance
Manipal Cigna Health Insurance
Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance etc.
Health insurance policies are very important, especially due to the rising medical costs in India. However, you may note that health insurance plans are generally valid for one year, and need to be renewed annually.
PayBima is an Indian insurance aggregator on a mission to make insurance simple for people. PayBima is the Digital arm of the already established and trusted Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd., a reputed name in the insurance broking industry with 17 years of experience. PayBima promises you the easy-to-access online platform to buy insurance policies, and also extend their unrelented assistance with all your policy related queries and services.
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