Times have been changing fast in every sector of life and economy, and healthcare is not an exception. The trends that we have seen somewhat sound like the following:
- There is a constant growth in the number of consumers aware of health insurance.
- The Insurance Companies are trying to reach every corner of the Country and educate individuals about the importance and benefits of an insurance policy.
- The rising medical costs have made it difficult to get the best treatment without spending a large
Thus, the right health insurance policies are a boon in today’s time. There could be a sudden illness or accident, and insurance may just save your life-savings from disappearing. Medication and hospitalization can have huge costs. With better treatment, the cost increases, and this is when a health insurance policy plays a saviour. Many individuals still look at a medical insurance policy as a way to save their taxes instead of an umbrella in the rains.
The medical costs are constantly on the rise, and so are various diseases and illnesses. All of this stresses the importance of purchasing a health insurance policy that will benefit the individual and his family.
Here are five factors to help you choose the best health insurance coverage in India:
- Co-pay & Deductible
Co-pay is one of the most important factors to be considered while buying your health insurance policy. The co-pay clause requires the insured to bear a percentage of the total medical expense out of pocket and only after that does the insurer start to bear the remaining expense. It ranges from 10% to 30% of the total expense depending on the insurer. Ideally, you should purchase a plan with low or no co-payment.
The Deductible is similar but is defined as a fixed amount. For example, if your policy carries a deductible of Rs. 10,000 and your claim amount is Rs. 15,000, the insurer only pays Rs. 5000. Thus, the insurer starts paying only when your bill increases over the deductible limit.
- Hospital Room Rent
Similarly, room rent payable also varies from one policy to the other. Some insurers limit the room rent by a percentage of total sum insured (S.I.), for example, 1% of S.I. per day while others may restrict it by amount, say Rs. 4000 per day. Though, you can look for insurers not putting a cap on room rent.
Though there are other expense limits that you should check before making the decision, room rent is the most significant one that you should consider as room rent would constitute a major portion of your hospital bill.
- Type of Insurance Policy
The type of policy depends on your age and medical requirements. Young individuals have options to choose from depending on their marital status, employment status and age. Insurers like Apollo Munich offer relevant benefits for senior citizen policyholders and younger policyholders. Similarly, family floater policies have their own set of unique benefits, such as health cover for a new-born child. Thus, you can choose the type of plan you require.
But this may apply if you are buying a new policy, what if you have already been running an insurance policy and now feel that it may not be sufficient to cover the expenses?
You can go for super top-up plans to increase your total sum insured. Premiums are lower for these policies due to the high deductible (top-up plan comes into force once your sum insured on the base policy is exhausted).
- Network of Empanelled Hospitals
When you purchase a policy, you need to keep a close eye on the network of empanelled hospitals where you can avail cashless treatment. Cashless treatment can be a lifesaver when you require urgent medical attention and may not be able to arrange the funds needed.
- Insurance Premium
The premium will vary according to the benefits chosen by you. Higher the number of benefits, higher the premium will be. Therefore, ideally, you should do is compare the premiums for the same kind of advantages, and select the plan that not only suits your pocket but is also future ready with sufficient benefits.
Is Maximum Age for Renewal a Factor to Consider?
Nowadays, it is mandatory for health insurers to offer policies with lifetime renewal facility. Therefore, once you have a health plan, you need not worry about losing your health cover in the later age if you continue to renew the policy in time, without a break.
Health insurance policies come in different packages and offer various features like any other product you can buy in the market. Purchasing a policy that is suitable for you, in the long run, is important, as you may not encounter your first claim for many years to come. Going through the policy wordings and knowing the various limits and exclusions applicable will definitely help you decide the best for your family.