Choosing the right Health Insurance plan for you and family is an important decision. Good health gives you peace of mind and a sense of security.
You may avail a Health Insurance Plan with a motive of saving tax, but failing to consider the importance of buying an appropriate Health Insurance plan, can be a bad mistake. More than 80% of financial crises originate out of medical emergencies. A medical emergency can severely damage your finances. Imagine the nightmare of losing a family member, because you could not afford to give him/her the best medical treatment! So, Health Insurance is a must.
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The 10 rules to keep in mind when availing Health Insurance:
1. You must have an Individual Health Insurance plan, even if your company is offering Corporate Group Health cover. This is because once you leave your job or retire; the Corporate Group Insurance ceases to cover you. Also, if you or anyone in your family is suffering from a chronic illness, Individual Health Insurance becomes even more important because Group Insurance coverage is not exhaustive.
2. If you are not happy with the services of your current insurer, you can move to another insurer through Health Insurance portability. Don’t buy a new Health Insurance plan; instead, port it as you can transfer accumulated benefits from your old Health Insurance plan to the new plan. Also, try to keep on increasing your health cover from time to time to account for medical inflation.
3. Buy health cover as early in life as possible and definitely before turning 40. As you are likely to make no or few claims when you are young, you can get the benefit of the No-claim Bonus and this adds up to the original cover, each claim-free year. (Your sum assured increases).
4. Buy a Health Insurance plan which gives you the option of lifetime renewability. You could have more ailments in old age. Therefore, your aim should be to have health cover at all times. This is possible only if your policy comes with the lifetime renewability option. With the lifetime renewability option, insurers have to renew your Health Insurance plan, as long as you pay the premiums.
5. Beware of the ‘claim loading’ clause in a Health Insurance policy. If you are suffering from a critical illness like cancer which requires a long-term cure, claim loading increase your premiums. Claim loading is charged to make up for extra losses that an insurer suffers, due to the severity of your illness. The policy becomes expensive and premiums unaffordable. Read the fine print carefully before availing the health insurance plan.
6. Buy a Health Insurance policy which comes with the additional benefit of a Restore limit or Super Top-up, just in case you fully utilize your sum assured. This will act as a buffer to cover unforeseen critical illnesses which can be very costly to manage, like cancer and so on. If you have a plan of Rs 5 Lakhs with a Restore limit of Rs 5 Lakhs, you will get a cover of Rs 10 Lakhs for critical illnesses at no extra cost. However, the premium might be higher than usual.
7. Always consider buying your Health Insurance plan through a reputed insurer. Remember, if you have a heart attack or an accident, you won’t be in a position to help yourself. Also, it may be difficult to fight the insurer if your claim is rejected without proper justification. In such cases, the insurance broker can help you with the claim. You can compare different Health Insurance plans online and select the one which best suits you.
8. Never lie and hide information in your Health Insurance proposal form. If you have a pre-existing disease, make sure you mention it. Get the insurer to help you get a Health Insurance plan, which will cover that ailment even if it means that you have to serve a waiting period. (Usually 2-4 years).
9. All Health Insurance policies have a waiting period of 1 month. You will be covered under the Health Insurance plan, after this period.
10. Watch out and buy a plan with no or minimal sub-limit. Sub-limits are the maximum expenses an insurer covers. Anything over and above the sub-limit is to be borne by you. For example room rent, doctor’s fees and so on, have sub-limits. You need to check these limits while choosing a health insurance policy.
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