Well, you are on the right page if you have this question. The health insurance policy covers you right from policy inception. For instance, insurance companies cover accidents, the moment you avail the health insurance plan. The interesting part is people who have availed health insurance have a 1 month waiting period, before diseases are covered. (Only accidents are covered in the waiting period).
A waiting period, also known as an elimination period or qualifying period, is the time you wait before the health insurance policy kicks in. Insurers deny claims filed during the waiting period.
Initial Waiting Period: A majority of insurers offer health insurance plans with an initial waiting period of 30 days. It means that illness contracted within this tenure would not be borne by the insurer. This takes care of the gestation period of the disease.
Waiting Period for Pre-Existing Conditions: Individuals with pre-existing conditions are also eligible for health insurance, but with a waiting period of 2-4 years. The waiting period for critical illnesses like cancer, stroke, diabetes and arthritis is 4 years, whereas the waiting period for non-critical diseases is 1-2 years. This implies that any medical expenses related to the declared illnesses may be claimed after the completion of the stated waiting period.
Waiting Period for Pregnancy: Some insurers do provide maternity benefits after a waiting period of 9-48 months. Check with your insurer on this.
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Employers offer group health insurance schemes to their employees. Basically, it is offered to build brand identity among employees. Can I claim it immediately? Well, the norms related to employer-sponsored health insurance vary across verticals. It may be valid from the first day of joining the Company. Experts recommend that you consult your Company on coverage under group health insurance schemes. Don’t depend on group health insurance schemes as cover ceases when you change the job.
See Also: Exclusions of Health Insurance Policy
A few insurers curtail waiting period by asking you to pay a higher premium amount. If you are buying health insurance for the first time, pay attention to this point and make sure to get the waiting period you seek. Buying health insurance without understanding waiting period could be a problem.
Like individual plans, even family health insurance plans, also known as family floater plans, come with a waiting period. The earning member of a family can buy a family floater health insurance plan by paying a single premium for a fixed sum assured to cover the entire family.
See Also: 4 Insurance Plans You Must Have
Note: Customers cannot claim health insurance instantly, except for accident cases. Claims are approved only when the norms of a health insurance policy are met.
See Also: Health Insurance Benefits
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