Health insurance plays an important role in our lives. It helps us remain financially prepped for any medical emergency. It helps us avail insurance coverage and avail treatment at best hospitals in case of critical illness and surgeries as well as injuries resulting from accidents.
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Though this may sound an attractive investment option, here are certain things you need to keep in mind before purchasing a health insurance plan:
While purchasing a health insurance plan the first dilemma faced by a buyer is whether to buy an individual health plan or a family floater plan. Individual plans are useful if you are single. Whereas, family floater health insurance plans are best if you are married and need insurance coverage for your family. Family health plans are cost-effective and offer coverage for more than one member of the family. So, make sure to choose your health insurance plan that is sufficient to meet your health insurance needs.
See Also: How to lower Health Insurance Premiums?
It is important to evaluate insurance coverage requirements while buying a health insurance plan. Health care and medical treatment for certain ailments carry high costs. So, opting for the right coverage may help you stay financially stable even if your medical bills are high. No one can predict how much hospitalization costs you have to bear in the future for the hospitalization or treatment of your loved ones.
Therefore, coverage amount should be linked to your family composition. If you are securing 6 members under the family floater plan, then you must opt for higher coverage. If you are securing self, spouse and one child then a coverage amount of Rs 5 Lakh is enough to secure your family.
Health insurers require you to go through a medical test before issuing the health insurance policy. Usually, medical tests are mandatory after you have attained a certain age as the risk profile for such an age group is higher. Medical tests are mandatory for people opting for higher insurance cover as well.
If you are young and do not have any health issues, then you need not go through extensive medical tests. However, if you have any pre-existing condition or you are a smoker, then you must undertake medical tests to avoid complications later on.
It is important to disclose all health related facts to your insurer to avoid rejection of claims in the future.
The health insurance claims are settled by insurance companies in two ways. One is the reimbursement mode and the other cashless mode. The reimbursement claim is the traditional form of claim settlement, where you have to pay the medical bills and later raise claims by submitting all the documents and hospital bills. Reimbursement claim process is time-consuming and inconvenient.
On the other hand the cashless claims are a type of instant settlement of hospital bills where the hospital redirects the bills to the insurer and the insurer settles the bill on behalf of the policyholder. This reduces the out-of-pocket expenditure of the policyholder. But, this facility can only be availed at network hospitals that have tie-ups with the insurance company. So, before investing in a health insurance plan, make sure your insurer has listed a number of network hospitals in India as well as in your city.
Just because you are buying a health insurance plan doesn’t mean any and every disease will be covered by your insurer. Almost all insurance policies cover only a certain number of illnesses.
Every health insurance plan comes with conditions that states that certain medical conditions are not covered under the policy. Some of the permanent exclusions of health plans are psychological disorders, ailments due to nuclear perils, HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, self-inflicted injuries, dental treatments and so on. Go through the list of exclusions to avoid confusion later.
It is important to note that claims on your health insurance plan can only be made after you have covered the waiting period. Every standard health insurance policy has a 30 to 90 day waiting period for any kind of treatment. However, accidents are covered from day 1 of your policy. Health Insurers list separate waiting period for different diseases that may range from two to four years. Pre-existing ailments have waiting period that varies from one insurer to the other. It makes sense for you to check the list to ascertain the waiting period if you or your covered family members have any such pre-existing diseases.
Before purchasing your health insurance plan you must enquire on the frequency of premium increase from your health insurer. Most of the insurance policies like life insurance come with fixed premium amounts for entire tenure. But, the premium of health insurance increases with age in most products. The frequency of increase depends on the insurer.
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