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Know how to choose a good health insurance plan

In India, more than twenty-five insurance companies offer health insurance plans. How to choose a good and appropriate plan? The author has given some useful suggestions to choose appropriate health insurance plans. Read to know more.

Over the years, the healthcare system has improved all over the world. India is not an exception. But at the same time, the cost of healthcare has increased manifold. Very few people can afford to provide quality health care on their own. So health insurance has become the need of the hour. Every family is required to take health insurance to meet the ever-increasing cost of healthcare.

With the rising of consciousness level, many people have started taking health insurance. It is definitely a good sign. How should we choose a proper health insurance plan? Which plan would be suitable? There are more than twenty-five insurance companies in India providing health insurance to Indians. How to judge which plan is suitable for our specific needs? Let us try to find out.

Check the company

As already mentioned, there are more than twenty-five companies providing health insurance in India. If, you are interested to take health insurance cover, please check the company's background, its claim settlement ratio, claim process and most importantly, the network of hospitals. The decision must be taken after considering all these factors.

Know the inclusions and exclusions

This is a very important factor to decide suitable health insurance plans. It must be noted that pre-existing diseases are not covered during the first few years after taking a health insurance policy. There are some medical procedures (hernia, dental surgery, etc.) are not covered during the initial years. New or advanced treatment procedures, resident doctor's charges, cost of certain drugs, illness due to substance abuse etc. are not covered by most of the health policies. So, before taking the plan, you should go through the fine prints very carefully to avoid any misunderstanding in the future.

Consider the sub-limits

To cope us with the rising healthcare costs, the insurance companies have now introduced various sub-limit clauses. The common sub-limits are room rent, doctor's fees and diagnostics. Every person must try to find out which plans have no or very few sub-limits.

Note the renewal age

Some insurance companies provide health insurance policies with renewal age limit of seventy years and even eighty years. As health problems increase with advancing age, while taking health insurance plan, a person must shortlist such plans which provide health cover at the advanced age.

Coverage is another important factor

Unmarried persons generally take individual policies. Later on, after their marriage or after the birth of child/children, a new addition to the policy is made. But if there is no provision for addition in the health insurance plan, the purpose of taking a health insurance plan gets defeated. So, while taking a health insurance policy, every person must check whether there is provision for the addition of family members in the future. Moreover, if you already have a family, it is better to take family-floater policy instead of individual policy.

Pay more premium for better policy

The cost of the policy should be given least importance. Whenever a person goes to take a health policy, he/she must remember that better policy will more benefits comes with more premium. So, if a policy gives more facilities at a little bit of extra cost, we must go for it.

Summing up

Before taking a health policy, a person must spend some time, do some research and read the policy document very carefully before signing. If the terms are not understood properly, the advice of an insurance adviser must be taken. He/She should not believe the agent blindly. Subscribing a policy after knowing all the conditions is always beneficial.

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Author: Natarajan31 Aug 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 8

A timely article for every family because the cost of quality healthcare in India burns a big hole in many family's earnings and savings.

With a myriad of companies available, one is spoilt with many choices. At least most of the information is there online and we can do a quick research before selecting one.

I'm glad that the author has mentioned the key facts to check. I would also add to this, the instant top-up clause for family policies. For instance, if a family member uses up the insured amount, some companies offer the instant top-up so that the insured amount is available for the other family members in case the need arises. This is very useful for a middle-class family wherein there is only one earning salaried person.

Some companies also offer a 'no claim bonus' for the first couple of years, this is either by a reduction in premium or more commonly an increase in the sum insured for the same premium.

If you are healthy, disease free, have no smoking or alcohol history, then it can translate into perks (premium discounts). It would be worthwhile for a newly married couple or a person under 40 to search for policies that offer these discounts.

The biggest downside is the lack of transparency in many policies and riders. For instance critical care cover, 12 cancers covered, 12 chronic illnesses covered etc. For each of the additional rider benefits that we choose, the premium goes up. Ethically, there should not be a need for people to choose these add-ons. The premiums and policy should cover all illnesses based on the age of the person, pre-existing illness and health style habits. Come what the illness be, it should be covered as long as the patient and the doctor/hospital are honest.

Lastly, the earlier one or a family gets an health insurance, it is better because, the premium creeps up as age advances and with each new diagnosis of chronic disease (diabetes, high BP etc), the premium also escalates.

Author: Manish Nanda31 Aug 2018 Member Level: Silver   Points : 3

No doubt, health insurance has become a necessity these days considering the medical expenses. For a common man, it is too difficult to manage the expenditures incurred during check-ups and treatments. Further, a layman doesn't even know whether the treatment prescribed is right or wrong.

Health Insurance policies save him from all these troubles. He neither have to worry about the treatment nor the financial burden. The experts assisting the insurance companies make sure that the disease is rightly diagnosed and treated.

Author: Reena Upadhya15 Sep 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

Choosing a health insurance plan is not an easy task at all. The task becomes more complicated when we start learning about more plans offered by various companies. Author has wisely mentioned important tips which will help readers to choose a better plan out of available ones. Learn regarding these things before starting to compare the plans. It will make the task of choosing a health insurance plan much simpler.

Nowadays many employees working in reputed companies are offered a health insurance plan. If you are one among them, you don't have to look for other marketplaces and companies to get a health insurance policy. Your work area itself is the place from where you can get a good health insurance plan. If you wish to choose an alternative plan, it is going to cost you more. Thus, it is better to go for health insurance offered by the employer. A small amount of salary will be paid as the premium in such cases.

Always remember that if the premium is less, your out-of-pocket expenditure will be more. Thus, it is better to pay high monthly premiums as they cover a high portion of medical expenditure. This kind of policy is better if you frequently visit emergency care, physician, and specialist. It is better to cover the expensive medications that you are taking on a regular basis through this plan. This policy is also efficient if you are thinking of having a surgery in the near future, expecting a baby, planning a baby or if you have small kids in your home. It is best policy if you are diagnosed with medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS or else less chronic condition like diabetes.

On the other hand, if you cannot afford to pay high monthly premiums, you should seek a plan where you can pay low monthly premiums but in such cases, out-of-pocket expenditure will be slightly more. This plan is perfect if you rarely pay a visit to your doctor and enjoy good health.

Author: Sanjeev Gupta20 Oct 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

A good article explaining the benefits of medical insurance.

With the increase in medical expenses, it has become difficult for people to spend money on the treatment of diseases from their own pocket. That's why it has become imperative to take a policy for yourself and your family.

Before selecting a policy one should know about the insurance company. Few of the companies don't give 100% cash at the time of treatment but give you 75% of expenses and ask to reimburse 25% or so after the treatment so one should check the things before enrolling in it.

Few medical insurance companies don't cover critical illness before 3 years so one should check it and read the brochure carefully.

So when you have lots of choice, be careful while choosing any insurance for you.

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