How To Choose A Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan

By BankBazaar | December 1, 2016


Medical costs are rapidly rising and will only increase further in the years to come. It is definitely an ugly truth that is staring us in the face. The horrifying truth is that only one Indian out of five have Health Insurance.

Do you want another startling statistic? Here goes. Only 30% of people below the age of 35 years opt for Health Insurance.

Let us now find out how to prepare for a medical emergency that does not leave us with large holes burnt in our pockets.

It should go without saying that everyone requires a Health Insurance policy. But we can hazard a guess at the reluctance of people to buy a Health Insurance plan for themselves. The reason is rather trivial.

Choosing the right Health Insurance plan can be a daunting task. The alternative to no Health Insurance is simple and straightforward. An absence of a Health Insurance plan only means a smaller bank balance in the unfortunate event that you have to deal with a medical emergency.

So, we are going to be helpful and guide you on how to choose a comprehensive Health Insurance policy for yourself and your loved ones.

Don’t factor only the premium when you choose a policy

Many people looking to get a Health Insurance policy focus primarily on the policy premium as a deciding factor. This is not the right way to go about choosing a policy.

Always remember this. The cheapest policy is not necessarily going to be the best in terms of coverage of various illnesses. This would mean that, when you need it the most, your low premium Health Insurance will not cover you as you hoped.

Suitable cover for emergencies

First, an effective Health Insurance policy must offer suitable cover for these three types of medical emergencies.

  • Hospitalisation due to sickness, injury or disease
  • Surgery to treat any medical complications
  • A policy should provide adequate cover for the treatment of critical illnesses

Additional Reading: FAQ About Health Insurance in India

You must scout around to select a Health Insurance policy that will give an insured person a lump sum benefit to cover these medical situations. Such a policy will give you peace of mind, in regard to your finances in the event of a medical emergency.

Choose the right options in a Health Insurance plan

You must be able to select a Health Insurance policy that provides you with various options to cover your health and the health of your family. Look out for customisation options in a Health Insurance plan. The more you can customise your Health plan to cater to your individual needs, the more personalised your policy becomes.

Additional Reading: Can Your Health Insurance Be Withdrawn?

Regular hospitalisation is not expensive

Except in the event of major surgeries or treatment for critical illnesses, hospitalisation is not exorbitantly expensive.

Keeping this in mind, taking a Health Insurance policy that offers high coverage for hospitalisation for a short duration, will be counterproductive to the very idea of getting a Health Insurance in the first place.

This will only unnecessarily increase the cost of the policy premium, giving the insured person no real benefits.

Instead, we can give you a more feasible solution. Getting a lump sum payment at 1-2% of the Sum Assured value for every day of hospitalisation will be more beneficial to the insured person.

Consider coverage

The more, the better. This is the rule of thumb when it comes to deciding on a Health Insurance policy based on the coverage of various illnesses.

It is advisable to choose a Health plan that offers the highest range of illness coverage, with financial cover varying according to the seriousness of the insured person’s ailment or diagnosis. This will provide the right balance between a plan’s cost and effective coverage.

Surgeries for any major organ transplant or valve repairs should ideally provide 100% of the Sum Assured as a lump sum payment to the insured person.

Additional Reading: Benefits Of Buying Health Insurance Early

Critical Illness cover

It is essential that you must consider a comprehensive critical illness cover for major surgeries. It is important that you choose a plan that offers protection, regardless of the nature of the claim.

Be careful to select a critical illness cover that includes medical conditions such as Cancer, Alzheimer’s loss of eyesight, paralysis and lung diseases, among others.

Additional Reading: Popular Cancer Care Plans In India

Customised coverage

It is a good idea to choose a Health Insurance policy that permits an insured person to customise the coverage offered, depending on individual requirements. In case your family’s medical history or your lifestyle makes you susceptible to certain specific critical illnesses, then you might want to choose to get the highest possible coverage for those ailments.

You could choose a lower sum for hospitalisation benefits or surgery, as you find suitable.

Check This: Tax Benefits Of Health Insurance

Plan the term of the policy

It is always better to get a Health Insurance plan with a longer tenure, say five years. This is because a policy of a longer tenure frees you from the hassle of worrying about renewing the policy every year. Get yourself a five-year Health Insurance policy and it will help you plan your long-term finances. In the meantime, your health is covered for a five year period. This does not allow an additional strain on your finances.

Flexible premium payments

You should consider choosing a Health Insurance policy that offers you the flexibility of making premium payments on an annual basis, a regular monthly payment, or even twice a year. This too will allow you to plan your finances more effectively.

Remember to ask your insurer if the premium on your Health Insurance policy will increase in the later years of your life.

PED coverage options

It is important to review Health Insurance plans to find out about the available coverage for pre-existing diseases before you choose your policy. Choose a health plan that offers coverage for a wide range of pre-existing diseases.

Co-Pay or Sub Limits under the plan

You must find out if your insurer offers a co-pay option on a health plan. With a co-pay option, the insurer agrees to pay a portion of your hospital expenses after a certain limit.

Presence of Cashless Hospitals 

Cashless hospitals are a blessing in times of an emergency. All an insured person needs to do is flash an insurance ID card, provided by the insurer at the network hospital when he has to be admitted for a medical procedure.

Innovative features offered under the Health Insurance plan

Many Health Insurance plans now offer lifestyle benefits such as a Health Coach and Wellness programs as a core benefit under the policy.

The last word

We have saved the most important factor for the end. You absolutely must consider taking a Health Insurance policy from a credible Health Insurance provider. Review the insurance provider’s claim settlement record. An insurance policy from an insurer with a rather sketchy claim settlement history will definitely spell disaster for you in your moment of need.

How the right Health Insurance policy can be beneficial

A rather large percentage of people in India avoid medical treatment simply because of financial constraints. With the right Health Insurance policy, you will not need to fret about the finances.

Many people borrow money to cover the costs of medical treatment. Some even deplete their income and savings. With a suitable Health Insurance policy, you are self-sufficient and well able to take care of your own medical expenses.

Additional Reading: New Health Insurance Rules For 2016

Medical treatment is becoming increasingly expensive. The right Health Insurance policy can be your safety net, protecting you and your loved ones from the liability of unaffordable medical bills.

A Health Insurance is a necessity. Give it a thought and choose a suitable plan to insure yourself and the health and wellbeing of your loved ones.

Additional Reading: What To Consider When Getting A Health Insurance Policy

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Category: Health Insurance

About Dheeraj Kapoor

BankBazaar is the world's first neutral online marketplace for instant customised rate quotes on Loans, Credit Cards, Insurance and Investment products. Shop for financial products just like you buy everything else now - online.

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