Ever heard about the ant that whiled away the summer and started saving only when it was about to rain (and still saved enough)? Well, we haven’t either.
If this sounds like what you do when it comes to Health Insurance and tax saving, we’ll let you in on a little secret – this particular ant didn’t have enough!
So, you should start hoarding away on insurance right away, maybe? Okay, seriously, don’t hoard, but at least start your tax saving manoeuvres for this financial year by getting a Health Insurance plan for yourself. Don’t wait till next March!
Axe Those Taxes
Many taxpayers fail to maximise their tax savings as they do not look beyond the popular Section 80C (of Income Tax Act) investments which include Life Insurance and tax saver Mutual Funds. It is for this very reason that many Health Insurance plans have gone unnoticed in the past in favour of Life Insurance Plans and other forms of investment.
Now with an increased tax deduction limit, Health Insurance plans are looking attractive. How much tax can you actually save? Well, you can save as much as Rs. 55,000 every year. This is if you take plans for your whole family including your children and dependent parents. This deduction can be claimed under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
With a deluge of products in the market to befuddle you, we make life simpler for you by telling you about five good plans that you could choose this year.
Popular Health Insurance Plans
1) HDFC ERGO Health Suraksha
This is a pretty popular health policy offering the advantage of no sub-limits. This means there will be no sub-limits on hospital room rents, hospital expenses, specific diseases and doctor fees. Yay! Wait. There’s more.
Using the HDFC ERGO Health Suraksha policy, you can avail a cumulative bonus at the end of every claim-free year. This will be given as an increase in the sum assured. You are also allowed to include the cost of health check-ups when you complete 4 claim-free years. The best part is that you can avail cashless hospitalisation services across 5000+ hospitals in India. You don’t even need to go through a health check-up for getting the policy if you are less than 45 years old. This is as long as you have no pre-existing diseases.
You can choose from a range of sum assured that starts at Rs. 3 lakh and goes up to Rs. 10 lakh. The policy also allows you to claim reimbursements for medical expenses for inpatient treatments under Ayurveda, Siddha and Homeopathy.
Additional Reading: Health Insurance: Know About The ‘Restore’ Option
2) STAR HEALTH MediClassic
This health policy offers the advantage of automatic reinstatement of the insured if it is exhausted during a policy year. The sum assured will be restored by 200%. While other insurers offer only reinstatement of the basic sum assured, this policy from STAR HEALTH restores your entire sum assured. The policy also covers 101 day-care procedures.
You, of course, get a No Claim Bonus (NCB) of 5% for every claim-free year. This could go up to 25%. You can claim health check-up costs of up to Rs. 5,000 if you have completed 4 claim-free years. You can avail add-on covers such as Patient Care and Hospital Cash. While Patient Care is used for covering attendant charges after discharge from the hospital, Hospital Cash provides cash benefits for every completed day of hospitalisation. The age range for this policy will be 5 months to 65 years. This means that you can take this policy for your child even if your kid is yet to turn one.
3) Cigna TTK ProHealth Protect
This policy from Cigna TTK restores up to 100% of your sum assured and covers even Outpatient Department (OPD) expenses. The policy will also provide you with health check-ups once every 3 years. One commendable feature of this policy is that it will cover expert opinion costs in case the policyholder is diagnosed with a critical illness. You can choose to opt for an additional sum assured of 25% as a cumulative bonus at the end of a claim-free year. This can be opted for instead of the NCB.
This policy also has a unique feature where you will granted reward points equal to 1% of the premium that you pay each year. Each reward point will be equal to Rs. 1 and you can redeem the points for a discount in premium on your next renewal or can be used to avail services through the insurer’s network partners. The policy has voluntary co-payment where you can choose to pay the first 10% or 20% of the claim while the rest will be covered by the insurer. You can opt for a critical illness add-on cover.
Additional Reading: Five Reasons To Get Health Insurance In Your 20s
4) Religare Health Insurance CARE
Religare offers a series of CARE plans and the features will differ based on the amount of sum assured. The sum assured ranges between Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 6 crores. The CARE plans with sum assured of less than Rs. 5 lakhs will cover day-care treatments and pre-hospitalisation of up to 30 days. Health check-ups will be covered under the policy. The policy also provides for organ donor cover. CARE plans will also cover second opinions (doctor consultations) sought by the policyholder.
Depending on the sum assured, the policy will provide for alternate treatments of up to Rs. 50,000. If you take a policy with sum assured of over Rs. 50 lakh, you can get maternity cover of up to Rs. 2 lakh. Vaccination covers of up Rs. 10,000 are also included for these plans. Most of the CARE plans offer hospital room rents for a single private room. The plans also provide NCB and restore the sum assured.
5) Universal Sompo Complete Health Care Insurance
This policy from Universal Sompo offers sum assured starting from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh. The entry age starts from 91 days to goes up to 70 years. The policy covers 141 day-care procedures. Pre-hospitalisation expenses of up to 30 days and post-hospitalisation expenses of up to 60 days will be provided by the policy. Dental treatments will be covered in case of accidents.
The plan will cover in-patient expenses incurred for Unani, Sidha or Homeopathic treatments. A unique feature of the policy is that it will cover diagnostic tests taken at diagnostic centres that may not be part of the network hospitals. The best part about the policy is that it offers discounts for single instalment premium payments. You get a 5% discount for a 2-year policy and 7.5% discount for a 3-year policy.
Additional Reading: Car And Health Insurance May Cost More
8 Things To Do Before Zeroing In On A Health Insurance Plan:
- Choose the right sum assured based on the size of your family.
- Choose family floaters rather than individual policies in case there are too many members that we need a cover. You can save on the premium this way.
- Choose a plan that offers maximum coverage.
- If you have any pre-existing diseases, look for a plan that covers it in the initial year itself, or opt for an add-on cover.
- Choose plans that offer renewals for the maximum period.
- Ensure that your insurer has a decent claim settlement ratio.
- Check for the hospitals covered in the policy you have shortlisted. A good network of hospitals is important.
- Read all terms and conditions carefully. The fine print will tell you all about the policy exclusions and conditions to avail the benefits.
Health Insurance is an important aspect of financial planning and should never be ignored. Skyrocketing medical expenses are another reason you may want to opt for Health Insurance. Remember, there is neither a one-size-fits-all plan nor a fixed yardstick that could be used to compare Health Insurance plans. But, a necessity, it is.