Often, people fail to exercise due care while purchasing Health Insurance. It is extremely important to go through the fine print and understand what you stand to gain, or not gain, from your policy. Failing to do so may leave you vulnerable to unpleasant surprises, causing you to rue the day you made your purchase.
If you find that you’re unhappy with your Health Insurance plan, here are some options you can explore to make the most of your predicament.
Use The Free-Look Period
In case you were wondering, yes it is possible to cancel your Health Insurance policy before the completion of its term. If you’ve read the fine print of your policy and you’re convinced it’s not the right product for you, you may exit the policy during the free-look period.
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) mandates a 15-day free-look period, which begins from the day you receive your policy document. This option can only be used if your policy has a three-year term.
Within the 15-day period, you can contact your policy provider and initiate a refund, which would be processed minus the costs of the pro-rated period for insurance, stamp duty and medical tests.
To be on the safe side, it is advisable to purchase a more agreeable Health Insurance policy before you initiate the cancellation of an existing policy.
Get A Policy That Offers Preferred Treatments
All Health Insurance policies have exclusions and waiting periods associated with certain diseases, pre-existing conditions or medical procedures. If you’ve bought a policy that doesn’t fit your medical requirements, you can look for one that does. For example, some policies may not cover Ayurvedic treatment, while others do.
Top-Up Insurance Plan
If your concern is that your sum assured is too low, you can consider a top-up insurance plan. This is a policy with a high deductible and kicks in once you’ve exhausted your other policies during the course of a treatment.
For example, let’s say you have a health policy of Rs. 2 lakh and a top-up policy of Rs. 2 lakh. If, during hospitalisation, your bills amount to Rs. 3 lakh, you can employ the top-up policy to settle the excess amount after you exhaust the first policy.
In short, you can use a top-up plan act as a protection policy. Its premium costs are lower and it helps you increase your coverage at a low cost.
Port Your Policy
You have the option of porting your Health Insurance policy from one insurance provider to another one that you prefer. Through this, the new insurer must provide your waiting period credits and at least the same sum assured as your old policy. You can only port the policy a minimum of 45 days before it is due for renewal.
Make a Complaint
If you’re unhappy with the services provided by your insurance company, you do have the option to make a complaint to the Grievance Redressal Officer of your insurance company. The complaint has to be made in writing and you will need to submit relevant supporting documents. Do not forget to take an acknowledgement of your complaint in writing specifying the date the complaint has been made.
The insurance company is liable to address your concern in 15 days. If that does not happen, you may reach out to IRDAI’s Grievance Redressal Cell of the Consumer Affairs Department. You may also choose to utilise the Integrated Grievance Management System. Lastly, you may send a letter to IRDAI by submitting your issues in a Complaint Registration Form.
Related reading: Common mistakes to avoid while buying Health Insurance
To summarise, continuing with a less-than-desirable Health Insurance policy can be harmful to your finances. By exercising the options mentioned in this article you could protect yourself from financial disaster before it’s too late.