Points to Consider Before Investing in Health Insurance

tips to remember before investing in health insurance
Health insurance is an essential component of every investment portfolio that Indian families plan to combat financial insecurity stemming from rising medical expenses and increasing pervasiveness of lifestyle diseases. While it is advisable to start investing in health insurance plans early in life, there are factors that help decide the kinds of plans policyholders must have in their health insurance portfolio. Some of them are:

Invest in a family floater: Most people tend to compare health insurance plans by premiums only not realizing that their benefits must also be looked into. While the reason to compare is simply to find a cost-effective health insurance solution, it is always advisable to invest in family floater than individual health insurance plans. As family needs may vary each year depending on the frequency of illnesses, sudden diagnoses of health disorders, ageing parents, etc., it is necessary policyholders review their policies every few years. 

Sum insured: The amount of sum insured must be sufficient to cover expenses of pre and post hospitalisation including additional costs like OPD or amount spent on seeking second medical opinion prior to treatment. Apart, it should be enough to cover treatment expenses of more than one family member. Since the sum insured would be the maximum amount that the insurer would pay on treatment expenses, policyholders must choose an adequate amount so that they do not have to pay for the treatment from their own pockets.

Claim settlement ratio: It is important to compare health insurance policies according to their claim settlement ratios published on their websites. Claim settlement ratio is the percentage of claims insurers have paid for after policyholders have made their claims. In addition, one must be careful to note the time taken by insurance providers for pre-authorisation and the cashless facility they provide.

Mediclaim policy: Are you interested in a comprehensive health coverage or do you just want to pay for a plan that covers your hospitalisation expenses? If you wish to opt the latter, then it would be better to buy mediclaim policies provided by various insurance companies. Since each mediclaim policy has its own benefits and imposes certain conditions, it is necessary to compare plans by their premiums and in-built features.
 
Inclusions and exclusions: Many policy holders ignore to read the information contained in the details because of which they feel shocked when they have to pay certain portion of the treatment expenses that they believed would be covered by the insurer. Also every insurance company does not cover every disorder, which means one needs to study the “List of Disorders not Covered” printed in the proposal form. There are certain expenses too that the policyholders may unknowingly pay not realising that the insurer had agreed to cover those expenses while handing you out the policy you had chosen.

Recommended Reading: seven reasons why you should invest in health insurance plan

Waiting period of your insurance policy: In certain cases, the insured or the policyholders may be suffering from pre-existing disorders. The insurer imposes a waiting period before which the insured cannot claim expenses, if incurred, on treatment of the disease. The waiting periods varies between the companies and hence must be compared. In addition, it is mandatory for the policyholders to declare details of any illness they might be suffering from while taking the policy to avoid claim rejection by the insurer.

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