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Smart Tips for Buying Health Insurance

Selecting the right health insurance plan becomes essential amidst a myriad of insurance policies available in the market

Wednesday September 16, 2020 11:34 PM, ummid.com News Network

Health Insurance Tips

Health Insurance is a necessity today. Medical emergencies can strike any time out of the blue, and leave you and your family members gasping for relief. Selecting the right health insurance plan becomes essential amidst a myriad of insurance policies available in the market. The number of options available is sufficient enough to drive you crazy-all the features, benefits, inclusions and exclusions and different eligibility criteria can become quite baffling after a stage of comparison if you don't have the right information.

No need to lose sleep over deciding which health insurance policy to buy. Here we present a couple of smart tips to make things easy for you. Use these tips to secure the right health insurance for yourself and your family, and stay safe.

Tips for Buying Health Insurance

If you’re planning to buy a health insurance policy, here are some handy and quick tips to be considered.

Always explore the options for policy coverage

The insurance market is overflowing with companies that offer a health insurance policy online as well as offline. The coverage amount of a health insurance plan is the main deciding factor that will determine how well you can manage your finances in case of a medical emergency. Before choosing any health insurance policy, decide the insurance cover that you would prefer.

You can always determine this based on your medical commitments and financial ability. Your coverage amount will take care of your medical bills, hospitalization, treatment of any illness, and further medical care required. Also, the extent of your cover will decide how much benefits would be available to your family members after the death of the policyholder in some health plans. Many Insurance plans have covers to compensate for the financial loss to the policyholder’s family by monthly reimbursement plans.

Look for Lifetime Renewability

All health insurance companies have been mandatorily guided by IRDAI to offer health insurance to people up to the entry age of 65 years with lifetime renewability. As such, most insurers provide this entry age up to 65 years, while some non-state-owned plans extend this to having no age limit for entry age to the plan.

Many health insurance policies provide the lifetime renewability feature. This means that the policy ensures that it can be renewed on a lifetime basis. There are no age restrictions to its renewal. This feature takes the financial pressure off the policyholders, especially the senior citizens, who become more susceptible to critical illness and diseases as the age advances, and premiums become costlier.

It, therefore, becomes necessary for you to check the entry age and the lifetime renewability option before you purchase any health insurance policy. You can continue to renew it lifelong, even if any claims have been made in the previous year. Failing to renew the policy may result in loss of benefits of the plan that has lapsed.

Look for flexibility to add new members to the policy

Insurance policies generally come for individual policyholders or their family covers. In case of family cover policies, different companies have different norms. While some extend the benefits of the plan to only immediate family members like spouse, parents, and kids, some insurers provide family cover for extended family members as well.

If you are unmarried and buying a health insurance policy you can take an individual health cover. However, if you are planning to get married or have kids soon, or want to include your parents for insurance benefits, look for health covers that provide sufficient scope to add new family members to the policy without any extra costs or loss of benefits. Go through the insurers’ plan brochure carefully and ask questions if you don't get sufficient information.

Check for Critical Illness Coverage

We are well aware that critical illnesses can strike anyone and at any stage in life. You need not be of any specific age to suffer from critical illnesses.

You may need the maximum help, both financial as well as emotional, in such challenging times of illness. While your family will take care of you emotionally, leave your financial hassles to a well-charted health insurance policy. Many good insurers provide large critical illness covers at affordable rates and even permanent disability benefits. Some insurers also offer 100% payouts for terminal illnesses which is a significant relief in such situations.

So, it becomes your prime responsibility to look for an adequate critical illness cover if you are interested in such a plan. Study the brochure carefully for the plan inclusions and exclusions, so that you are not left stranded at the hospitals in times of need.

Clear your doubts about waiting period

Most health insurance policies are associated with a waiting period. This is the time duration in months or years that the policyholder must wait after the policy purchase before he can claim the coverage amount wholly or partially. If an insurer files a claim during this waiting period, he may not be eligible for any benefits. Thus policy waiting periods are a type of qualifying periods for the policyholder.

Most health insurance plans have a 2-4 year waiting period before they start providing coverage for pre-existing diseases and maternity expenses. Same holds good for the treatment of particular conditions like hernia, varicose veins, etc. This varies from plan to plan. With this in mind, make it a point to check the time duration or the waiting period of the plan that you have chosen. Choose a plan whose waiting period is minimal.

Choose the riders carefully

Riders are great ways to customize your health insurance policy online or offline. It gives you the flexibility to add additional benefits to your primary insurance policy. They can help you with customized options to enhance your policy cover with additional coverage or restrict it in times of need. However, you have to pay extra for rider insurance. But the premiums are generally low; so getting a rider by paying some extra money to get your family an income benefit in case of accidental death is not a wrong choice.

Here the catch lied in the case of accidental riders. You have to make sure that you understand the features of an accidental death rider. The meaning of the term "accident" is limited in case of many insurers and does not mean just any accident out on the roads.

Similarly, in case of riders that provide a premium waiver in case of permanent disability of the insured person is vigilant about what is covered under partial and permanent disability.

Be clear about the Co-payment clause

Co-payment, in case of health insurance, is a way of sharing the coverage services between the customer and the insurer’s plan. This is a crucial selling point for an insurance company. Some premiums may be low only because of co-payment clauses. You need to be clear about how much you need to pay for services or coverage in case of emergencies or hospitalizations.

You have to keep in mind that these are out-of-pocket costs, and the cost-sharing may be either in the form of co-payments or annual deductibles.

Final Words!

Overall, the market is full of a diverse range of health insurance plans. You have to exercise prudence and vigilance in buying health insurance online or offline. You can go through similar plans online and compare them, and then make up your mind to zero in on any one of these. Use these tips for buying the right health insurance for you and your family that meets your needs on time and in the best possible way.

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