A Short Guide to Buying Health Insurance in India

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When it comes to health insurance, narrowing down the options and eventually selecting a health insurance plan can be a confusing as well as complicated task. Even though the health insurance sector in India is progressing rapidly, only 15% of the Indian population is covered under some kind of health insurance.

A large number of people do not buy health insurance as they are unaware about its benefits or they do not feel the need to buy and simply procrastinate it until they face some kind of extremity. Also, individuals working in the corporate world do not feel the need to buy an individual health insurance as the company provides them with a basic health insurance cover. What they do not realize is the fact that the health insurance cover provided by the company is not enough to cater to emergency situations.

In this age of high inflation and medical expenses, it is important that every individual possesses a comprehensive health insurance that would provide coverage against any accidental crisis situation. Therefore, it is recommended that every individual should consider buying a personal health insurance that would suffice all sort of medical emergencies.

So once you decide to get yourself covered under a personal health insurance plan, the next big question that comes to mind is how to choose the best health insurance plan that would provide the best possible cover during an emergency. With a wide array of options available at your disposal, buying health insurance that provides a larger scope of coverage can be a challenging task. One has to realize that there is no plan that can be deemed as the best health insurance plan for any individual. Rather than focusing on the best policy, emphasis should be to look out for a policy that is suitable as per the needs of the individual.

Choosing and comparing health insurance policy can be hard, especially if you do not know where to begin from or if you do not have a health insurance expert to give you genuine advice on the same. So how do you make sure that buying health insurance policy would give you mental peace? We thought of simplifying the tedious task for you by providing some valuable tips on buying health insurance:

 1.      Choosing an Appropriate Policy

As mentioned earlier, there is no perfect health insurance policy, which is why it is important to first assess your individual needs and requirements and then look for a policy that is the closest match. You can either opt for an individual health insurance policy for all family members or a single policy that covers all dependent members of the family.

If you plan to include your parents in the policy, it is advisable to opt for separate plans for senior citizens. This is because health insurance premiums are calculated considering the oldest member of the family, so say for example, if your parents are 65 plus, the premium you pay would be much higher than what you would pay for an individual who is in his 30s. For a nuclear family, buying health insurance policy made for families would be more beneficial.

 2.      Age Factor:

As stated in the above point, premiums are calculated according to the eldest member of the family. Hence it is recommended to buy health insurance when you’re young and healthy. The younger you are, the more choices you get while buying health insurance policy. As you start getting older, your choices become limited. Also, it is important to look at the specified age limit till which the health insurance company would provide coverage. Higher the age limit, the more beneficial it is for the individual and therefore, such a policy should be considered. Certain policies also offer lifetime renewals.

 3.      Network of Hospitals

An Other factor to be considered while buying health insurance is the number of hospitals covered under the policy. While buying health insurance, always consider a policy that covers the maximum number of hospitals in and around the area of your residence, so that it is convenient during the time of any emergency condition.

4.      Look For A Cashless Facility

Many health insurance company policies also offer a feature where in at the time of payment, you simply show the health card provided by the company and your payment to the hospital would be made directly by the company. You usually get a verification call from the company before you are discharged from the hospital. This feature is known as Cashless facility. While buying health insurance, look for a policy that offers this benefit so that you do not have to pay any money upfront and then submit all the documents in order to get a reimbursement.

5.      Pre-Existing Ailment Cover:

This is one of the most important factors which health insurance companies look at when approving or rejecting a claim. Pre-existing ailment, as the name suggests, is any illness or disease that exists during the time of buying a health insurance policy. Usually, pre existing ailments are not included in the health insurance cover. There are pre existing ailments that are covered in the policy but only after a specific period of time. If a claim is made during this time, the company first checks if the ailment was related to the pre-existing ailment and accordingly decides whether to approve or reject the claim.

 6.      Claim Settlement Period

It is important to confirm the past claim settlement record of the company from which you are going to buy health insurance. If the company takes a long time to process the payments, then the whole objective of buying health insurance goes for a toss. Always buy a health insurance policy from a company that processes claims on time and when needed the most.

 Apart from all the above factors, going through all the terms and conditions before signing the policy document is a must, even though it may take a while.

So if you do not belong to the 15% of India’s population that is covered under some kind of health insurance policy, make sure you keep these points in mind before buying a health insurance policy for you or for your family.
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Disclaimer: Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. The article contains only an indication of cover offered. For more details on risk factors, terms, conditions and exclusions, please read the sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale. The above mentioned Health Insurance Plans are not ranked in any particular order. These plans are selected by the author and reflects author’s choice. The buyers are however, suggested to use their discretion or speak to Medimanage expert before selecting any particular product.

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