Here are 8 Tips for Choosing the Best Health Insurance for You
Life is full of risks, and one of the most significant areas where this unpredictability dominates is when it comes to your own and your loved ones’ health. Whether it is for your own or members of your family’s physical well-being, keep in mind that healthcare costs continue to rise year after year. Having a health insurance policy, then, becomes critical for you so that you can take care of yourself or your family without making a mistake. Here’s how to select the best/policies to not only ensure, but also keep yourself healthy.
Why should you get health cover?
According to a few previous research, medical inflation in India is over 17% per year, which is significantly higher than the general inflation rate. The importance of appropriate health insurance is growing, as is the importance of selecting the right health insurance plan.
You may be in good health right now, but health insurance is about more than just illnesses and diseases. Accidents can happen at any moment and any age, it’s a universal fact. In such a case, health insurance could come in handy.
Furthermore, several diseases may go undetected until their symptoms manifest later in life. Although not a mandate, insurance purchased at a young age and renewed for many years without a claim may aid in a better claim experience when the need comes.
Factors Helping You To Choose the Right Health Insurance Policy:
- Understand your requirements
One size does not fit all when it comes to health insurance. A policy that is appropriate for you may not be appropriate for another person your age. Before selecting insurance, consider issues such as life expectancy, existing health conditions, and family history. For example, if there is any hint of a pre-existing sickness in your family history, your insurer would charge you a higher premium. Premiums rise in tandem with age. In both circumstances, the expenses rise as a result of the risk.
Paying a hefty premium makes little sense if you are young and live a generally healthy life free of inherited disorders or diseases. If you want to combine your needs with those of your spouse, children, and/or parents, the computation of your premium will alter.
- Estimate how much cover is required
Although there is no hard and fast rule about how much health insurance you should get, the coverage should ideally be based on one’s residence, family history of illnesses, and so on. As an example, “Given the high cost of living in metro cities, the cover amount for persons residing in Class A cities should be at least Rs 10 lakh. Not only is the level of living higher in metro centres, but medical treatment is also more expensive when compared to smaller towns, so critical insurance policies of the high amount are required. The total insured should be at least Rs 4- 5 lakh for those living in Class B and C cities.”
- Check sub-limit in the plan
Sub-limits are now included in the majority of health insurance policies. The term “sub-limit” refers to capping the reimbursement limit under one or more of these cost-heads. For example, the room rent may be limited to 1% of the sum covered. So, regardless of the policy’s total sum insured, one may have to pay out-of-pocket hospital expenditures if they exceed the policy’s limit. Some health plans do not have such sub-limits, while others allow you to add them when you purchase the plan.
- See from when pre-existing ailments are covered
All health insurance plans cover pre-existing conditions, but only after 48 months. Few insurance companies in India cover them after 36 months or fewer. However, for a smooth claims settlement process, it is equally crucial to declare the pre-existing disease at the time of purchase. Furthermore, many defined and particular ailments have a ‘waiting period’ of 12 or 24 months before they can be claimed.
- Check for co-payment feature
A co-payment provision is not required in all plans, however, it could be a requirement in a senior citizen health insurance plan. Because premium rates are higher in older age groups, a co-payment may provide some relief in terms of cost, as it helps to keep the premium low. Some plans, however, require up to a 20% co-payment if the therapy is received at a non-network provider or in a city other than the one where the plan was purchased.
- High claim settlement ratio
The claim settlement ratio is the number of claims settled by the insurance company divided by the total number of claims received. Choose an insurer with a high claim settlement ratio.
When shopping for health insurance, use these steps to optimise your advantages. You are investing to protect yourself against the financial burden of excessive healthcare bills; make the most of it.
- Find out if your policy is auto-renewal and if so up to what age
It is a good idea to obtain health insurance coverage with automatic renewal. This is due not only to the income tax deduction but also to the fact that it keeps your insurance from the lapse. It also ensures that you are protected against any health-related unforeseen events or situations, as you never know how your health may turn out. Putting your policy on autopilot may require you to continue paying premiums, but don’t let this deter you. In the long term, this simply indicates that you are blossoming as a survival game champion! Though not required, it is always preferable to opt for the auto-renewal feature when you are younger, because certain providers may not continue this provision after the insured reaches a specific age.
- Check the insurer’s network of hospitals
The value of your policy is also determined by how far your health insurance company’s reach reaches. The larger the network of hospitals affiliated with it, the higher your chances of receiving timely treatment if you or a member of your family becomes ill. It also implies that you save money on travel when there is an impaneled hospital in your neighborhood or district. Going further out to get care for the same ailment may result in a higher cost. Quick access can sometimes make all the difference, especially in emergency or critical care situations.
When selecting a health insurance policy, it is best to begin by comparing policies from 2-3 preferred insurers. Examine the items and exclusions in the most basic plan that they provide. Instead of basing your decision primarily on the premium, choose uncomplicated policies with fewer limitations and restrictions. And keep in mind that every member of the family, regardless of age, requires health insurance coverage to cover unforeseen medical expenses in the future.
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