A health insurance policy is a must if you wish to have a secure financial future. With so many types of policies out there, it might be challenging to choose one.
Essentially, health insurance is the coverage provided for expenses incurred as a result of sickness or injury. It is a legal contract wherein the insurer pays for the medical expenses incurred by the insured. This is carried out either in the form of cashless treatments or reimbursements issued on the submission of bills. What’s more, is that you are eligible for tax deductions on the premiums paid toward health insurance. If you are convinced that health insurance is a sensible purchase for you, then it’s also imperative that you understand how to choose the appropriate policy. Here are a few tips to help identify the best plan for you.
- Carefully Evaluate the Amount of Coverage Needed
The coverage amount can hugely impact your premiums. Hence, this is the first thing you will have to compare in a plan. While attempting to estimate the amount of coverage required, you need to keep a few factors in mind. The key elements behind a smart decision are your city of residence, history of illnesses in the family and also the predicted rate of inflation. The extent of coverage provided will vary based on the plans that you vouch for, and each plan will have its parameters.
- Always Read the Fine Print Under Each Policy
Most health insurance policies today, come with varying sub-limits, i.e. the reimbursement limits on certain costs. Check for these sub-limits to ensure you will not have to incur out-of-pocket expenses. Some of the sub-limits to check for are:
- Room Rent
- ICU Charges
- Treatments for critical illness
Another thing to look out for is the period after which pre-existing ailments are covered. This could range from 24 to 60 months and in some cases, even less. Make sure you read details about each plan meticulously and ask questions if required. It is always best to clear all doubts before purchasing a plan.
- Check the List of Hospitals in the Network
The cashless hospital facility is one of the most important things to look for when purchasing a health insurance plan. Insurance companies provide their customers with an extensive network of hospitals to get treatment without having to make upfront payments. By finding an insurance provider that offers the cashless facility, you can be rest assured that you will receive immediate treatment in case of emergencies and the insurer will cover the costs. This will save you the time and effort in collecting the list of documents required when seeking reimbursements. However, TPA (third party approval) andan insurer issued health card may be required. Lack of the same may not entitle you to avail the cashless benefit scheme.
- Careful Selection of Premiums and Co-pays
The lowest premium may seem attractive, but what you really need to look out for is fewer conditions and minimums restrictions. Also, while selecting a health insurance policy, the insurer will provide an option of co-pay. This option requires you to contribute a certain pre-determined percentage amount of the expenses incurred, and the insurance company will pay the remainder. This will enable you to pay a lower premium, but you will then need to make a certain percentage of payments directly at the hospital for each claim.
- Claim Settlement Ratio and Process
The last step when you compare health insurance plans is to know the claim settlement ratio and the process of the company you are choosing. A company with a good claim settlement ratio and easy process indicates that you won’t have to worry about finances at the times of needs. Also, read up some reviews online to zero in on the right company with good after-sales support. You need a reliable company that can come to aid when you may need it the most.
It has been often stated that having a health assurance plan is a great starting point for all future financial plans. Insurance does not just provide security against illnesses and diseases but also accidents that can occur at any time and any place. With the rapidly rising rate of medical inflation, every minute is crucial. Always better to have a plan that matches 85-90% of your requirement rather than incurring significant unexpected costs in the eleventh hour.