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Feb 14, 2013, 07.52 PM | Source: Moneycontrol.com

3 things everybody ought to know about health insurance

Health insurance or Mediclaim is one of the most fundamental types of insurance after life cover in terms of being an absolute necessity for everyone.

Runjhun Noopur
Akosha is an online
consumer forum

Health insurance or Mediclaim is one of the most fundamental types of insurance after life cover in terms of being an absolute necessity for everyone. Being as important as they are, it then becomes an added responsibility on us to be extra cautious and aware when opting for a mediclaim. While there is no dearth of options in the market, prospective policy holders often find themselves bewildered by the variety and miss out on the crucial points for consideration. We, hence, bring you a lowdown on some salient points that you must keep in mind when opting for a health insurance.

The Premium Conundrum- Premium for a Mediclaim forms the ground for maximum mistakes. Most policy holders tend to choose between policies based on their respective premiums—the cheaper, the better. It is a capital mistake to base such a crucial choice on the price tag alone. While choosing the policy, always make the final decision based on important considerations like the coverage being offered, your individual requirements and whether all your concerns are being covered and addressed by the policy. A comparative analysis of the price tags comes in picture only once the basics are settled and covered; not as the ultimate clinching factor.

Another crucial thing to remember is that premiums change as we age. Hence, while comparison of premiums is not the right way to decide the right policy, it is equally important to understand the changes in the premium with time and to ensure that the premiums remain affordable even after you retire. Premiums that rise exponentially and/or become unaffordable after a point of time are undesirable and should be meticulously avoided.

Simple and Substantial- Mediclaims often come with loads of ‘added features’. A basic thumb rule is to avoid frills as far as possible and always go for the basic. This is a price effective strategy and makes the selection of the mediclaim a much simpler process. However, opting for a basic cover doesn’t mean one should go for policies that offer a small coverage. Inflation in the health sector is incredibly high and what is an okay-ish cover today may become totally redundant by the time you actually need it. Always go for the highest coverage that you can afford, taking into account the increase in the premiums over a period of time.

Background Check of the Insurer- As we had stated earlier, there is no dearth of options when it comes to the availability of the health insurance in the market. However, the more the option, the more is the requirement of vigilance on part of the consumers. Apart from the bare basic of ensuring a trustworthy advisor, a prospective policy holder must himself be involved intricately in the process of choosing the health insurance. Always conduct a background check of the insurer you are about to opt for. Search on the internet for reviews and complaints. Reading enough reviews and complaints will give you a basic idea of how the insurer has fared in the experience of other consumers. This is neither objective nor a foolproof method. However, it is effective enough to raise an alarm if the insurer has a track record of bad services and unfair practices.

A lot of insurance troubles are pure bad luck. However, there are still a substantial number of troubles that can be easily avoided if enough diligence, caution and awareness are exercised.  Mediclaim is one of the most basic covers and comes handy in times of dire emergencies. Needless to say, caution is the key and while the issues we have highlighted may not be exclusive, they are enough to get you started on your vigil once you decide to opt for a health cover.

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