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Best health insurance plans: Compare best policies in India

Best Health Insurance Plan: Health insurance companies provide a specific insurance product called a health insurance policy. Select the best health insurance plan by comparing it with the number of health insurance companies in India & understand your specified needs.

September 05, 2019 / 08:43 AM IST

Health is wealth. Protecting your health through a healthy lifestyle is a must for well being. However, in today’s age, every individual is at a risk for lifestyle diseases. A medical emergency can strike you when you are least expecting it. But if you have a health insurance policy, you are safe. Health insurance companies provide a specific insurance product called a health insurance policy.

Under a health insurance policy, the insurer agrees to compensate the insured for medical expenses in case of an emergency. Such medical expenses are incurred when the insured is critically ill or meets with an accident. This results in the insured being hospitalized.

There are a number of health insurance companies in India. It is important to select the best health insurance plan for you because hospitalization can often leave a big hole in your pocket. As we know, quality healthcare is expensive. Medical emergency requires immediate attention. However, quality healthcare services are often too expensive. But if you are armed with the right health insurance policy, you can sail through the adversity. When you compare various health insurance policies, the benefits stand out. These can help you understand your specified needs.

We have provided a brief comparison of various health insurance plans provided by the health insurance company. You can carry out a preliminary exercise to compare the health insurance policies through this.

Please note that this information has been prepared on the basis of the data available in the public domain. It would be always advisable to check with the health insurance company regarding the specific offerings.


It is important to compare health insurance policies before purchasing one to understand the benefits.


Comparison of health insurance policies:

Max Bupa Health Companion Family First

  • This is a unique offering from the Max Bupa, which is a health insurance company. The features of this policy make it one of the best insurance plans in India. This policy caters to the needs of the Indian joint family. Once you take this policy, you are eligible for coverage for up to 19 relationships with individual sum insured for each member. Additionally, there is a floater sum insured that can be used by any of the family members.

  • The insurer will reimburse pre & post hospitalization medical expenses, incurred due to illness/injury. The period of the treatment - this should be 30 days before hospitalization and 60 days after discharge.

  • There is no maximum age for enrolment. The policy is available for newborn (at least 90 days) to senior citizens of any age.

  • If a policy is taken for two years, the policyholder will receive a 12.5% discount on the second year premium.

  • In addition to the in-patient treatment benefits, a lump sum payment for each 24 hours of hospitalization is also provided. In this case, a minimum 48 hours of hospitalization required. This benefit is over and above the sum insured. It is payable for up to 30 days of hospitalization.

  • The incurred claim ratio of Max Bupa is 50.1%, the typical waiting period is 4 years.

  • The health insurance company has a network of over 3500 hospitals.

    HDFC Health Suraksha Gold with Regain

  • This is another popular policy in the market which is offered by HDFC Ergo Private Limited, a health insurance company.

  • The policy can be obtained for individuals as well as family.

  • The policy covers pre-hospitalization charges for up to 60 days prior to hospitalisation.

  • It also provides full coverage of expenses incurred on doctor consultations, rehabilitation charges etc. till 90 days after hospitalisation.

  • A full coverage up to sum insured on medical procedures that take up less than 24 hours is provided for any day care procedure undertaken.

  • If more than two members are covered in one policy on the individual sum insured basis, the policy holders are eligible for a family discount.

  • There are no restrictions on the age of entry to buy the policy. This means that you can plan the insurance well ahead. You can also opt for an early entry.

  • The incurred claim ratio of HDFC Ergo is 52.5%, the typical waiting period is 4 years.

  • HDFC Ergo has a network of over 9000 hospitals.

    Religare NCB Super Premium

  • This is an offering from Religare Health Insurance Company. This health insurance company offers a comprehensive health insurance plan. The idea is to safeguard you & your family against financial risks in case of a medical emergency.

  • The plan covers the medical expenses incurred up to 30 days before the hospitalization.

  • Any medical expenses in case of a day care treatment which does not require hospitalization for 24 hours or more is covered under the health insurance plan.

  • Various daycare procedures are also provided under this plan.

  • The plan provides reimbursement of charges/expenses such as doctor consultations, diagnostic tests, medications etc that the insured can incur up to 60 days post hospitalization.

  • If there is an emergency or a medical condition that does not allow hospitalization, the coverage for medical expenses incurred during treatment at home for a period exceeding 3 consecutive days is provided under the policy.

  • In case of a claim free year, the sum insured is increased  by 10%, up to a maximum of 50% in consecutive 5 years.

  • The incurred claim ratio of Religare is 106.5%, the typical waiting period is 4 years.

  • Religare has a network of over 4000 hospitals.

    Senior Citizens Red Carpet Health Insurance Policy

  • This is a unique offering by Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Limited, a health insurance company in India.

  • This insurance policy is aimed specifically at senior citizens. It provides cover to anyone from 60 years and permits entry right up to the 75 years with continuing cover thereafter till lifetime.

  • The policy is available for various terms (1 year or 2 years or 3 years) which can be renewed. If the policy is for more than 1 year, the sum insured is for each year, without any carry over benefit.

  • The policy covers pre hospitalization medical expenses incurred for a period not exceeding 30 days prior to the date of hospitalisation, for disease/illness, injury sustained.

  • If any post hospitalization expenses are incurred, based on the recommendations of a doctor, expenses equivalent to 7% of the hospitalization expenses will be covered. This includes charges for attendants or nurses, surgeon/consultant fees, diagnostic charges, medicines and drugs expenses. However, the maximum limits are set out in the policy document.

  • One of the other unique features of the policy is that it also offers expenses on medical consultations incurred as an outpatient. However, the patient must visit one of the affiliate hospitals. There are also limits on the amount of consultation fees that will be covered.

  • The incurred claim ratio of Star Health is 61% and typically the waiting period is of 4 years.

  • Star Health has a network of more than 4000 hospitals


Is there a waiting period for claims under a health insurance policy?

Usually, there will be a 30 days waiting period starting from the policy inception date. During this period any hospitalization charges will not be payable by the insurance companies. However, emergency hospitalization occurring due to an accident is excluded. There is no waiting period applicable for subsequent policies under renewal.

What is the maximum number of claims allowed over a year?

Unless the policy specifies a cap, any number of claims is allowed during the policy period. But remember that the sum insured is the maximum limit under the policy.

What is “health check” facility?       

Some health insurance policies pay for specified expenses towards general health check up once in a few years. Usually, this is available once in four years.

What are the factors that affect Health Insurance premium?         

Age is a major factor that determines the premium. Previous medical history is another major factor that determines the premium. Claim free years can also be a factor in determining the cost of the premium as it might benefit you with certain percentage of discount. Make sure that you compare health insurance policies before you decide to purchase one.

Can the health insurance policy expire if it is not renewed on time?

Usually, a grace period of 15 days  is available to pay the premium from the date of expiry of the policy. However, coverage would not be available for the period for which no premium is received by the insurance company. The policy will become nonexistent if the premium is not paid within the specified grace period.

Can policy be transferred from one insurance provider to another provider without losing the benefits?

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has issued a circular making it effective from 1st October, 2011, which directs the insurance companies to allow portability from one insurance company to another and from one plan to another, without making the insured to lose the renewal credits for pre-existing conditions, enjoyed in the previous policy. The sum insured under the previous policy will continue.

What is incurred claim ratio?

It is the ratio of claim incurred by the insurance company to actual premium collected for that period. It denotes a net claim settlement cost incurred to the net premium collected for a given accounting period. The incurred claim ratio can be calculated as follows:

Incurred Claim Ratio=Net claims incurred/Net earned premium.

Is it possible to avail a cashless facility under a health insurance pla?

A health insurance company can have tie-up arrangements with several hospitals all over the country. Through these tie ups, the hospitals become part of the network.  If a health insurance policy offers cashless facility, a policyholder can take treatment in any of the network hospitals without having to pay the hospital bills. The payments to hospital is made by a third part administrator who acts  on behalf of the insurance company.

In case of any expenses beyond the limits or sub-limits allowed by the insurance policy or expenses not covered under the policy, the cashless facility will not apply. The policyholder will have to separately pay for those. Cashless facility is also not available in the event the policy holder does not avail the treatment at a network hospital.
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first published: Sep 5, 2019 08:43 am
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