Moneycontrol
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Tune in on 17th July for the Small Business Virtual Summit with Cisco. Register now!
Last Updated : Jul 27, 2016 11:30 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

How to get yourself the right health insurance plan

Buying the right health insurance plan may require some hard work, but it is worth the effort. Here are some factors you must keep a track of.

Yashish Dahiya
PolicyBazaar.com

Buying a health cover is an extremely crucial step for the protection of you and your loved ones. But it is an equally tedious task to choose the right health plan. Being inundated with so many options only makes it more confusing. So how do you choose the best health plan for your family? Well, there are a few parameters that you need to consider before you sign the policy document. Here’s a list of few of them here to help you decide the best for your family.

Cover risks

A good health plan is supposed to cover risks arising out of any health problem such as sickness, medical emergency, critical illness or accident. For instance, if you have been hospitalized, does your health insurance cover the entire cost of the room or are room costs capped in the health plan? Most often, insurers have pre-capped room rent. However, there are some that also cover all types of rooms. So be it a single-room or a deluxe in a private hospital, your health cover will pay for the room as per the policy terms and conditions.

Similarly, does the health plan cover all day care treatments or are there only a few listed with them. What are the pre-hospitalisation and post-hopitalisation costs that the health plan covers? And is the pre-fixed amount allocated for ambulance cost sufficient? These are just a few things that one needs to look out for while buying a health plan.

Waiting period

A waiting period is the period before the policy comes into force. And in this period, if you are diagnosed with a disease or a medical emergency arises, your health plan will not cover it. Hence, it is important to see the waiting period of the health policy. While most insurers have a 30-days waiting period for illnesses, what needs to be considered is the waiting period for pre-existing diseases. For instance, while HDFC Ergo's Health Suraksha Plan and Religare’s Care Plan have 4 years of waiting period for pre-existing illnesses, Max Bupa’s Health Companion does not cover any pre-existing diseases. On the other hand, Apollo Munich’s Optima Restore has a waiting period of 3 years for pre-existing diseases.

Exclusions

Another important parameter for choosing a health plan is the exclusions i.e. what is not covered by the policy. The most common exclusions remain treatments due to war or unrest, attempt to suicide as well as injury caused by self while being in the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other exclusions also include dental or oral surgery, cosmetic surgery among others. However, some insurers also exclude maternity expenses such as child birth etc. Hence, if you are planning a family, it is better to go for a health plan that includes maternity in the package. You must also remember that insurers do not cover mental illnesses except if the illness has occurred during the policy tenure.

Network hospitals

While you may think that buying a health plan is enough, imagine a scenario where you go into the nearest hospital and to your horror, you cannot avail the cashless facility that your health policy offers. Well, of course you can reimburse the amount later by submitting your hospital bills to your insurer, but the hassle of paying hefty amount from your own pocket immediately is not only stressful but can literally burn a hole in your pocket. Thus, it becomes extremely important for you to know the list of hospitals that your insurer has tied-up with. Besides, an insurer that has tied up with a hospital near you is a matter of great convenience. Hence, remember to check the network hospitals before buying a health policy.

Premiums

This is probably the most important factor that one takes into consideration while buying a policy. However, it’s advisable if a particular health plan meets most of the above parameters, it doesn’t hurt to pay a little higher premium. However, having said that it is important to know that premium in a health plan increases with age of the policyholder. Therefore, it is important to see by how much your premium increases as you grow old and if it is worth a buy.

Basically, the bottom line is you need to do your calculation as well as research well before buying the product. Remember to compare online different products available in the market and then buy a plan for yourself and your family. After all, your family is worth the hard work.
First Published on Jul 27, 2016 11:30 am
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