Always pick the right policy for yourself basis cost vs value proposition. Don’t just look at the premium paid for the policy but the overall value being offered.
Health insurance is essential in today’s day and age and it is imperative to be adequately insured keeping in mind the increasing medical inflation and growing incidence of lifestyle diseases. It is therefore advised to buy a health cover early in life, say, by 30 or 35 years, so that one can serve the respective waiting periods when in best of health and utilise the policy when it is needed.
Further, there is a risk of being refused a policy at an older age due to growing health risks or being issued a policy with lots of exclusions that may make the policy cover inadequate or make the premium very expensive. Also, if you take policy in your early age, you can get the long-term financial benefit as well.
Jyoti Punja, Chief Customer Officer, Cigna TTK Health Insurance told Moneycontrol that the right amount of health insurance cover ensures you a peace of mind particularly when it comes to paying hefty medical bills and post hospitalisation expenses, as these would be covered by the health insurance company. “Hence, the money saved can be productively utilized towards paying the personal loan, housing loans, credit card outstanding, etc. instead of paying your medical bills,” she said.
Ashish Mehrotra, MD & CEO, Max Bupa Health Insurance says consumers can build their health insurance portfolio by focusing on these eight points:
For a large family, it is better to buy a family floater plan rather than individual cover as it turns out to be cost-effective. Also, you should review your policy every 2-3 years and revise the cover based on the changing needs of your family, like marriage, children, ageing parents etc. You can also top up your health insurance portfolio with a critical illness plan since it offers a lump sum payout in case a customer contracts a serious critical illness and is unable to work.
Sufficient Sum Insured:
In the wake of rapid medical inflation, one should go for a higher sum insured of at least Rs 10-15 lakh so that there is sufficient cover at the time of any medical emergency. Also opt for a complete protection plan which includes various value-added features like OPD, health coaching, wellness benefits, free health checkups, international treatment for critical illnesses, loyalty rewards irrespective of claims, etc.
Claim settlement experience of a company is an important factor. It is important to check the insurance providers past claim settlement experience. Time taken for pre-authorisation and the cashless facility should also be considered.
Inclusions and Exclusions:
Be well-versed with the inclusions and exclusions of the policy. There are certain medical conditions which are not covered under a standard health insurance policy. Hence, you must always read the policy documents carefully. Also, avoid buying policies with restrictions like co-payment, sub-limits, deductibles, etc.
There are various kinds of insurance covers available. One should be astute about picking the right features in line with one’s lifecycle. For instance, someone planning to start a family should look at plans that offer maternity cover. There are very few products in the market which cover maternity. Hence if you are planning to start a family in the next few years, then a policy wherein maternity is covered would be beneficial. As you also need to serve waiting period which varies as per different health insurance providers
Waiting period and pre-existing disease disclosures:
In case a customer is suffering from a pre-existing disease then the waiting periods should be compared across products. Customers should also transparently disclose all existing diseases at the time of enrolment so that there are no altercations at the time of claim.
Versatility of product:
It is advised to go for products that offer a wellness-linked advantage and have been scientifically designed to keep consumers healthy. There are very few products in the market today which offers personalized health coaching.
Cost vs value proposition:Lastly, always pick the right policy for yourself basis cost vs value proposition. Don’t just look at the premium paid for the policy but the overall value being offered.