Health insurance is a medium through which one can positively get healthcare at affordable pricing. The policies we have in India are known to cover hospitalization expenses for accidents and sickness. Before we can really learn some of the important aspects that need to be looked at seriously while choosing a health insurance plan, it is important to accept that you cannot get each and everything in a single box. For one thing or the other, you will have to compromise and there is no tailor made health insurance policy.
How to choose a health insurance plan?
1) Look for the basic things
There can be two aspects of any treatment charges – manageable and unmanageable. Doctor’s consultation charges, medicines, etc. are all manageable expenses whereas hospitalization charges are something which sometimes goes beyond our capacity to adjust with. Therefore, a policy should be the one that can protect you and your family members from such unmanageable expenses.
2) High premium vs. low premium
Don’t take your decision on the basis of comparison of premiums of different policies. If you got to compare, then compare their benefits. Always remember that health insurance is a long term contract and has a major influence on you pocket as and when the need to cover your hospitalization charges occur.
3) What is the maximum renewal age
Your health insurance policy will be continued only till you attain a certain age which is known as maximum renewal age. The chances of incurring hospitalization expenses generally increase at the declining years of a person. Therefore, a policy should support you till the maximum possible years of your life. That is, you should opt for a policy that has a maximum renewal age of around 70 years.
4) Look for the upper cap
A policy may have certain caps in it. For example – an insurance company will pay maximum of Rs. 20,000 per eye for operating cataract. Even though your cover is for higher amount and you have actually spent more on the treatment, but you will get a claim for the amount mentioned as cap for the concerned disease. Before taking a policy, give conscious look at these caps.
5) Is a policy offering day-wise cash limit
This point is to deal with the number of days you will have to spend in a hospital. There are many policies in the market that provide cash benefits for the number of days spent in hospital. If this is the case with the policy under consideration, then better skip it and look for some other health insurance.
6) Amount of sum insured
Higher the sum insured, higher will be the premium. However, a high amount of sum insured should always be considered. With the rate of inflation and high climbing medical bills, by the time you will actually feel a requirement of claiming hospitalization expenses, a small amount will fall sufficient to provide you a good cover. Ideally, a policy should have more than 2 to 3 lakhs of sum insured. However, while choosing the right amount, give a due consideration to your premium paying capacity as well.
7) High premium costs for higher age group
From an insurance company’s point of view, the risk of claiming hospitalization enhances with the age of insured. For that reason, these companies charge a high rate of premium for persons above 45 years of age. Before taking up a policy, compare the premium rates at this age for different companies.
8) History of the company
A new company with no history always falls in doubtful brackets. Before taking a decision on your health insurance, check the reputation of the company. You continue to pay premiums for 5 years and when the need arise, so many anomalies suddenly creeps and your policy and the insurance company justifies it – check again and again, as this should not be the case.
9) Do they have TPAs
If yes, then it is good for you. If no, then look for some other option. Now a question arises that why a TPA is important. The reason lies in the fact that the companies that have taken the services of TPAs are less prone to default in their service delivery and with this assurance you can expect that your insurance company will honour your claim.
There are many insurance advisors in the market and believe me each of them will have their own opinion and choices. Look for the genuine advisor who can offer you something affordable and beneficial in the long run.