Medical costs have increased over the years.Today, even a minor surgery can cost you anything between Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 60, 000. While something as major as a cardiac treatment can shoot up to Rs. 5 lakh(i). This still depends on the city you reside and the hospital that you choose.
If you want to save your life, you have to end up shelling out all your hard-earned savings on medicines and doctors.
But why do that? Be smart enough to buy a health insurance cover at an early age that helps you tackle rising medical expenses.
Want to know how to choose the right health insurance plan? It’s really easy.
Let’s learn how.
- Do a cost-benefit analysis
We’d bet that premiums are the first thing that come to your mind when it comes to buying a health insurance cover? And why should it not? After all, you’re investing money into it and should make sure the plan offers wholesome financial protection.
Truth is that ideally the benefits of the medical insurance policy should be given more priority than its premium.
If you have settled on a health insurance plan but still feel its cost is on the higher end, don’t hesitate to do a cost-benefit analysis before buying it.
You don’t wish to compromise on the service standards, do you? Then you shouldn’t mind paying a little extra premium if the features and benefits you receive are worthwhile.
- Learn what’s included and excluded
Did you know that pre-existing diseases are not covered in the initial years of the policy tenure? Also, a few medical procedures such as hernia treatment, cataract, etc. are excluded in the first years. They are likely to have waiting periods.
Similarly, there are many other things that are included and excluded from your health insurance policy.
Why face hassles at the time of claim? Hence, before choosing a policy, it’s always suggested to check the list of excluded diseases.
- Don’t ignore the sub-limit
One way an insurer tackles rising healthcare cost is by introducing sublimit clauses in the policy document.
Some of the most common sub-limits are usually on diagnostics, doctor’s fees, and room rent.
So for instance:
If you’re taking a plan for a sum insured of Rs. 2 lakh, the room rent limit could be capped to the extent of 1% - 1.5% of the sum assured or Rs. 2,000 whichever is higher.
If at all it exceeds the specific limit, then as the policyholder you would have to pay the balance amount. Now, would you want to be left shell-shocked at the time of claim? No right? Then it’s always better you learn about the sub-limit clause right in the beginning before buying the medical insurance policy.
- Keep a check on the renewal age
Some medical policies come with a renewal age of up to 70 – 80 years. It’s always suggested that you buy a health insurance plan keeping in mind the renewal age of the policy.
With old age, you become more prone to diseases. Simultaneously, even medical costs shoot up. That’s why it’s essential to have a good health insurance cover even later at an old age.
Just remember that certain insurers offer senior citizen plans with lifetime policy renewal. Here the entry age is 60 years. Hence, for non-senior citizens, it is advisable that you opt for a medical insurance policy that has lifetime renewal for you.
- Look out for co-payment
Don’t miss out on the co-payment option before buying a health insurance policy.
It’s the fixed percentage of the total bill which you have to pay if it all you make a health insurance claim. This percentage is already mentioned in the policy document. The clause is usually around 10% or 20% for such policies. In some policies, this could go as high as 40%.
Before you buy a medical policy, always try to identify and check all those diseases that are stated under the co-payment clause.
- Figure out a health insurance coverage that suits you
Would you ever buy an ill-fitting outfit for a party? Then why should you buy a health insurance plan that is not ideal for you.
With health insurance, the best thing is that you can choose a plan as per your requirement. If you are unmarried, you can take an individual policy. At a later stage, you could add new family members to the policy.
If you have a family comprising of your wife and kids, then opting for a family floater plan makes sense.
The cost of a family floater plan is decided on the basis of the oldest person’s age. Buying a policy with senior citizens in it would hike the prices.
That’s why it’s recommended to have separate senior citizen health insurance plan for your parents.
- Check the number of network hospitals in your area
Another great thing about health insurance is that you get the option for cashless hospitalization. Here you can get admitted and undergo the necessary treatment without paying the bills and then waiting for the insurance company to reimburse you. Instead, the insurer would directly settle the bills with the hospital.
However, for this you have to be hospitalized in a network hospital. So before buying a health insurance plan, check the insurer’s list of network hospitals that are present in your residential area. This would only help you avail the cashless hospitalization facility.
When it comes to critical illness insurance cover, anyone and everyone can opt for it. The policy covers life-threatening diseases. Make sure you check the list of critical illnesses in the policy wordings before you choose to purchase the policy.
- Critical Illness plans smart option for sensible individuals
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