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The Know-Hows of Waiting Periods in Health Insurance

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4 Types of Waiting Periods in Health Insurance You Need to Know About

When you buy health insurance online, there is a certain amount of waiting period attached to it. What is this waiting period? It is a span of time before a select list of ailments start getting covered under your intended health policy.

Health Insurance Companies suffer a huge financial loss if the insured person raises a claim on unforeseen circumstances, immediately after the policy purchase. Hence, it is viable for insurance companies not to reimburse for immediate probable damages. Similarly, it’s only sensible to expect insurance companies to provide coverage for pre-existing ailments/medical conditions at the time of policy purchase. To avoid the occurrence of such downfall, insurance companies have established a waiting period.

Generally, there are four types of “waiting periods” that constitute any kind of health policy when you buy health insurance online.

  • Initial Waiting Period

The initial waiting period of a health insurance policy is of either 30 days or 90 days from the date of commencement of the insurance cover. Any treatments arising from a medical condition is not covered during this period. An exception is treatment for accidental injuries which requires a minimum of 24 hours of hospitalisation.

  • Pre-existing Waiting Period

When you buy a family health insurance, one member or more may be suffering from a certain medical ailment like diabetes or heart conditions at the time of buying the policy. Such medical conditions which you are already afflicted with at the time of purchase are referred to as pre-existing ailments. Since the nature of ailments is known, the insurance company negates any complications arising from these ailments for a certain period after you buy the policy. This waiting period ranges from 1 year to 4 years and changes from company to company. The time span depends on the type of medical ailment and the insurer you choose.

  • Ailment-Specific Waiting Period

Every insurance company maintains a list of specific medical ailments for which any kind of claim is not admissible during the first 1 or 2 years of coverage from the commencement of the policy period. The list of ailments varies from company to company and the details are mentioned in the Policy Wordings of the health insurance policy.

  • Maternity Benefits Waiting Period

A few health insurance companies also provide maternity benefits under the health insurance policy. This comes with a waiting period ranging from 9 months to 36 months.

Waiting period is a specific time span provided by insurance companies before availing the policy on medical ailments. It is important to know that this clause is helpful for insurance companies to avoid planned claims from policy holders.

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