Healthcare costs have increased due to medical inflation. An unexpected ailment may cause severe financial distress if you have not availed of a health insurance policy.
Benefits of a standard health policy
A health plan offers several advantages in addition to the coverage of hospitalization expenses. Some of these include:
- Cashless treatment within network hospitals
- Additional coverage through riders
- Tax benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961
- Health consultations from a panel of experienced doctors
- No-Claim Bonus (NCB)
- ‘Health returns’ for staying fit
Should you opt for the least expensive policy?
Many people do not buy health insurance plans, as they consider these unaffordable. Alternatively, they may opt for the cheapest plan to save on the premium. However, it may not always be the best option.
In addition to the premium, you need to consider various aspects while choosing health insurance:
- Inclusions and exclusions to determine what is covered to avoid surprises in time of need
- Network of hospitals across the country
- Claim settlement ratio to ensure your claim is settled on time
- Lifetime renewability
- Capping on certain expenses like room rent
- Preventive health check-ups
- Waiting period for pre-existing diseases (PEDs)
Important factors that you must not compromise on
- Sum insured (SI)
A lower SI will decrease the medical insurance premium; however, it may not cover the actual expenses in case of an emergency. You must keep your current health condition and inflation in mind to calculate the appropriate SI. If you wish to procure higher coverage without paying too much premium, opt for a top-up plan, which provides the monetary benefits after the SI under your basic plan gets exhausted.
- Claim settlement ratio
This ratio is calculated as the total claims settled in comparison to the total number of claims received by the insurer during the same period. Select an insurer with a higher ratio, as it reduces the possibility of your claim being rejected in the future.
- Lifetime renewability
When you compare health insurance policies offered by different insurers, this is an important aspect to remember. Lifetime renewability ensures you are adequately covered when you are older, when there is a higher probability of requiring medical insurance coverage due to deteriorating health condition.
Insurers offer different types of plans, such as individual policies, family floater plans, critical illness policies, and many more. It is advisable that you understand these different types of mediclaim policies along with their features, benefits, inclusions, and exclusions to pick the most appropriate plan as per your requirements.