How to Reduce Health Insurance Premiums?
Who doesn’t want the best health insurance coverage for their family? If given a choice, everybody would ask for higher sum insured, coverage of all major diseases, inclusion of all the family members in the policy, etc. But affordability plays a great role when it comes to buying a health insurance policy. You have to keep in mind the maximum amount of premium you can pay every year and then pick the best possible health plan for that price.
If you want to get more benefits for a lower price, there are certain tips and tricks you can employ to reduce your annual premium outgo. This would not just help you save money, but would also get you added advantages. So, here are some advice on how to lower health insurance premiums:
Buy health insurance at a younger age
Starting out early is a sure shot way of getting health insurance at a lower premium. Insurers demand less premium from younger people as the chances of them raising a claim due to illnesses are low with no threat of pre-existing diseases. As you keep getting older, your premium for the same coverage would increase.
Buy top-up plans
Instead of raising your sum insured straight away (which will increase your premium as well), you can boost your medical coverage by choosing top-up plans for specific benefits. Top-up plans are available at an attractive price and can allow you to raise a higher claim than the pre-decided sum insured limit.
Opt for deductibles/co-payment
Opting for the deductibles or co-payment option can significantly reduce your health insurance premiums as you agree to share some of the financial burden of your health expenses with the insurer.
For those unaware, opting for a co-payment option means that while raising a claim, you bear a fixed portion of your healthcare-related expenses (10% of the total claim, for example) while the rest will be taken care of by your insurer. Deductibles, meanwhile, refer to a fixed sum of money that you have to pay (say Rs 10,000) before your insurance policy starts paying for your medical treatment.
Buy a health policy online
Insurers sometimes offer a 10-15% discount if you buy a health insurance policy online as there are no middlemen or agents involved. This leads to the insurance provider saving on commission costs, the benefit of which it can transfer to its customers. Selling health plans online also involves lower administrative costs, which helps in pricing these policies better.
Choose a family floater plan
Family floater plans are those health policies which cover the entire family under one safety net. This means that the sum insured amount can be used to cover the treatment cost of any immediate family member named in the policy. It can include your spouse, children or parents. Buying family floater policies can prove to be cheaper than buying individual policies for each member. Choosing a family floater plan is also a smarter thing to do if you think that chances of all your family members needing hospitalisation in the same year are less.
Use your no-claim bonus
Most of the health insurers offer no-claim bonus (NCB) as a reward for not raising any claim on your health insurance policy in the previous year. The NCB can be in the form of either a discount on your next premium or an increase in the sum insured amount of your policy. If you accumulate your NCB by not making any claims year after year, you can decrease your premium amount by up to 50% or else you can increase your sum insured by 50-100% without changing your premium amount. So, make sure you check for the NCB benefit before buying a health insurance policy.
Buy a long-term policy
Some insurers offer health insurance policies with multi-year payment options. In other words, the policy term of these long-term plans is 2-3 years instead of the 1-year term offered by traditional health plans. So, you pay the premium amount once in 2-3 years rather than paying annual premiums.
The benefit of opting for a longer tenure policy is that you get some discount on the premium amount (5-15% depending on the insurer) as you enter into a long-term arrangement with your insurer.
Balance your corporate policy and personal policy
Most salaried individuals are offered health insurance benefits by their employers through a group health insurance policy. While companies do bear the premium of these plans, leaving the employees tension-free, the coverage offered by them may not be sufficient.
So, if you buy a personal health policy to complement your group insurance policy, just fill the gaps and pick those benefits that are not offered by your other policy. This way you can enjoy maximum coverage at the best possible price.
Conclusion: If you are seriously thinking on how to reduce health insurance premiums, you should follow the above advice instead of compromising on your sum insured or coverage. Given the fact that the medical inflation is on a rise, choosing a plan with lower sum insured to reduce your premium cost today can prove to be an expensive deal tomorrow when your policy fails in covering your expenses.
Disclaimer: The above information is indicative in nature. For more details on the risk factor, terms and conditions, please refer to the Sales Brochure and Policy Wordings carefully before concluding a sale.