Buying a health insurance policy in today’s times is not just beneficial, but also necessary. It is a great way of protecting you and your family from the risk of rising medical expenses and healthcare costs. But an insurance policy can only prove helpful if you buy the right plan that provides adequate coverage and covers those risks that you are most likely to face. If the coverage falls short at critical times of your life, then the whole purpose of insurance fails.
Therefore, keep in mind certain factors before you choose any health insurance policy to make sure that you are buying what you actually need. Mentioned below are some of the things to consider before buying health insurance:
The possibility of illnesses and morbidities go up as your age increases. The older you are, the higher the chance of you making a claim to the insurance company, and even a greater chance of you needing a higher sum insured.
Therefore, when you buy a health insurance policy, take into account your age and then assess the right sum insured amount for your policy. Do remember that higher the sum insured, higher the premium amount that you would have to pay towards the policy. Also, age is one of the key factors that decide health insurance premium, with a 40-year-old paying a higher premium than a 25-year-old for the same policy. So, it is important to start early and buy a policy with a sum insured that stays relevant over the years.
Personal health history
Family medical history and personal health history are some of the most important things to consider while buying health insurance. You should always be aware of the kind of risks you may face later in life and buy a cover accordingly.
Insurers also usually make medical check-ups mandatory for customers in order to detect any pre-existing medical conditions before issuing health insurance policies. Buying a cover that would not protect you against genetic diseases or existing illnesses would make that policy redundant for you.
Whether you want to buy an individual health plan or a family floater plan is one of the other major points to consider before buying health insurance. 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. So, keep that factor in mind before choosing a health plan.
Balancing corporate policy and personal policy
If you are a salaried employee, you might already have a group health insurance policy offered by your employer. Check the exact benefits of that group health policy and buy a personal policy that fills the gap of the former. For instance, most group health policies do not offer adequate coverage in terms of sum insured. So, you can buy a personal health policy whose sum insured when added to the sum insured of your group policy turns out to be sufficient for you and your family.
Always check the network hospitals of the insurer before you zero in on a policy and see whether they are in your reach comfortably or not. It is important because you can avail cashless facilities only at the network hospitals. Cashless facility allows policyholders to get hospitalised, get their treatment done and then get discharged without having to pay any money at the hospital. The insurer takes care of the entire admissible amount for the medical expenses incurred subject to the sum insured and pays it to the network hospital directly. This saves you a lot of time and effort and makes claim settlement extremely easy and smooth.
Claim settlement ratio
Claim settlement ratio is one of the important points to consider while buying health insurance. It is the ratio of the total number of claims approved compared with the total number of claims received by the insurer. Basically, it indicates the positive probability of your claim being settled by the insurance provider.
It is better not to choose an insurer with a low claim settlement ratio as it would mean higher risk of your claim getting rejected. You can use the data provided by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India on claim settlement ratio to determine the credibility of the health insurer.
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.