Health Insurance: 5 things to look at while choosing the right policy
16 Feb 2019
There are many health insurance policies available in the market. Here are a few things you should consider while choosing the right policy for you.
It’s important to ascertain the size of the health insurance cover you need basis the city you reside in, the ailments you may be prone to and your family history.
Rising healthcare costs have made it essential to include a health insurance policy in the financial portfolio. The expenses otherwise could result in depletion of savings to a large extent. Health insurance can cover both you and your family from high inflation in the healthcare sector. However, there are many policies with different features available in the market. A few elements you might want to factor in to choose the right health insurance policy for you are mentioned below:
Check the claim settlement ratio
As the name suggests, ‘Claim settlement ratio’ refers to the ratio of the claims paid out, to the total number of claims requested in a particular policy year. This can always give you an idea of what your chances are of getting a claim settled during a medical emergency. Nobody wants a rude surprise at a time of crisis. Look for insurers that have a claim settlement ratio of 90% at least.
The extent of the cover you need
It’s important to ascertain the size of the health insurance cover you need basis the city you reside in, the ailments you may be prone to and your family history. Also factor in inflation when you do the math. With age, your need for healthcare and chances of getting hospitalized increase and the insurance premium increases simultaneously. In fact, after a certain age you may need to undergo medical tests to avail a substantial insurance cover. Opt for an adequate cover in the first instance so you don’t need to raise the cover frequently.
Individual Vs family floater
Family floater policies cover the entire family with a single limit that can be utilised by anyone in the family. A family floater covers your spouse, parents and dependent children under the age of 25 years.
You need to make your pick basis your needs. For example, if your parents are senior citizens, keep them under a separate insurance because of the age and the risk element involved. On the other hand, if you get a separate cover for each one in the family, it may cost you more than what a floater would cost.
Pre-existing ailments and the waiting period involved
All health insurance companies cover pre-existing illnesses but there’s a wait time involved which varies from 36 months to 48 months, depending on the company’s terms and condition. So, look out for a policy that allows a shorter waiting period on pre-existing ailments. Another thing to keep in mind here is the need to make an accurate disclosure of your pre-existing ailments at the time of purchase of health insurance. Any inaccurate information can lead to rejection of claims.
Compare the plans carefully
Before you make your pick, look at a range of products and compare in terms of the features mentioned above. Once you are down to 2 to 3 probable health policies, compare in terms of the inclusions and exclusions associated. Some other features that you can consider include maximum renewal age, sub-limits on expenses, hospitals in a network, add-ons and riders such as critical illness and accidental rider, no claim bonus benefit, etc. Do not base your choices on low premium but fewer terms and conditions associated with a plan.
(Disclaimer: These are the author’s views. Readers are advised to consult their financial advisor before buying any plan)