Getting a health insurance policy is all well and good, but are you aware that every year you must renew your policy for it to remain valid? Check the renewal date and keep a reminder to pay the premium and renew the policy a few days before the due date.
If you fail to renew on time you may lose your continuation benefit and end up having to take a fresh policy. By paying the premium on time and renewing your health insurance policy by the due date you may be able to still claim benefits like lesser duration for the waiting periods to get over and the no-claim bonus.
You do have a grace period for a month to pay the renewal fee, but remember that you are not covered during this time for any health issues. The health insurance renewal date is also the time when you do updates on your policy
Points to Remember When Renewing Health Insurance Policy
Here we give 8 important points to remember before and during a renewal of your health insurance policy:
1. The Renewal Date
Note down the renewal date when you first receive the policy. Make reminders on your phone, diary, or your laptop of all your renewal dates.
You could lose the waiting period for pre-existing conditions or for some diseases by not renewing and allowing the policy to lapse after the grace period. You could lose coverage during the lapsed period.
2. Change in Number of Insureds (if required)
You can add or take out a family member to your policy. You may need to add a parent or child for tax benefit. These additions and updates can be done only at the time of health insurance renewal.
Many couples take separate policies for themselves and add their own parents or children for additional tax benefits. Study your health insurance policy to understand all the possibilities available to you on your policy
3. Add Top Up Plans
If you feel that your health insurance policy is inadequate, you may add a top-up plan to your policy at the time of renewal. You can also increase the coverage of your present policy to account for recent needs. Suppose you have health insurance for Rs. 1 lakh, you may increase the amount at the time of health insurance renewal.
You may need to take more medical tests and you may also have a waiting period before you can claim the increased amount.
4. Check for Any Change in Terms and Condition of the Policy
The IRDAI must accept any changes before your insurance company can implement them. The company is also obligated to let you know three months in advance. At the time of health insurance renewal, you may port your policy to another company or switch your health insurance policy to another plan if you do not accept the changes to the terms and conditions.
5. Analyze Your Health Insurance Requirement
Renewal is a good time to review your health insurance policy and make sure it covers your needs adequately. If not, you may make changes at the time of renewal. So take time before renewal to study and analyze your policy.
6. Increase Sum Assured If Needed
You can only increase the sum assured at the time of health insurance renewal, so plan accordingly. Remember that premium will also go up.
Suppose that you have the maximum allowed by that company but require more then you can ask for a top-up plan to make up for the shortage.
Remember that the top-up is also subject to the same rules and regulations of the insurance company.
7. Disclosure of Any New Illness to the Insurance Company
If you or a member of your family covered by the health insurance policy has a new disease or illness make sure you inform the insurance company of the same at the time of renewal.
Though the company may not increase premium according to IRDA, it is considered good faith to let them know of your new health conditions at the time of your health insurance renewal.
8. File the Receipt and Update Your Legal Heir for Renewal
Once you have made the renewal of your health insurance policy, make sure that your wife or other legal heir knows about the changes and updates you have made. Keep the receipt in a safe place that can be found when required by the family.
You may also want to make a copy of your receipt for your tax files. Keeping everything in order gives you and your loved one peace of mind during trying times.
Taking out a health insurance policy is a wise decision with the increase in medical costs today. But that is not the end of the story. You must make renewing health insurance policy by the due date, make sure it is adequate for hospitalization, make updates to it, and keep the policy alive in order for it to be useful to you and your family.