One of the wisest decisions that you have taken is to buy a health insurance policy for you and your family members. Now the next wise thing to do is take care of certain factors before you zero down on the right plan that brings maximum benefits to you when you need them the most. Health insurance plans are unlike buying an airline ticket where only the price matters. There are lot of features to look into before you take the crucial decision.
Checklist for Buying Health Insurance in India
Listed here, are some of the most important points to be taken into consideration:
1) The Right Amount
There is no fixed amount as everyone’s needs and priorities are different. However, the basic idea is to be aware of medical costs in the city you’re living in and in general. It is imperative to cover hospitalization expenses as well as expenses to cover critical illnesses, surgeries and adequate medical treatment in and out of the hospital. Accordingly, a health cover should be bought.
2) Cashless Health Cover
This is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying health insurance in India. Not everyone has an access to instant cash all of the times. At the time of medical emergencies, cashless medical cover helps to get treatment started while you can arrange finances at your own convenience.
3) Age Criteria
We need medical care the most in our old age. Therefore, select the policies that not only cover you for the golden years of life, but also give you an option of lifetime renewability and not restricted renewability.
4) Sub Limits
Sub-limits is a clause set by the insurance provider wherein there is a limit fixed to medical expenses in the hospital like the room rate, cost of surgery etc. Any expense over sub limit will have to be borne by you. So be careful and select health insurance plans with adequate sub limits.
5) Waiting Periods and Exclusions
Waiting period normally averages between few months to a couple of years, depending on company to company. Select the company that offers least waiting periods so that you can have access to the benefits of the policy as soon as possible. Also, don’t select an insurance provider that has too many diseases excluded from their coverage plans.
6) Pre-existing Diseases and Critical Illness Cover
Always go for the policies that offer to cover maximum pre-existing diseases, so that any complications arising due to pre-existing diseases are also covered. Additionally, get as many critical illnesses covered as possible because their treatment costs can put a big hole in your pocket. The best health insurance plans will definitely give you benefits on these lines as suggested here.
7) No Claim Bonuses
Most insurance companies offer to increase your cover at no extra cost if you haven’t filed for any claims in a financial year or they offer discounts on your premium keeping the cover amount same. Find out about such plans and then make the decision.
8) Company Background
It is very important to check insurance company’s background and their claim settlement ratio and the back-office operations to enjoy a smooth relationship with them.
9) Network Hospitals
This is yet another important point to be considered as the network hospitals associated with your insurance provider shall be near your place of residence in case of emergencies. Otherwise, getting cashless treatment might become difficult.
10) Start Early
It is advisable to buy a plan as early in your life as possible to get maximum benefits. Also, even if your employer has given you a medical cover, you do need to have one of your own for maximum coverage.
Keep these points in mind and you will end up buying the best health insurance that will prove to be of great benefit to you and your family. Be careful, be wise!