How Can I Choose The Best Health Insurance Plan & Why Is It Important?
We live in uncertain times. Illnesses and medical problems can crop up anytime, striking older people, healthy people and even kids without warning. This is why health insurance is so important: no one can afford not to have it! If you think that mediclaim or health insurance plans and premiums are expensive, think of how expensive an unexpected illness with extended hospital stays, costly surgeries and long term care and medications can be! There is no one best health insurance plan in India; rather there are a range of excellent customizable options available.
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To choose the best health insurance plan in India, keep the following in mind:
This is important to consider when deciding whether to opt for an individual or family floater policy. Unless one is single without immediate family and no foreseeable plans to marry, a family floater plan that covers the entire family under one policy premium is advisable.
Amount of mediclaim coverage
According to experts, health insurance plans offering protection up to Rs 5 lakh is sufficient for most requirements. However, in some metros where cost of living and medical expenses are higher it may be advisable to increase the cover amount.
Perfect Age to buy health insurance plans
It is always best to buy health insurance plan early in life. Not only you are likely to get the best coverage, premiums will be lower too. Besides it is important to remember that disease can strike at any age, so it is best to be prepared for any eventuality.
Usually, health policies require waiting period of between 1 and 4 years before the insurance company entertains any claims for pre-existing diseases (medical conditions which are already diagnosed at the time of policy purchase). Some policies however cover pre-existing illnesses from day 1 of the policy. This is important to keep in mind while choosing health insurance plans, if the policy buyer or anyone in their family has pre-existing illnesses.
A mediclaim policy is highly customisable with the help of the riders you choose. Give careful thought to the riders you opt for: critical illnesses cover, maternity cover, personal accidental cover, hospital cash, day care procedures, home care cover, etc. Choose the most useful riders depending upon your age and that of your family members, family health history, lifestyle and the nature of your job. The type and number of riders you opt for will increase the premiums you will pay but this also makes coverage more comprehensive.
The best health plans are those that have few or no sub-limits (such as room rent cap, cap on surgical expenses, specialist charges, medications etc). This is important to consider so that you are not constrained to share a hospital room or make do with a lower quality hospital room. Remember, when illness strikes, you are already stressed and worried. At such a time, you do not want to be further burdened by discomfort and inconvenience.
The best health insurance plan can be chosen based on the service provider with the biggest hospital networks. Each health insurance provider has tie-ups with a number of hospitals and diagnostic centers where the policyholder can make cashless claims. A larger hospital network is important because it widens your options and eases hospital admission processes at a time when you don’t want to have to worry about obtaining cash.
Exclusions, fine print
Health insurance plans typically have a large number of exclusions which are very important to know about. The policyholder should know exactly which illnesses and treatments are covered and what are expressly excluded (typically critical illness, daycare procedures, maternity cover, etc). It is very important to read the policy fine print so that the insurance company has no reason to reject a valid claim.
Ensure that you read company reviews to know about claim settlement ratios and after sales service offered by company representatives. Do your research, read various policy documents to choose the best health insurance plan in India or rather choose the health plan that works best for you!