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Health Insurance: 5 Things to Know Before Buying Your Next Policy

Medical inflation should be taken into account when planning for your future and next policy.(Image Credit: Shutter Sock)

Medical inflation should be taken into account when planning for your future and next policy.(Image Credit: Shutter Sock)

Check which insurance policy has tie-ups with the greatest number of major hospitals across the city and in your immediate vicinity, so you have better coverage

If the after-effects of the pandemic have taught us anything, it is that health insurance is crucial. In a time when financial liabilities are a near certainty and the impacts they can have on our day-to-day lives as well as the lives of our family, it is important that you consider health insurance. Before diving in and signing up for the first insurance policy you find, take a moment to consider a few important factors that can help you make the most of said policy. The entire concept of health insurance is to provide you and your loved ones with a financial safety net in the event of a medical emergency. It is, therefore, crucial to choose the right policy with the right benefits for you. Having said that, here are five things you need to check before buying health insurance.

Top 5 Things to Consider Before Buying Health Insurance

1) Medical Inflation

What might seem like a hefty insurance bar now, say Rs 5 lakh or Rs 10 lakh, may become a very nominal amount a decade down the road. You need to account for the medical inflation that takes place or would likely take place in the near future, seeing as how the prices today are sky-high compared to what they might have been 20 years ago. Planning for your future means you need to fully consider all the possibilities, of which, running short on your coverage, is a very real possibility. It is for this reason you should potentially opt for a combination of premium and sum insured. If you choose a policy with a very large sum it may lead to high premiums as well, so that is a double-edged sword.

2) The Type of Health Insurance

There are two broad categories when it comes to health insurance, an individual health policy and a family floater policy. These are, as the name suggests, for a single person, it can be for yourself or an individual family member. A family floater on the other hand covers the entire family unit under a single plan. So, decide which kind of plan strikes the top of the priority list and opt for that one first. Keep in mind that an individual policy can be customised based on said individual’s pre-existing conditions and needs.

3) Cashless Claim Facility

Usually, when one is hospitalised or seeking treatment for an ailment with the aid of an insurance policy, that bill payment is handled directly between the insurance company and the hospital. However, the hospital of your choice may not always have a tie-up with the insurance policy you want. Therefore, you need to check which insurance policy has tie-ups with the greatest number of major hospitals across the city and in your immediate vicinity.

4) Limits on Treatment and Co-Payment

To save the most you can, and to spare yourself of the headache, choose a policy that does not have a co-payment scheme. Try to avoid it as best you can, because in such a policy, other than paying premiums and policy amount you will also mandatorily be required to pay a certain percentage of your medical bill, despite coverage. You should also make sure that the limits on treatment have a decently high cap-off, especially in the event of a major surgery where you might exceed the expected bill amount. Otherwise, the extra payment will be out of your pocket and that defeats the purpose of an insurance policy.

5) Reputation of the Insurer

Look at the brand reputation, the claim settlement figures and the customer service they offer. Make sure that they have a relatively high claim settlement rate so that you will also be able to claim your coverage. In such a case, it could even be a good thing to go for a higher premium if you know it can be claimed when you need it most.

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first published:July 26, 2021, 16:24 IST