10 Smart Things to Compare before you Buy Health Insurance in India
Cases of lifestyle-related and chronic diseases are increasing in the country. This is an alarming situation. And this realization is pushing a lot of people to invest in health insurance products to safeguard self and family against such medical emergencies that can drain out your hard-earned money.
But the sheer multiplicity of health insurance products available at one’s disposal can boggle even the most seasoned of souls. At the face of it, almost all health insurance products appear to be rewarding and beneficial, but remember, not everything that glitters are gold. So how would you choose the best health insurance plan from the virtual ocean of such products that are available dime a dozen in the market.
The answer is simpler than you would have imagined. You’ll need to smartly carefully mull over and factor in some important aspects to zero in on the best health insurance policy. In the post, we will reveal 10 smart things that you must carefully consider before you jump into action, compare health insurance policies and buy the one that just gives you low premium rate.
So, let’s dig right in!
- Basic Product is the Best Option
A wide range of health insurance policies in the country offer a range of frills to tempt more and more consumers to invest their hard-earned money into them. But are they all good? The answer is a resounding NO! In addition, most unnecessarily frill-filled health insurance policies aren’t affordable and can easily make a dent in your savings. It makes sense not to fall flat for such fancy health insurance policies. Be heedful of checking out the coverage provided by the policies. Check to see if it provides a comprehensive cover to you as well as your loved ones.
- Low Premium Don’t Make Good Policies
This is perhaps one mistake many people make when looking out for health insurance policies for safety against medical emergencies. Here it is important to remember that everything that comes cheap isn’t necessarily a great product. So, don’t fall flat for low premium rates and be heedful of comparing different features, benefits and coverage options when finalizing a health insurance product. Read out the policy documents to check the inclusions and exclusions of the policy. Don’t forget to check the reviews and testimonials of people who are using the intended health insurance product. If you still feel confused, do well to take an unbiased advice from a health insurance advisor.
- Select the Policy with Maximum Renewal Age
Renewal age is yet another important that criteria that you must factor in when buying health insurance policies. If you’re buying a policy that will eventually cease renewals, you’ll be at a great loss. Remember, you invest money in health insurance plans to safeguard self and loved ones from medical emergencies, till the time you’re alive. Carefully compare health insurance products to see which one of the policies offer the maximum renewal age. Even better, go for health insurance policies that offer lifetime renewability. Remember, the best health insurance product is the one that works the best when you need it the most. There are a lot of health insurers that now offer lifetime renewability in their products. Star Health Insurance is a great example. Most HDFC ergo health insurance policies come packed with the benefit of lifetime renewability.
- Check out Limits & Copay
When zeroing in on a health insurance policy in India, you must remain careful of checking out the limits or restrictions stipulated on treatment and the copay options. This is important because such limits cap your claim, which may eventually make a dent in your savings, especially when you have a large sum assured. In case you’re wondering what is copay, here’s a quick definition for you- “Copay is the share of claim that you would need to pay from your own pocket.” The bottom line is to understand what you are not going to get in your policy so that you stay prepared with a plan B.
- Compare Restrictions on Cash limits
Many health insurance policies offer the option of daily cash benefit for a fixed number of days when you’re hospitalized. Most health insurers give you a fixed daily cash allowance, irrespective of the actual amount that you’re incurring. Most experts suggest avoiding these health insurance products. Instead, they advise you to spend your money in standard health insurance products. If you’re looking to avail the daily cash benefit, you may easily avail it as an add-on cover.
- Don’t Forget to Check the Sum Insured
Sum assured is referred to as the total annual liability covered by the policy. Since you’re going to buy health insurance products for your lifetime, it makes sense to look for maximum cover that you can easily afford. Though you may choose to upgrade your coverage later in your life, when you grow old, it may be subject to a medical test. In most cases, upgrading the cover or sum assured is almost like buying a new health insurance policy. Add to it the inconvenience of medical screening and complexity of paper work. So, be prepared right from the outset and go for a highest cover affordable.
- Look out for Premiums Change Clause
You’ll be surprised to know that premium in health insurance increases with your growing age. As soon as you reach the age of 45 years, most health insurance companies will increase your premium dramatically. In some cases, the quantum of premium increase is in the tunes of 50%. Now, this is huge. And that’s why it makes sense to factor in this aspect before spending in health insurance coverage for self and loved ones. Enquire in advance about the premium increase when you retire. Double check if your premium will remain affordable when you grow old and retire. This well help you stay prepared.
- Look for Insurers’ Credibility
Don’t just go about investing money in a health insurance policy because someone is asking you to do so. Be mindful of checking out your intended insurers’ credibility and history. Look for testimonials and find out their incurred claim ratio. Read about their claim procedure and ensure that the claim procedure isn’t complicated. Also, read testimonials to find out how responsive they are to customer complaints. See if there have many changes in the products launched earlier. If there are many changes, you’ll get to know that there are chances that the insurer will make many changes it its product going forward too.
- Senior Citizen Benefits & Restrictions
Many insurance seekers make the mistake of not checking the fact if their intended insurance policies cover their elderly parents or not. Though there are no perfect products available for senior citizens, you may find several products that provide of restrictive benefits. Look for a policy that offers best coverage and features least number of exclusions and other restrictions.
- Don’t Forget to Compare, Buy & Save
Last but certainly not the least; spend good time comparing the different health insurance products for their features, benefits, inclusions and exclusions. Once you can zero in on some of the best health insurance policies, consider half the battle is won. Now all you will need to do is to check out their reviews, customer testimonials, terms and conditions. Smartly compare all these aspects and you’ll find the best health insurance for self and family.