A health insurance policy has become a part and parcel of our financial planning process. Whether we have a small investment portfolio or a big and diverse portfolio, it is recommended to include a health insurance plan in that portfolio. Why? Because of the innumerable benefits which a health insurance plan bestows on us. By providing protection and compensation against the medical bills, a health insurance policy helps us safeguard our savings and use them to meet our investment goals. So, a health insurance plan is an important tool against our medical expenses which have become more frequent.
The insurance market has undergone many changes and today, it is flooded with many companies offering their products both in the life insurance sector and the general insurance sector. Health insurance is a part of the general insurance sector even though many life insurance companies are also offering health insurance plans. So, when you set out to buy a health insurance plan, you have myriad range of choices and for a common average investor, these choices create a dilemma. How can we, in such a situation, buy the best health insurance plan for our needs?
The answer is through comparing. One must always buy a health insurance policy only after comparing between the available policies in the market. Gone are the days when the policies were sold only through the agents and your only consideration was the premium which the policy sold by your agent charged. With a host of health insurance plans available in the market today, there is no dearth of choices and you can buy any plan in the market if you compare between the available plans. Though buying a plan from the agent looks easy, it is not always prudent and one should always make a health insurance comparison between different plans. Here are some points which depict why health insurance comparison is a very important and a beneficial tool –
• Comparison enables an exhaustive coverage –every health insurance plan is different in terms of the coverage extended. While some coverage options are universally common, there are other features which vary from plan to plan. When you compare between different types of plans, you can ascertain the coverage which each plan offers and choose the plan which offers an exhaustive coverage.
• Comparison ensures suitability of the plan – the health insurance plan which is being sold by your agent might not be completely suitable for your requirements. Agents are representatives of only one insurance company and are authorized to sell the plans of the company they represent. The coverage feature of such plans is case relevant. Any extra coverage you seek might result in additional premium while in other plans, such coverage can be inbuilt. Thus, when you shop around and compare between the different health insurance plans, you can choose the plan which offers a cover more suited to your requirements.
• Comparison results in lower premium rates – different health insurance plans have different premium rates. The premium rates depend on your age, the coverage features promised by the plan and the company’s pricing principles. Two different plans offering more or less the same coverage can be differently priced and such difference can be ascertained only through health insurance comparison. Thus, health insurance comparison helps you in finding the best plan at the lowest possible premium rate.
So, you know that health insurance comparison is beneficial and works wonders in buying a health insurance plan. Having an exhaustive coverage which is suitable to your requirements and that too at the best possible price – isn’t this something all of us want? And to achieve our desires, we should compare health insurance plans available in the market. Only then we would be able to fulfil our desires.
So, health insurance comparison is required. But, do you know how to compare best medical insurance or what parameters should a health insurance plan be compared on? No? Let he help you.
Here are some important parameters which you should judge when you are making a comparison of health insurance plans. So, read on –
• The plan coverage – the first point of consideration which also forms the first parameter of judgement is the list of coverage options which the plans provide. Some coverage options are commonly found in all health insurance plans which include hospitalization expenses, pre hospitalization and also post hospitalization expenses, expenses for ambulance, day care treatments and their expenses, etc. These coverage options are found in all plans. However, there might be a difference in the extent and limitation of such coverage options between plans. Moreover, some coverage options are plan-specific and might be included in some plans or excluded from others. For instance, maternity cover, OPD cover, organ donor expenses, dental treatments and related expenses, expenses on AYUSH treatments, etc. are covers which are not found universally. So, when you are comparing the health plans, consider the plan’s coverage feature. Look for coverage options which you require and whether the plan includes the coverage or not. Based on the coverage primarily should your choice of the best health insurance plans be.
• List of exclusions – the health insurance plan which is being sold by your agent might not be completely suitable for your requirements. Agents are representatives of only one insurance company and are authorized to sell the plans of the company they represent. The coverage feature of such plans is case relevant. Any extra coverage you seek might result in additional premium while in other plans, such coverage can be inbuilt. Thus, when you shop around and compare between the different health insurance plans, you can choose the plan which offers a cover more suited to your requirements.
• Limits and sub - limits on coverage options – the expenses which are covered by a health insurance policy might have a maximum limit or sub-limit. For instance, ambulance costs are always covered up to a certain limit. There are also limits on the number of days covered under pre and post hospitalization. Under the hospitalization expenses, some plans impose a sub-limit on room rent and ICU room rent. Day care treatments, though covered, have a limit on the number of treatments covered. Thus, coverage features of a health plan have limits and when comparing plans, one should heed such limits and choose the plan with the highest allowable limits.
• Waiting period – the concept of waiting periods is applicable in case of pre-existing ailments which are diseases and ailments that the insured is already suffering from at the time of buying the health insurance plan. Such pre-existing illnesses are excluded from the plan’s coverage up to a certain time period. This time period is called a waiting period. Every mediclaim plan has a waiting period. The only difference is the duration of this waiting period. The waiting period usually ranges from 1 year to 4 years and a plan with the lowest waiting period is better for you since you would be able to get coverage for your pre-existing illnesses sooner. Thus the best mediclaim policy should have the lowest waiting period.
• Claim settlement procedure – the health insurance plan which is being sold by your agent might not be completely suitable for your requirements. Agents are representatives of only one insurance company and are authorized to sell the plans of the company they represent. The coverage feature of such plans is case relevant. Any extra coverage you seek might result in additional premium while in other plans, such coverage can be inbuilt. Thus, when you shop around and compare between the different health insurance plans, you can choose the plan which offers a cover more suited to your requirements.
• Claims Settlement Ratio (CSR) – this ratio indicates the claim settling history of the insurance company. The ratio is measured as the proportion of claims settled by the insurer against the total claims raised. Higher the ratio better are your chances of getting the claim settled. So, compare this ratio when you compare health insurance plans.
• Network hospitals – for availing cashless claims, you should take treatments in a network hospital which is in tie-up with the insurer to offer cashless treatment facility. The list of network hospitals should be compared to know the list of hospitals which are enlisted with the insurer and whether such hospitals are preferable to you or not.
• Discounts in premiums – health plans have added a discount feature in their benefit structure to attract customers. Some plans give discounts if you add your family members to the plan coverage while some give discounts for buying the plan online. There is also the No Claim Bonus feature which either increases subsequent premiums or allows gift vouchers. Whatever be the nature of the discount, the discount rate should be compared to avail the best health insurance plans.
These are the basic ways in which you can compare best medical insurance. So, before buying carry out a health insurance comparison between the plans and find the best health insurance in India.
Insurance has come to become one of the most popular service sectors as on date. Out of the various policies that come under the insurance arena, one such policy that has been welcomed with open arms by a good number of people out there is definitely a health insurance policy. Health happens to be one of the most unpredictable parameters associated with human life, which is exactly why covering the same becomes a must. If you are looking forward to invest in a health insurance policy, then in that case you will be taken aback by the wide range of options that are made available in the market in terms of both insurance service providers as well as policy design in general. However, all said and done, it is absolutely crucial to select just the right health insurance policy. Today, we will be discussing some basic tips that can assist you in evaluating and buying the right health insurance policy.
The ever rising cost of medical care is becoming the biggest problem in India today. Treatment for a serious illness in a private hospital can wipe out ones entire life’s earnings in one go. Everyone definitely needs Medical or health insurance coverage to tackle this situation. The awareness on Medical or Health insurance is relatively very low in India. Even well educated people some times ignore the necessity of having a proper health insurance cover. A health insurance policy covers expenses incurred during hospitalization, doctors fees, medicine, treatment etc. but also reimburses the expenses after hospitalisation. This may include money spent for conducting medical tests and buying medicines. The expenses covered is to the extent of the sum insured of the policy you have taken.
So long as you pay your premium regularly the insurance company will take care of your medical expenses. Cover extends to pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation for periods of 30 days and 60 days respectively. Domiciliary hospitalisation is also covered. It is crucial for you to read the fine print before taking any health insurance policy. Various clauses relating to pre-existing illness and claims have to be thoroughly looked into to avoid disappointment later.
As soon as you decide to invest in a health insurance policy, make it a point to carry out a comparative study between the various insurance service providers that are known to deal with health insurance policies in general. This particular comparative study will help you to rate these different insurance service providers over a number of diverse attributes. If this is done, you will be in a position to shortlist a better than the best health insurance service provider, which can eventually be considered as your first step towards apt evaluation of your health insurance policy.
Yet another approach towards bang on evaluation and purchase of health insurance policy is to figure out your individual needs and requirements with respect to health insurance coverage. If this is done, you will be able to find answers to some important questions such as the amount of control that you would like to exercise on your medical resources, the premium amount that you are willing to pay as well as the primary reason for which you are seeking a health insurance cover. Finally, on the basis of these answers you will be able to settle down for a spot on health insurance policy.
Yet another way out as far as evaluation and purchase of health insurance policy is concerned is to go ahead and seek expert advice. As the name suggests there are a number of experts who are largely active in the insurance industry, well-versed with the different policies and are so also known to be capable of linking individual preferences with different policy designs. Moreover, the good news here is that you can now go ahead and opt for free expert advice, which eventually means getting your work done without even shelling out a single penny.
There are two types of Health Insurance or Medical Insurance Policies Available.
Cash Back(Reimbursement) or Cash Less :
In a Cash Back( reimbursement) Plan the medical expenses or hospitalisation charges are paid after you submit the required bills and documents to the insurance company subject to a prescribed ceiling. The second is the cash Less. The health insurance contracts marketed by general insurance companies suffer from one serious drawback. The contracts are renewable every year and the insurer has the right to refuse renewal. It is always advisable not to claim a small amount from the insurance company. This will entitle you for a no-claim bonus.
Benefits of Taking a Health Insurance or Medical Insurance Policy:
The mounting cost of doctors’ fees, medicine and hospitalization charges can misbalance your financial situation.By taking a health insurance policy a person can safeguard himself and his family from the burden of high cost of treatment and medical bills. In case of a sudden illness or accident, the health insurance policy takes care of the hospitalization, medical and other costs incurred. If you start young the premiums will be lower. It reimburses the medical expenses.
Additional Benefit – Tax Saving :
The premium paid up to a maximum of Rs.15,000 is exempt from income tax. A patient can be treated at home when he is not in a condition to be moved to the hospital.