How to Choose the Best Health Insurance Policy in India

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Whether you are young or old, married or single, with or without children, you absolutely must have a health insurance cover to protect you or your family from a financial crisis that occurs due to a medical emergency or a serious illness. 

Whatever plan you choose to have; make sure that it fits your unique requirements so you have a hassle-free experience when you file a medical claim and you are able to receive maximum value for your treatments.

The best health insurance plan is the one that gives you the best claim experience so to make your choice easier, let’s go through the major factors that you should consider for your specific needs:

Health Insurance Buying Basics

Health Insurance Buying Basics

  1. Understand your needs and analyze your requirements

Before taking a health insurance plan, it is important that you assess your needs and requirements.

  • How many people are there in your family? Are you married? Do you have growing children? Do you have parents that are dependent on you for their healthcare costs? If you have a family, you should consider purchasing a family floater plan while ensuring that it allows you to add or remove family members.
  • Another important consideration is your corporate policy.What happens to the policy when you change the job? Will you continue to enjoy the same health insurance benefits? Or will it be even lesser? If these 3 questions worry you then you clearly need to buy a health insurance policy on your own. Your individual policy will provide additional protection if your corporate policy is exhausted. And, if at any point, you feel that your health insurance policy may not be sufficient in the coming years due to the rising cost of healthcare then you can consider porting your plan to a better alternative or you can upgrade your own sum insured.
  1. Ensure how much cover you need

The factors that should help you determine your sum insured are: 

  • Age
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Ideally, your health condition depends more or less on your ageso it does not matter if you start with a small health insurance cover;the important thing is to start as early as possible. You can then increase the cover as your income increases. 

  • Income and Liability

Consider the basic healthcare needs of your family and accordingly purchase a health insurance policy thatfits your annual budget after taking all you loans, SIPs, and EMIs into account. You can then increase your cover as your cash flow increases. 

  • City

The city you stay in will impact the cost of your healthcare needs andthe premium of your healthcare policy will depend on the zone in which your city falls.So when you choose your plan, consider the medical history of your family, your lifestyle and the cost of hospitalisation in your city. You need to be careful not to be under-insured or over-insured. Striking the right balance is important here. 

Here are a few tips to ensure that you choose the right health insurance policy: 

  • Waiting Period
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Health insurance policies have a waiting period on pre-existing illnesses and specific diseases that have a high rate of occurrence. The waiting period ranges from 3 to 4 years depending on the policy. So, make sure you read the policy documents at the time of purchase and file a claim only after you serve the waiting period unless the ailment needs early treatment and you are fine with paying out of your own pocket. 

  • Capping on the Room Rent

Health insurance policies impose a cap on the room rent so when choosing the best health insurance policy, you should pick the one that specifies different room categories instead of a policy where the room rent is linked to the percentage of the total sum insured. This will ensure that you don’t have to pay out of your own pocket at the time of discharge.

  • Sub-limits

Heath insurance policies also impose sub-limits on certain medical treatments and procedures to cap their liability on common ailments. So when you choose your health insurance plan, consider your present medical conditions and the risk of specific medical ailments so you know that you will be able to pay for them if your policy imposes sub-limits on them.

  • Co-pay
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Most health insurance plans have a co-pay feature wherein you need to bear a certain cost of the treatment out of your own pocket. This co-payment may go up to 20% of the total medical expenses incurred. So, it is important that you are aware of your liability in advance.

Consider all these factors while analyzing your requirements and then choose a health insurance plan that meets your unique needs. And when you file a claim, make sure you consult an expert to avoid the possibility of claim denial and get the maximum sum insured.

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