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Do's and Don'ts Before Buying Health Insurance Plans

When you apply for a health insurance policy, there are certain do's and don'ts that you must follow to ensure that you make the most of it. Read more to know about the guidelines before buying health insurance plans in India.

Rising inflation has affected all aspects of modern life, and healthcare is no exception. Nowadays, hospitalisation expenses following an injury or illness can make quite a dent in one's savings. It is in light of this fact that health insurance has become a requirement instead of being just an option. However, health insurance, like any other type of insurance, involves payment of regular premiums, which becomes an added expense in one’s budget. However, without a suitable health insurance policy, a medical emergency will leave you financially ruined. With a comprehensive health insurance policy, you can bear these expenses to some extent. The reason you need health insurance is quite evident once you consider the following:

  • It protects and prepares you to face any medical emergency requiring huge expenses.
  • A health insurance policy pays expensive medical bills on your behalf.
  • The premiums on health insurance plans depend on the type of cover you choose.
  • Most health insurance companies offer simple and quick claim settlement process.
  • Fewer chances of your health insurance claim being rejected with a trusted insurer.

With the health insurance market flooded with so many plans, purchasing a suitable health insurance policy can be tricky. Considering that health insurance doesn’t come for free, it is advisable to be aware of things involved while buying health insurance plans. To help you make an informed decision here's a list of a few do's and don'ts to consider before buying health insurance plans in India.

The Do’s

Understand your needs

Health insurance is not something that is one size fits all. Therefore, the first step in buying health insurance plans is to understand your insurance needs. Your health insurance needs will depend on your age, health condition, etc. After the age of 40, people may be at risk of a couple of illnesses including lifestyle diseases such as blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Similarly, if you are looking to buy a family floater policy, ensure to buy a plan that suffices with each member's medical requirements.

Compare various health plans

A wide range of health insurance plans are available in the market nowadays with similar coverage yet at different costs. With a plethora of health insurance plans, it can be a tedious task to find the best health insurance plan in India. It is important to calculate and compare insurance plans for their benefits and features as well as the premium. Most insurance providers offer health insurance premium calculators online, which help you compare insurance plans in terms of premium, benefits, features, coverage, etc. Picking out a policy without weighing all the options available in the market is like inviting a regret.

Choose the sum insured precisely

It is crucial to choose the right sum insured based on your age and marital status. At a young age, the risk factor is comparatively less; however, your healthcare requirements will evolve as you get older. Therefore, it is advisable to go for an adequate sum insured to meet your insurance requirements considering present as well as future needs.

Check for hospitals in insurance company's network

Hospitalisation coverage is one of the key components of any health insurance policy. With a health insurance policy, you are entitled to avail cashless treatment at network hospitals of the insurance company. Check if your health insurance company has an extensive network of hospitals through which you can avail cashless treatment. It is recommended to take a look at the list of network hospitals before buying health insurance plans.

5. Consider adding riders

Health insurance policies can be customised as per individual requirements. They can be personalised with the help of add-ons available at a nominal premium. Personal accident cover and critical illness cover are some popular add-ons opted by policyholders to enhance the health insurance coverage.

Don’ts

Don’t falsify information

It is critical to be truthful while disclosing information to your insurance company while buying health insurance plans. Providing false information in the policy application form could result in rejection of your claim; at the same time, it can leave you with a large bill to be paid from your pocket.

Don't forget to research the insurance company

Buying a suitable health insurance policy does not suffice; it is also important to purchase from a reputed health insurance company. Always buy a health insurance policy from an insurer that has a good incurred claim ratio. An incurred claim ratio is the number of claims settled by the insurance company over the total premium it receives.

Don’t skip reading inclusions and exclusions

Knowing and understanding what is covered and what is not covered under your health insurance plan beforehand will help you at the time of making a claim. Terms and conditions and the policy wording will give you an idea if you can file a claim under a specific situation or not.

Don't forget to check the reviews.

Customer reviews are essential when it comes to buying an insurance policy online. We check reviews for groceries, lifestyle products, food items, and so on. The insurance sector is no exception. Online reviews can make or break our decision while buying health insurance plans online. Reviews of other customers about a health plan are very insightful. They are always a mixture of positive and negative feedback, which highlights the pros and cons. It also helps us to customise our policy based on others' experiences.

Things to consider before buying health insurance plans

  • Premium
  • Waiting period for pre-existing and other conditions
  • Co-payment
  • Incurred Claim Ratio of the insurer
  • Maximum renewal age
  • Network hospitals
  • Critical illness and other rider options

Despite being one of the most necessary insurance products, health insurance is still the most neglected insurance in India. You can’t stop getting sick as medical problems are an unavoidable part of our lives. Moreover, considering medical inflation and rising health problems in the present day, buying a health insurance policy is a must.

Recommended Link:Is Health Insurance Important for Indians?

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