Shopping for health insurance in India is like shopping for any other item. You need to be careful while choosing the product as it can cost you if you make a wrong choice.
While buying health insurance there is no one size fits all approach. Each individual has their own priorities and finding a health insurance product that fulfills all requirements may not always be possible.
There are various options available, it is important to understand the health insurance terms and compare among available plans.
Are you already getting confused on how to make good choice for you and your family?
Here’s all the information that you need to compare health insurance policies and choose the best plan that fits your requirement.
Compare health insurance policy by type
There are two types of health insurance policies – indemnity and fixed benefit. Indemnity policies are traditional health insurance policies that cover hospitalization benefits. They include individual policy and family floater policy. They pay for pre and post hospitalization expenses, room rent, surgery charges, day care charges etc.
Fixed Benefit policies include critical illness polices that pay a lump sum amount if the insured individual is diagnosed with a diseases that is covered in the policy.
You should always buy the basic indemnity plan first as it is the base of the health insurance portfolio and then top up with a fixed benefit plan.
Do not compare the cost
It is natural to look out for products that do not hurt the pocket but health insurance is a long term investment hence it makes sense to choose a health insurance plan that offers wider coverage than selecting a plan with a lower cost. There is a probability that low cost plans may include lesser services. It also means that your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher at the times of claim.
Compare health insurance policy by cashless treatment
Cashless treatment acts as a blessing at the time of an emergency hospitalization. Health insurance providers have a tie up with various hospitals which are listed in the policy wording. These network hospitals offer cashless in-patient treatment to the insured individual.
Check if your preferred physician or hospital is covered in the health insurance provider’s network. You should also read the terms and conditions connected with cashless services to avoid last minute surprises.
Compare health insurance policy by services provided
Health insurance providers offer various services like pre hospitalization benefit, post hospitalization benefits, no claim bonus, 24x 7 helpline, ambulance services etc. Analyze your personal needs and check if the health insurance policy supports your specific requirements.
Most health insurance policies do not cover maternity expenses, physical or occupational therapy, Ayurveda, and other branches of medicine. Ensure that your policy can support such needs if you have one.
Compare health insurance policy by out-of-pocket expenses
Most health insurance policies have treatment wise limits and co pay. Treatment wise limits are basically the maximum amount that can be claimed by the insured for the procedures listed in the policy. The insured individual has to bear the expenses incurred above the specified limits.
Co pay means sharing of expenses or admissible claim amount. Each health insurance policy has a fixed limit of co pay. At the time of claim the insured individual has to bear the fixed percentage of the claim amount mentioned in the policy wordings and the health insurance provider would reimburse the balance claim amount.
Look out for policies that have lower out of pocket expenses.
Choose a good health insurance agent or broker
Most Indians buy health insurance from an agent who is a family member or friend. An agent generally represents a particular insurance company and offers products designed only by that company.
A good broker deals with various insurance companies and has the expertise and knowledge to give you unbiased advice to choose a product that suits your requirement. A good health insurance broker has tie up with TPA and insurance companies and can assist you at the times of claim.
It is important to choose a good health insurance agent or broker as they are an important link to connect you to the health insurance provider.
Health insurance is an important product in your financial portfolio. It offers long term benefits and most benefits are used in later years. It is sensible to compare various features in details or take assistance from a health insurance broker before you sign up on the final product.
Recommended Read: 6 key points to check when comparing health insurance plans