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HEALTH INSURANCE

How to Shop for Health Insurance

Inderpal Ahluwalia 03 November 2017
3.7 (3 votes)

Yes, the word shopping excites most people but shopping for health insurance may sound boring and confusing with the number of choices out there today. This article will help ease the pain of buying a health insurance and might even make it fun, who knows!

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Medical expense inflation is growing year by year at a mind-boggling rate hence it has become imperative to have a health insurance plan. It is not possible to say exactly what sort of health insurance plan will be best for you as there are many variables that make a health insurance plan perfect for someone. It is a decision one has to make depending on their individual requirements but there are some basic guidelines and terms to know that will help you save money and spend wisely when you shop for health insurance. Let us have a look at them:

Age till cover is offered

Policies that offer maximum age limit are ideal for coverage as the chances of falling ill are higher in older age. If you are planning to buy a family floater policy and add your parents in the plan, lifetime renewable plans are a resounding YES.

Good hospital network

Before you zero down on a policy it is essential to see the list of network hospitals of the insurer. The hospitals in your area that have good medical facilities and treatment should be on the list of your insurer. This will help you obtain cashless facility if you get admitted for treatment.

Sufficient room rent limit

This is an important feature when hospitalization is inevitable. Hospital room rent vary from one hospital to another. Having a bigger limit or no limit will help you cover the cost of room rent. Some policies offer a percentage of sum assured as room rent and do not mention the exact value. So, whatever it is be aware of the room rent cover in a policy to get better value from your health insurance plan.

Pre-existing disease coverage

All policies have a waiting period for 2 to 4 years for a disease which you had before buying the health insurance plan. This means you cannot claim for treatment of these disease until the waiting period is over. Many insurers also offer maternity cover but again have a waiting period on it. So, it is advisable to choose a plan that covers pre-existing diseases or has a lower waiting period for claims on them.

No claim bonus (NCB)

We all get excited with the word bonus. Rewards give us a feeling of satisfaction. If you don't make a claim in a year then with NCB feature in a plan, the insurer will increase the sum assured or will offer a discount on the premium payable. Truth is you won’t be making claims every year, so make sure your plan has NCB for you to get rewarded when you are not making a claim.

Riders and add on covers

Every health insurance plan has riders and add on covers which can be added to the base plan to increase the coverage for a nominal increase in premium. These add ons protect you from uncertain medical emergencies which might have a high cost of treatment otherwise. Some examples of riders are personal accident rider and critical illness rider.

The fine print

It is essential to know what coverage does the policy offer and also what all it does not cover. There are some medical conditions or events which are not covered by health insurance companies. Read the exclusions properly and ensure you are completely satisfied with them. This will help evade any confusion during the time of claim settlement.

Do not buy an insurance policy based on premium alone. Compare various health plans on Insurance comparison websites to ensure you are getting the best deal with regards to coverage and premium. Having a health insurance plan is good but having the ideal health insurance is the best! Happy shopping …

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3.7 (3 votes)