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The AEIOU Of Health Insurance: 5 Common Mistakes You Shouldn't Make

Neha Gadoo Neha Gadoo 30 January 2017

Decided to buy health insurance? Don't be that cat stuck in the jar. Avoid these common mistakes so you can enjoy the best gift you will give to yourself in style!

mistakes to avoid while buying health insurance

Buying health insurance is the best gift you can buy for yourself or your loved ones. It protects you from the anxiety and trauma of unforeseen health costs that can plague even the most careful and health conscious of us! So, given that you are interested enough to be spending time in reading through this article, I must reward you with the easiest formula that you will be able to remember and keep in mind, even in the midst of busy days at work and well, life. I call it the AIEOU formula that cautions you about 5 of the most common mistakes that one tends to make while choosing health insurance.

A - Avoiding to research on the insurance company

Let me begin by being the strict schoolteacher, that you hated through school but remember today for making the most sense! STOP BEING LAZY! While websites like ours endeavor to make it easy for you to make the right choice, you still need to keep your eyes open to see what the policy you are considering has to offer and what it won’t be offering.

Understand very clearly what your liability would be when making a claim. A good thing to also look out for would be the company's claims to settlement ratio, which gives you an idea about the service levels you can expect. See if there is anything being said for their processes, after claims services, or if a large number of people have a lot of negative things to say about the company, overall.

E - Expecting no one will find out that you lied about your health issues.

The raisson d'etre, (the reason for being) of any insurance policy is to safeguard you against a wretched financial contingency in the time of an emergency. An insurance policy’s sole purpose is to help you avoid a financial crisis on account of an unforeseeable emergency. If you’re going to try to game the system and milk the insurance company for your existing health issues, it’s not going to happen!

It is for this reason, there is a waiting period before features and covers applicable to certain illnesses kick in to ensure fraudsters trying to get coverage for expensive procedures don’t gain. The insurance company has several checks and balances to ascertain that there are no wrongful claims, so that genuine claimants don’t suffer in the long run. Even if your intention is not to commit fraud, you will unnecessarily suffer at the time of making a claim, as the pre-existing diseases won’t be hidden, and the claim will obviously not be settled. It’s just not worth the trouble. Just like it’s best, and in your interest to come clean with your doctor about your health issues and troubles, similarly be honest with your health insurance company about your diseases and health conditions.

I – I won't shop around or compare!

There are many plans in the market to ensure everyone is able to insure against their health costs. Each plan has many features, which may differ slightly from company to company. That slight difference may make a huge difference to the costs you incur in future. The only efficient way to get the best insurance most suited to your needs is to compare different policies on the criteria important to you.

We at Coverfox make it easy for you with features that make comparison for you much easier. For example, you can choose policies based on which ones include the hospitals near your house allowing cashless admission under it. And so on. You shouldn’t jump onto the first option that springs upon your screen. Or go with the one your friend just bought, because hey, (s)he already did all the research, right? Wrong. All individuals are prone to different illnesses based on family history, have different lifestyles etc.; factors that play a huge role in the kind of health costs you may incur in your life span. Yes, life is not fair, and I am fatter than my metabolically blessed sister and shorter than my freakishly tall friend and I can’t fit into their clothes. In the same way, just like the same clothes can’t fit everyone, same health policies can’t fit everyone’s individual needs.

O – Over insuring your self, paying premium for conditions you don't need coverage for

So you’ve decided to be good to yourself and buy a health insurance policy because it’s better to be safe than sorry. Kudos to you! But don’t get carried away. You shouldn’t go about over-expecting from your poor policy! Don’t obsess over dental costs, cosmetic procedures, routine procedures or coverage on consultation cost at your next hospital visit when you get the flu. It is fair to say that the more you expect from your policy, the more premium you need to shell out each year. This is not advisable or is efficient in the long run. Insurance is for financial contingencies in ca se of unforeseen emergencies, unaccounted for costs, not for simple health costs that you would be capable of taking care of, in the normal course.

U – Under insuring your self, getting insufficient coverage to save pennies on the premium cost

A lot of us are of the 'penny-wise pound-foolish' mentality. There is no point in choosing the cheapest health insurance policy, which may end up not covering the diseases you may be prone to. It may have several riders that you may miss seeing. An extra 2 minutes spent at the time of choosing a policy always helps. No one is asking you to buy the costliest policy available. However, if you research and compare, you would easily find products suited to your needs. This may even be just a few bucks more expensive than the lowest premium plan. However, this difference will play out to your favor in the long term with huge variation in cost of benefits reimbursed if/when you make a claim. Features like limit of room rent, co-paying percentage (The part percentage of the hospital bill you need to pay, in case of illness), the specific coverage for critical illnesses like strokes etc. differ hugely between policies in the same bracket of coverage, with marginal difference in annual premiums.

If you keep the above points in mind, you won’t make rookie errors that can cause you deep regret, annoyance and above all, this will save you the heartache (no pun intended) of huge health costs! For which you’d thank me, the strict school teacher later.

Neha Gadoo
Written by Neha Gadoo
Daring and Bold, Neha loves philosophy, trekking and walking bare feet in the rain. Loves talking and can stare out of a car window for hours continuously.