Picking the Right Health Insurance Plan

Encounter no surprises when you try to make a claim. Increasing cost of medical care and treatment can ruin you financially. Therefore, one should plan and consider choosing the best health insurance plan to avoid the financial impact of such problems. This article shares some tips on choosing a good health insurance plan, amidst so many health insurance plans and advice about how to pick the best plan.

SEPARATE HEALTHCARE FROM FINANCES

Choose a plan that separates healthcare from your financial position. Focus on policies that provide lump sum benefits and effective cover for A) Hospitalization due to any injury, sickness, or disease. B) Surgery to treat any medical complication. C). Treatment for critical illnesses. Such policies enable you to face any medical problem without having to worry about your finances.

COST VS COVERAGE

 It is important to strike a balance between what you’re willing to pay and the level of coverage you want. You pay your monthly rate each month no matter what, but you only pay out-of-pocket costs if you actually need care. So, people with ongoing medical conditions may be better off choosing plans with higher monthly rates for they will have to pay less each time they receive care and people who are healthy and don’t need regular care may want a plan with lower monthly rates and higher out of pocket costs

CUSTOMIZING BENEFITS

The plan should allow you to customize the amount of coverage as per your unique requirements. Individual health plans are better in this aspect than ‘group plans’ provided by employers since they allow you to add or remove specific benefits, check for prescription coverage and choose a plan according to your budget.

THINK LONG TERM

 A lapsed health insurance policy can have catastrophic consequences for you and your family. Short term plans have to be renewed frequently which can be bothersome. Long term plans may also help you plan your finances with the security that your family’s health is taken care of.

GROUP VS INDIVIDUAL COVER

While group covers are beneficial, do not depend on them entirely. A lot of benefits that you require as per your individual needs may be excluded from coverage and they also may not cover all costs incurred during hospitalization. Further, there are sub-limits on room rent and other charges and co-pay clauses under which the policyholder is required to foot a certain percentage of the bill.

USE A TOP-UP POLICY

Top up policies help you improve coverage at a low cost. These plans can also be used to complement the group health cover offered by your employer. Top up cover may also be bought independent of the base plan, in case your group cover doesn’t allow it.

RIGHT SUM ASSURED

Choose right sum insured depending on your age and marital status. People over 40 are more prone to diseases like diabetes, heart diseases etc. The health of your spouse may also be taken into consideration when you’re married.

RESTORE BENEFIT

This feature allows you to reinstate the basic sum assured, in case you have already exhausted the sum assured and the multiplier benefit within the policy year. Restoration is especially beneficialin case of Family Floater plans. It can help provide coverage for the rest of the family in cases where the entire sum assured gets exhausted in the ailment of one family member.

SUB LIMITS AND CO-PAYS

Many Health Insurance policies have sub limits on room a rent which means you, are eligible to claim expenses only up to a room costing below this limit. In case you opt for a room above this limit, you will have to bear the additional proportionate expenses on your own. Compare room rent sub- limits for all of your options before making a decision.

NETWORK HOSPITAL COVERAGE

Compare the hospital network of the shortlisted Insurance companies. Focus on areas you/your family are most likely to be hospitalized in.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

The insurer you purchase the policy from should be reliable and credible. Look up online reviews and talk to a Human Resource manager regarding your options. An insurer providing a low-cost policy but with a bad track record of settling claims will prove to be a terrible choice for your family.

FINALLY, GO THROUGH POLICY WORDINGS

Get the policy wordings of the policy that you have liked from your insurance agent. Carefully go through the Customer Information Sheet yourself which summarizes all the key conditions you must be aware of. Every health insurance product needs to file this with the Government (IRDA). You can easily look up the policy document sheet online.

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