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How NOT to pick a medical insurance policy

By Naval Goel
Last updated on: March 22, 2019 11:09 IST

When it comes to buying medical insurance, higher the age, the lower the chances of getting a health cover and higher the cost too, warns Naval Goel.

How to buy medical insurance policy

Photograph: Kind courtesy Pixabay.com

Investing in a health insurance plan for yourself and your family is a very serious decision.

It will provide the required peace of mind and security for not only you but for the family as well.

In India, many people make a mistake by investing in a health insurance plan just to avail tax benefits without reading the fine print or considering the importance of the same.

Around 80 per cent of financial problems occur because of medical emergencies which if unplanned, can easily harm your hard earned savings.

With growing healthcare cost, the reason to invest in health insurance as early as possible becomes an important decision.

When it comes to buying medical insurance, higher the age, the lower the chances of getting a health cover and higher the cost too.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while picking a medical insurance policy:

1. Employer's mediclaim policy

We have noticed many cases where people rely solely on the health insurance provided by their employer.

It is good that your employer cares for you and offers such helpful cover, but have you ever thought of the same deeply?

How will it be beneficial? Will it be sufficient to cover all your needs?

And does it cover your family members? What will happen once you leave the organisation?

Such questions make it important to have separate comprehensive health insurance that can provide valuable cover no matter what happens.

You can even think about a Super Top up if you can't afford a full individual mediclaim.

2. Adequate sum insured

While thinking about investing in an effective health insurance plan, it is important to keep today's cost in the mind.

If you are living in a small city then you must invest in a plan with at least Rs 3 to 5 lakh as sum assured whereas if you live in a metro you must pick a cover which is not less than Rs 5 to 10 lakh.

If you already own an effective health insurance plan, you can port the existing one at the renewal time to avail wider benefits.

It is always advisable to avoid going for a new plan; you must choose to port your existing plan for better benefits.

In case you go for a new plan you may lose out on some benefits.

Also, don't forget to make changes in the sum assured considering your age and future needs.

3. Time of investment

It is advisable to invest in a health insurance plan as early as possible, and especially before you turn 40 because you never know when you will need it.

You will avail so many benefits by investing in the same at an early age -- low premium, wider cover, no claim bonus for every claimless year, etc.

4. Lifetime renewability

When it comes to investing in a health insurance plan, make sure to check the lifetime renewability option.

We all are aware of the fact that you highly need a health insurance plan during the old age when you are likely to have ailments.

It is important to have lifetime renewability options that can offer cover during old age.

5. Claim loading

It is advisable for you not to go for a claim loading.

The reason behind the same is that if you get a critical illness then it may require a long term treatment.

With a claim loading your premiums will keep on increasing and might become unaffordable after a certain period of time.

6. Restore limit

Go for a plan that offers the restore limit or super top up just in case you end up utilising your sum assured.

This will act as a helping cover that will cover a few unforeseen critical illnesses that would be costly.

7. Waiting period

Almost all health insurance plans carry pre-existing ailments.

Do check the waiting period of your policy before finalising it.

Normally plans carry waiting period of 2-5 years varying from company to company.

It is always advisable to go for a company that offers a minimum waiting period.

Also, there are a few insurance companies that offer plans with lifetime exclusions. Exclude such companies from your options.

For easier and hassle-free claim, a few additional things to must keep in mind would be:

  • Check network hospitals list where you can get cashless treatment.
  • Buy a plan with no or minimal sub-limit
  • Take help of an online trusted insurance web aggregator for your purchase
  • Don't hide your health history from your insurer.

Lead image published for representational purposes only.

Naval Goel is founder, CEO, PolicyX, an online insurance aggregator.

 

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