Things to keep in mind while purchasing health insurance
09 January 2020
Are you thinking of getting health insurance? Well, congratulations on taking a step towards a more stress-free life. If you’ve Googled ‘health insurance’ the jargon and the details seem intimidating, know that it doesn’t have to be that way. All you need to do follow the checklist below and you’re ready to secure your health and finances.
Your needs: Everybody has different health needs and you should know what you want from your health insurance plan. While some get it because they’ve had a family history of certain illnesses, some get it as part of their financial planning. Understanding your needs will help you figure out which plan you should get. For example, a person with a family history of cardiac arrests should go for a critical illness plan while one can get a basic health insurance for financial planning.
Family structure: Health insurance can be taken as an individual plan or as a family floater. So, which one you take depends on your family structure and who all you want to insure. If you want insurance for yourself, your spouse and kids, a family floater plan is a better option.
Coverage: There is a wide range of insurance plans with different types of coverage options. So, you should figure out what you might need and what not. For example, if you’re going to get married soon, getting a plan with maternity and new-born coverage is a good idea. At the same time, if you don’t travel abroad frequently, you wouldn’t need international coverage.
Cost dynamics: Premium for insurance is probably the biggest point of concern, right? It should be. You should consider how much premium you can pay now and later. If you don’t have kids yet, your expenses might go up when you do. Using a premium calculator can help you figure that out before you finalise a plan.
Place of residence: The same treatment in a tier 1 city will cost a lot more than in a tier 2 city. So, depending on where you are living and where you’ll be receiving treatment, you should decide your sum insured. For example, 5 lac sum insured can be enough in Bikaner but probably not in Delhi.
Hospital network: Most insurers offer cashless treatment at their network hospitals so it is a good idea to check how extensive this network is. You should also check if your insurance provider has network hospitals where you live because at the time of a medical emergency, you shouldn’t be required to travel far to avail the benefits of your health insurance plan.
Tax implication: Tax benefits are one of the many perks which come with buying insurance. While premium payment is allowed as a deduction under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you must not make the mistake of buying a policy merely with tax benefits in mind.
You should also remember that complete disclosure of your and your family’s medical history, with details of any pre-existing diseases and medical complications at the time of filling out the form, is imperative as it would minimise chances of claim rejection and disputes at a later stage. When it comes to health insurance, you should always put a little extra effort in the beginning so it’s painless later. `