Health-related expenses keep going up, and so do lifestyle-related disorders. The increase in health insurance policies covering these disorders is a sure sign that people are taking their health more seriously. But, with tens of vendors and a hundred different policies, it can be hard to pick one. This blog seeks to provide you with some helpful tips to help you choose a health policy that best satisfies one’s demands.
1. Look for health insurance coverage
The first step while choosing a health policy is to make a list of the extent of coverage one might need. A standard policy would cover the costs of hospitalisation and major surgeries. But, post-hospitalisation expenses, daycare procedures, or ambulance charges may not be covered. So, make it a point to identify what is covered and what is not when choosing a health insurance plan.
2. Keep the cost of premium low
It’s important to look for a health plan that covers all bases. But it’s also important to ensure that the monthly or yearly premium is affordable. Having a budget in mind might help ease the process of comparing one health policy against another. You can always increase the coverage later, depending on your income and the number of family members.
3. Take the hospital network coverage into consideration
Every health insurance vendor partners with a different range of hospitals. This network may vary from one vendor to another. The official website of your chosen insurance provider will explicitly mention all the hospitals that come under their network. So, make sure that your healthcare provider of choice is included in this list. Finding a new doctor and transferring digital health records from one place to another is usually tricky.
4. Opt for a family health insurance plan
An individual health insurance plan costs significantly less. But it’s always a good idea to plan for the future. Opt for a family floater plan that lets you add in dependents later. In reality, a family health insurance policy costs less than individual ones for every family member.
5. Pick a health policy that offers lifetime renewability
Yet another aspect to look at while opting for a specific health policy is if it offers lifetime renewability. This is always a better option since one is more likely to need health insurance later in life. While you can always get health insurance later on, it’s a tiring process. The cost of getting insured also tends to be sky-high then.
6. Get a health insurance plan early
The older a person is, the more difficult it is to get them insured. A younger individual is less likely to experience their policy getting rejected. Keeping this in mind, getting insured at the earliest is always recommended. So, now one need not have to worry about extended waiting periods or sky-high insurance premiums.
7. Look out for settlement ratios
The settlement ratio is a variable to look out for when comparing health insurance plans. It is calculated by dividing the number of claims that reach a settlement by the total number of settlements. Make it a point to pick a health policy that reports high settlement ratios to maximise the chances of a successful claim.
8. Keep an eye out for copay and exclusions
What exactly does the term ‘copay’ mean? Some health insurance plans require policyholders to pay a certain share of the total bill even if insured. This might be hard to do when one doesn’t have money at hand. A better idea of these terms and conditions may help one be prepared for such an eventuality. But, picking a health policy with minimum copay stipulations might help avoid such a situation entirely.
On the other hand, ‘exclusions’ is a term used to describe a list of health conditions not covered by a health insurance plan. This, for instance, may include mental health disorders. So, make it a point to read the documents carefully and understand the diseases not covered under the policy.
9. Note down the waiting period for pre-existing diseases
Health insurance vendors list down waiting periods for pre-existing diseases. This time period tends to vary from one illness to another and also from one vendor to another. It is generally around 2 to 4 years for most, if not all, pre-existing diseases. It’s recommended to keep this time period to a minimum since emergencies cannot be avoided, and unforeseen health circumstances can occur anytime without warning.
10. Take advantage of discounts
A lot of health insurance agencies tend to reward their customers with attractive discounts. These discounts are now an essential part of the health insurance package. Some vendors tend to offer a discount if no claims were made in a financial year. Meanwhile, others provide one-in-case payments for two-year plans instead of one. So, pick a health insurance plan that provides the maximum discounts in order to make the most of the premium paid.
11. Check the reputation of agencies
What most people tend to forget to check while picking a health policy is the reputation of the firm. Read through online reviews of different agencies. Are their paying customers happy with the after-sales service? Have their claim settlements been satisfactory? If the answers to these questions are a resounding yes, then it is prudent to go ahead. Do talk to friends and family to understand their opinion of the vendors they chose.
Picking the right health insurance plan is an important financial decision. It’s a decision that will likely have financial ramifications for years. So, make it a point to be aware of the extent of coverage, exclusions, caps, copay stipulations, and discounts offered. Take a keen look at all the paperwork, terms, and conditions before making the final decision. With the help of internet portals, it’s now easy to compare different health policies against each other. If you need more guidance and assistance with availing of health insurance, seek the help of financial experts like Piramal Finance. Check out their blogs for more information on insurance coverage or about products like personal loans, credit cards, EMIs, and more.