A study shows that there are about 30 insurance companies that offer health insurance in India. Selecting the right one for you from such a large group can seem like an uphill task. But, it’s not, if you know what to look for while choosing one.
Not sure how to go about dissecting the right health insurance policy? Worry not! Simply look for the following 5 factors the next time you begin your purchase process.
1. Policy inclusions and premiums
The most critical parameter to look for while purchasing health insurance is the kind of coverage or service inclusions it provides and at what cost. The cost being your premium amount.
Sure, you should aim to purchase a comprehensive coverage policy with a lower premium. But, before you do so, investigate, or ask the issuing authority, why the premium is low. Simply put, an affordable health plan must not come at the cost of poor coverage.
2. Cashless clause
The cashless hospitalisation clause brings great relief to policyholders. Without it, you may end up running around consolidating assets to pay hefty medical bills. So, always check whether the health insurance you’re about to purchase has a cashless clause or not. This way, the hospital or nursing home directly settles your medical bill with the insurer, and you don’t need to file a claim.
If you’ve shortlisted a health insurance company that extends the cashless facility, be sure to check the list of medical establishments empanelled with them.
Additional Read: The relevance of insurance in your financial plan
3. Pre and post hospitalisation coverage
Before sealing a health insurance cover, check whether the plan covers only hospitalisation expenses or also takes care of bills arising before and after it. Ideally, purchase insurance that covers the entire gamut of medical bills, including pre, during and post hospitalisation.
This is critical is because hospitalisation is usually a one-off occurrence, whereas quick OPD procedures and the cost of buying medicines, etc., are relatively more recurrent.
4. The age criteria
Even though a policy’s premium depends on a person’s age, certain insurance companies won’t issue policies to people beyond a particular age. This is why be wary of the age criteria, especially when ensuring the elderly members of your family.
Try to select a policy with a flexible age limit from 91 days to 60 years. Or better yet, choose one that doesn’t have an age limit and can be issued for older people, no matter how old they are. Sure, the premium here will also be higher, but at least your family member will be insured.
5. Claims process
In case you’re not opting for a cashless policy, be certain of the claims process beforehand. You can find out how straightforward the claims process is by reading about the insurer’s service reviews online, asking your peers about it, or directly questioning the company’s representative.
Figure out the timeline a company follows to release a claim along with the kind of documentation they require.
Additional Read: What Are IHO Health Plans?
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