5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Health Insurance Policy

Someone has rightly said ‘Health is Wealth’. However, with rising medical expenses, fiscal burden of a medical emergency and tax saving benefits more and more people are moving towards health insurance plan.

health insurance

As per the World Health Organization (WHO) study on rising cost of expenditure on health care in India, approximately 40 percent of the low-income group have to borrow in case of medical emergencies. This automatically results in over 16 percent of them getting trapped in below poverty-line strata. New forms of virus and fatal diseases are becoming common and causing a big threat to mankind.

Therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry and invest in a suitable health insurance policy for a healthy and a peaceful life ahead. Market is filled with various options to look for, if you are planning to buy a health insurance, you can try HDFC ERGO’s health insurance policies. Also, through comparative study, research, and requirement one can make a well thought-out move.

Let’s look at the most important parameters to be taken into consideration before purchasing a health insurance policy.

Know the premium: Premium is the amount which is paid by the insurer to maintain the coverage. It can be paid, monthly, quarterly or annually. The premium to be paid is one of the most basic inputs for comparison before choosing an insurance plan. The amount of insurance coverage is decided by the premium amount. However, it should not be the only criterion in choosing an insurance plan. Lower premiums help you save some money. But premiums are generally derived after the buyer decides on how much coverage would suffice for unexpected hospitalization and medical expenses.

Exclusions: While deciding on the healthcare plan, it is very important to know of the exclusions which are not being covered by the policy. Most of the policies have certain pre-agreed list of medical conditions and treatments that are excluded from the scope of coverage. This could range from pre existing ailments to lifestyle related medical expenses like dental or plastic surgeries. For these medical exclusions, the cost of hospitalization and treatment will not be borne by the insurance provider. Since this will have to be shelled out from one’s pocket, it is advisable to go through various insurance policy options and their fine print, to compare what terms suits the needs of the insurer the most.

Cashless Option: Cashless hospitalization when treatment for illness covered by the insurance policy is such that insurer doesn’t have to pay for the treatment from own pocket. Generally, insurance providers have agreements with various hospitals for cashless treatment where charges are paid directly to the hospital by the insurance company. This facilitates the best possible treatment even if one doesn’t have the money to pay for it upfront. This is different from the reimbursement type of insurance where one needs to make the payments from pocket and then submit the bills to get the reimbursement from the insurer. One of the most critical points while deciding on a medical insurance policy is the mode of payment during the treatment.

Network of hospitals: The network of hospitals with which your insurer has tie-ups is very important so in the eventual case of hospitalization one can utilize the benefits of the policy in a hospital with repute and where the treatment is most likely to be beneficial. Also, the number of hospitals in and around your place of residence can become vital in cases of medical emergencies.

Credibility and history of the company: Before signing the documents, do a thorough research about the insurer. In case of any confusion, do not hesitate to seek expert advice. You can choose from your agent, insurer or a health advisor. Pick up the phone and make an informed decision.

There are other things to consider like floater option, no claim bonus advantage, maternity benefits, senior citizen age limit for coverage, addition of seasonal ailments like dengue, swine flu etc. One doesn’t even hope to face any medical emergency, but as they say nothing can be calculated in advance. Health insurance should be taken for peace of mind and even if such situation occurs, much can be taken care because of an insurance policy.