With the increasing cost of hospitalisation, if you are not covered for health insurance, you would have to dip into your savings to fund emergency medical expenses. While having adequate health insurance cover is important, most health insurance plans need to be renewed annually. During renewal, it is important to review your health insurance needs as they could have evolved. Here are the five things to keep in mind when renewing health insurance plan.

Review health insurance needs

Health insurance needs are likely to change over time. Important events like marriage, birth of a child and other such happenings in your life will require a review of health insurance plan. For example, if you have been married during the past year, you may migrate to a family floater plan so that your spouse is covered as well. If you are planning a baby going ahead, you may wish to add maternity benefits to your plan after considering the waiting period. When you have a baby, you can include the baby in the family floater plan as well.

Look to enhance your sum insured

Health insurance costs are increasing at a rate which is even higher than retail inflation. Hence, having an adequate sum insured is important. If there is a need to increase your sum insured, you can do it at the time of renewal.

However, if you are in the range of maximum sum assured, you may not be able to increase your sum assured during renewal. In this case you can port your policy to a different insurer. You can also buy a super top up plan to get additional coverage over the existing plan. Remember, even if your employer covers you for health insurance, you should buy adequate cover of your own, because such coverage may cease to exist in case you lose your job.

Disclose any new medical conditions

It is important to disclose existing medical conditions when buying a new policy. However, according to the terms and conditions, it is necessary to disclose a new medical condition if developed during the policy tenure. Doing this will ensure that claims are settled in a smooth manner. Disclosing any new medical condition is also important if you wish to port your policy to another insurer in the future. Since your existing conditions will already be in the records, it will be easier to port your policy.

Consider policy sub limits

Check if your policy has any sub limits. These are predetermined limits on expenses like room rent, amount you can claim for a certain disease or a certain procedure. If your policy of ₹10 lakh has a sub limit of 1% on your room rent, it means that a hospital room with a maximum rent of ₹10,000 per day will be approved by the insurer. During the pandemic, room rents went up in certain private hospitals. Such sub limits may mean that you have to bear out-of-the-pocket expenses in case of hospitalisation. If you have sub limits in your policy, you may opt for a policy without sub limits even if it means paying a slightly higher premium.

Port your policy

If you are not happy with your health insurer, you may choose to port your policy at the time of renewal. This basically means moving your health insurance to another company. When you port a policy, the policy continuation benefits are not hampered. For example, if a pre-existing condition has a waiting period of three years and your policy has been in force for two years, you need to wait just one year for the coverage to kick in. To port a policy, you need to inform the insurer about a month before your policy is due for renewal.

The saying health is wealth is now truer than ever. Reviewing your health insurance needs during renewal will adequately protect you against health emergencies going ahead.

The writer is Jt. Chairman & MD, Bajaj Capital

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