Personal Finance

Tips for buying a good health cover

Prasun Sikdar | Updated on November 29, 2020 Published on November 29, 2020

Check exclusions, specific waiting periods, conditions for pre-existing diseases and other restricting factors

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught people the importance of insurance . If one falls sick and is in need of hospitalisation, not having an adequate health insurance plan can impact your finances . Also, the financial setback that comes with pre-hospitalisation costs, OPD expenses, medicines, diagnostic tests, etc. can be avoided if one has a comprehensive health insurance plan. Here’s a checklist on choosing a health insurance cover:

Extent of coverage

One should choose a policy that covers not just hospitalisation, but also related medical costs, together with outpatient treatments and check-ups. Besides, check for policies that boost sum insured for every claim-free year. Also, there are policies that increase the sum insured every year even if there is a claim. These features will help you be in tune with rise in future medical treatment and hospitalisation costs.

Be sure to check exclusions, specific waiting periods, conditions for pre-existing diseases as well as other things such as number of daycare procedures included or specific benefits like maternity, depending on one’s life stage.

Disease-wise sub-limits

Different plans will have specific limits on the benefits that can be claimed. These can vary from a limit on sum insured for specific diseases or limits on amounts payable towards certain medical expenses. This is termed as sub-limit. So, an insurance plan with a sub-limit will impact one’s out of pocket expenses, as a policy holder will have to bear the expenses. Thus, it is advisable to opt for a plan with no disease-wise sub-limits.

Take note that hospital charges are linked to the type of room or the room rent you have taken. It is important to check the room rent and ICU sub-limits of various health plans before finalising on one. Generally, sub-limits in the plan makes the insurance policy look cheaper.

Restoration benefits

You may claim for an illness and, God forbid, there could be multiple unrelated illnesses or injury that require you to get hospitalised.

Restoration cover restores the sum insured any number of times under the policy (for unrelated illness/injury) to additional 100 per cent in a policy year. This is provided the existing sum insured, including cumulative bonus, is insufficient to settle a claim.

Ease of claim process

Select insurers whose claims processing service is fast and accurate.

A simplified claim filing process can help you to conveniently access digitally and on phone for expeditious cashless and reimbursement claims settlement

Network of hospitals

Check the network of hospitals under the policy that offers cashless facility and the proximity to one’s neighbourhood. In case one travels frequently, check hospital network across the country so that a policyholder can continue to get treated from his/her preferred choice of hospital.

Critical illness cover

With non-communicable diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and diabetes on the rise, it is always prudent to choose a health policy that could help cover critical illnesses. However, this comes with a price and the decision needs to be made based on its affordability.

It’s also important to look for additional benefits and riders such as cumulative bonus booster and rewards for healthy lifestyle, among several other factors.

These tips can come in handy while investing in a health insurance plan that is comprehensive and best-suited for one’s family. After all, an economical and comprehensive health insurance plan is much better than inflated medical bills.

The writer is MD & CEO ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company Limited

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Published on November 29, 2020
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