Health insurance is no longer just a financial tool to protect your savings but a necessity. The most recent example, where a health policy saved the lives of millions is during the global pandemic. With the regulatory body stepping up to provide coverage for existing policyholders, it has become an utmost necessity in current times.
The insurance market is no longer small and reserved for the financially educated. It has expanded its horizon to include all and offer more comprehensive coverage. Let us look at the coverage options that need to be evaluated when buying a health insurance plan.
#1 Individual or family cover
When purchasing an insurance cover, it is essential to determine the coverage of the policy. It needs to be defined at the beginning who are the beneficiaries of the policy. An individual cover is meant for the policyholder only. This policy offers a wide range of advantages with customisable plans for every member of the family, depending on the medical requirement. For example, a middle-aged person has different medical need when compared to a senior citizen. Either you can purchase such individual policies or instead health insurance plans for family. This way, you can cover all your family members at once with a blanket policy cover. The entire sum assured is available for all the members in contrary to an individual policy. A word of caution when selecting a family insurance policy is to ensure you choose a higher sum assured as more than one person is covered under such a policy.
#2 Benefits of cashless hospitalisation
Most health insurance plans have an association with a hospital known as the network hospital. Here, you can avail the treatments listed in your policy coverage on a cashless basis, i.e. you need not pay any amount to the hospital; instead, your insurer will directly settle the bill. All you need to do is present your insurer’s identity card at the network hospital and save time and paperwork. It is a faster way of not only settling invoices but also in a cashless manner. Thus, when you purchase a policy, make sure to look out for the cashless hospital coverage along with its availability where you reside.
#3 Age criteria
Most health insurance products have a minimum entry age and also an upper limit. Generally, this limit is between 18 years to 60 years; it may differ depending on the type of the product. You also need to note that the premium for your policy is directly based on your age. For a family floater plan, the premium is directly calculated based on the age of the eldest family member.
#4 Waiting period for your policy
A waiting period is a duration for which no insurance cover is available after purchasing the policy. This duration differs across plans and insurance companies. Thus, when you are buying critical illness insurance, individual cover, or a family insurance policy, do not forget to evaluate the waiting period across plans.
The above are some of the critical components to check when buying a health insurance policy. These elements form the basis of your policy selection and are vital in the long run when you need to make a claim.