Good health is surely the most vital thing needed to live a happy life. However, due to lack of physical activity, increasing pollution and stress levels, the risks to health have increased significantly. Any ailment or mishap that causes injuries also adds to the financial health of a family.
Therefore, it’s better to pick up a good health insurance plan so that you are prepared for any unforeseen health situation that may demand financial help. Health insurance plans are designed to reduce your burden or cash needs when met with a hospitalization needs.
Listed below are 5 common questions consumers ask while purchasing a Health Plan:
- Which health plan is best for me?
This is the most common question in the minds of health insurance consumers. Selection of the best scheme depends on multiple factors. All these factors can be divided into two classes:
- Personal Factors
- Product Features
Personal factors are the facts and preferences related to the individual buying the policy. For example, type of hospital, type of accommodation, personal budget, location (national/international), covering family and parents or only self, pre-existing conditions, etc. will decide the type of policy, sum assured and premium paid by the buyer.
Product features, on the other hand, are the benefits and features provided under the product that will affect your choices. For example, number of network hospitals, cashless facility, the annual limit for medical bill reimbursement, health check required, minimum and maximum age of coverage, pre and post hospitalization expenses allowed, deductibles or co-insurance clauses, exclusions, etc. will help you figure out which plan suits you the best.
The plans which are closest to your personal choices and budget should be considered the best option for you or your family.
- Can I switch to a new policy for a lower premium every few years?
The answer is no. Sticking to one policy offers various benefits, out of which some may be crucial. One of the essential benefits is of cover to pre-existing conditions. Due to competitive pricing and closely replicable features, most insurers offer the similar benefits at same costs. Therefore, switching between insurers for lower premium can be a costly mistake as you can lose some covers and also any accumulated benefits.
For example, increased Sum Assured limit or a discount offered in the premiums as a no claim bonus will not be available in a new policy. Also, if the new insurer is offering a lower premium, you should be cautious about the benefits and exclusions in the fine print.
- Should I Buy Individual plans or a Family Floater Policy?
Feature wise, there is not a lot of difference between individual plan and family floater plans. However, you may note that children below a certain age will only be insured if both parents are covered under the scheme. Therefore, it will be wise for a family consisting of small children or expecting children in the near future to purchase a family floater plan.
Additionally, family floater plans cost less than individual plans.
- I have a comprehensive health insurance do I need a critical illness Policy?
Critical illness policies are technically different from a health policy. Although, it is possible to buy a critical illness cover separately or as a rider to your existing health cover, critical illness policies do not provide cashless hospitalization or reimbursements.
Instead, they pay out a lump sum amount on detection of a critical disease and survival of the insured; i.e. they provide a financial support amount to the family of the insured so that they can bear the treatment expenses of the insured. Additionally, health policy does not adequately cover the critical illness treatments, which may need a large upfront payment.
- Is there any tax benefit available for health insurance purchased?
Yes, tax exemption is allowed for the medical insurance premium paid under section 80D of Income tax act for Indian taxpayers. The amount is revised by the central government under the annual budget. For the financial year 2016-17 up to Rs. 25,000 can be applied if premium paid is for people aged below 60 years. If health insurance premium is paid for people aged more than 60 years, the deduction is up to Rs. 35,000.
These are some of the fundamental questions that arise when people start thinking about picking up the right health insurance policy. Apart from this people are also do a thorough research about the specific benefits and exclusions offered, payment cycles and the claim procedures as well. Presently, maternity heath insurance policies are also available which is a good option to select at the correct time. It is always suggested to read good reviews about policies before picking anyone.