Nowadays, while the overall life expectancy has improved significantly, the number of healthcare issues that affect us is also rising. Together with the medical inflation and the increasing healthcare costs in India, not having the financial security of a robust health insurance plan can burn a gaping hole in your savings pocket in case of an emergency. Thus, having the financial safety net of a health insurance cover to take care of medical expenses, including hospitalization, post, and pre-hospitalization costs. Here is how you can choose an adequate health insurance cover –
1. Identify Your Health and Financial Requirements
Over the last decade or so, health insurance plans have evolved massively in the country. Nowadays, a wide range of health plans is available, offering various features and specifications for students, couples, senior citizens, young families, people with heart diseases, diabetes, and even cancer. Given the number of choices, it is easy to get lost and purchase a health cover that doesn't suit your requirements. Hence, you must first identify your health and financial needs – whether you need health coverage against a pre-existing ailment? Or you need maternity and childbirth coverage? It is advisable that once you have listed your needs, you must opt for at least six times your current annual salary as health plan coverage.
2. Look for Cashless Hospitalisation benefit
Cashless hospitalization benefit means that you can avail of the best possible medical treatment without paying the bills yourself. The hospital will settle the medical bills directly with the insurance company. Leading insurance companies have a large number of hospitals on their cashless hospitalization network. Hence, you must research the list of cashless hospitals at the insurance company's website to find whether the list comprises the top hospitals nearby. Moreover, you must read the fine print of the health insurance policy to make sure that you understand the exact coverage offered.
3. Examine the waiting period, co-payment, and exclusions under the plan
You must carefully review the policy fine print to familiarize yourself with the waiting period, co-payment, and exclusion clauses under the plan. The waiting period refers to the minimum period after purchasing the health cover, during which no claims will be admissible. The waiting period clause becomes applicable in case you have any pre-existing illness. As a rule, you must opt for a plan with a low waiting period. On the other hand, the co-payment clause implies the share of the medical claim that you must pay from your pocket. This clause is mostly seen in policies purchased for senior citizens.
The exclusions comprise healthcare expenses or medical conditions that are not covered under the health plan opted by you.