Suppose you get hospitalized because of some illness or accident. Then the expenditure is going to be in lakhs for the surgery, hospital room, medicines, tests, etc. But if you have a health insurance policy then they will take care of all of these expenses for you. And in return, they’ll charge you a small premium every year. So obviously, health insurance is a smart thing to have. Because it saves your health and it saves your bank balance. But not every health insurance provider is good. So, let’s quickly see what are the 6 parameters that you need to check before you buy health insurance. I’ll also tell you where you need to check these parameters.
The first parameter before buy health insurance is Claim Settlement Ratio
The number of claims settled by the insurance company is divided by the number of claims it has received. So obviously, the higher this ratio, the more are the chances that your claim will also be settled by this company without any issues. Above 90% is a good number.
The Second parameter before buy health insurance is Network Hospital Cover
Now, there is something called a ‘cashless facility’. Wherein, if that insurance provider has a tie-up with the hospital that you are admitted in. Then the hospital will directly send the bills to the insurance provider and you don’t have to pay anything. But if there is no tie-up, then you have to pay the hospital bills first and then get them reimbursed from the insurance company. It is too much of a hassle if you are recovering or have a patient to take care of. So make sure that your insurance provider has a tie-up with a large network of hospitals and that your favorite hospitals are covered in that network. Especially the ones that are closer to your home.
The third parameter before buy health insurance is Hospital room eligibility
Assumed your family admitted you in some hospital in a shared room. And that other family was turning on the TV at high volume. They have too many guests walking in. It makes the patient uncomfortable, who is already in distress. So make sure that your insurance covers atleast the cheapest private room available.
The fourth parameter before buy health insurance is the Waiting period
Health insurance policies cover pre-existing illnesses after a certain wait period. For example: Suppose you have diabetes, then after 2-4 years of wait-period can you claim any hospitalisation due to diabetes. So if you have any pre-existing illness, check that the waiting period of that insurance is as less as possible.
The fifth parameter before buy health insurance is Family Floater Health Insurance Policy
Now, instead of buying separate policies, parents along with 2 minor children can combine into one plan. In that plan, depending on the insurance provider each insured member will be given a separate coverage amount. Or all the members will share a combined sum. For example, suppose it’s a policy of 10 lakhs for 5 members. So each of these 5 members can either have 2, 2 lakhs coverage each. OR they can share 10 lakhs no matter who claims.
Assume your bill was around 3.5 lakhs. Because you shared the combined sum, the insurance provider had to pay the entire amount instead of just 2 lakhs. The premium of such insurances is slightly higher. But they are a money saver because you don’t have to spend on multiple policies. On a side note, if your employer is giving you a health insurance policy then check if you can also include your parents in the same. Because in my opinion, your company will be able to negotiate with the insurance provider better than you. More so, if you do it as a group.
The sixth parameter before buy health insurance is Miscellaneous charges
Along with the major surgical expenses a good policy also covers ambulance charges. Pre, and post-hospitalization charges, and some even throw in a few health checkups here and there. Apart from these 6 generic parameters, the other parameters that vary from person to person that you need to check are these. If you are planning a baby and want maternity expenses covered. If your family has a history of cancer and you want to be cover for chemotherapy, radiation, or any other specific critical illnesses. And If you want day-care procedures like cataract surgery or even dental included. Our requirements are different. So, the best health insurance policy for me will be different than the best health insurance policy for you. This was about health insurance.
So here is a 4 step procedure to find your best health insurance policy.
Write down what your requirements are. What hospitals you’d like, whether you want your parents included in your policy. Do you want maternity expenses covered?. What illnesses you want covered etc.
Now go to these health insurance comparison websites like PolicyBazaar, Coverfox, etc. They will show you the list of insurances that will be best for you. According to your age and other details. Here you will find policies as low as Rs. 9000/- per year which is less than Rs. 25/- per day. But more than premium, check their features and features not covered.
Directly go the website of that insurance policy provider. Call their executives, and tell them what your requirements are. Talk to 3-4 executives (of different insurance providers) before you make a decision. They’ll only come to your office/home to give you the papers. Now, an important point. Sometimes these executives are in a hurry to just sell you the policy. So it’s your job to read it carefully, and fill-in if you have any pre-existing illnesses. Because if you miss writing an illness. And if because of this, your claim gets rejected tomorrow then these executives cannot be held accountable. Because their job was only to sell you that insurance. So don’t be in a hurry, read carefully, and mention everything truthfully.
Do not forget to read the tax benefits of paying your medical insurance premium under Section 80D. And that’s about it. Now, where are you going to invest the money that you are saving from the taxes? See, health insurance is an investment for life.
You can get a decent health insurance policy for a premium of Rs. 25/- per day. BUT you can get the best health insurance policy for FREE!. Just eat at home, exercise for 20-30 minutes, and sleep well every day. And you can avoid most of the lifestyle diseases that our generation suffers from today. All the health insurance providers want the same thing for you to be healthy. Because even they don’t want to pay your hospital bills!. And I am sure you don’t want to get admitted. After living in the hospital for 4 days, and looking at all types of patients. I’ve realized that health is not wealth. It is… MORE than wealth! Take care of your health because nobody else is going to do it for you.