India Markets closed

5 Questions To Ask If You’re Buying Health Insurance

Adhil Shetty
5 Questions To Ask If You’re Buying Health Insurance

With a vibrant Health Insurance market available to us today, there are products out there with a wide range of features. This makes choosing the right Medical Insurance plan a bit of a challenge.

The challenge can be even tougher if you are seeking Health Insurance for the first time. While affordability is usually the main priority when buying a Health Insurance policy, more insight is required to ensure you and your loved ones are adequately covered for any emergency.

Additional Reading: Common Health Insurance Mistakes 

1: Which is better? An Indemnity Plan or a Defined Benefit Plan?

Indemnity based Health Insurance plans cover your healthcare expenses up to a specified limit. A defined benefit plan, however, pays out the sum assured when the insured is diagnosed with a pre-defined disease. Mediclaim polices or Family Floater plans are indemnity based, while critical illness plans are part of defined benefit plans.

Both indemnity and defined benefits plans have their advantages. You can pick one or both as per your health risks and needs. An indemnity Health Insurance plan should be a basic necessity for everyone, so make sure you have this cover for all members of your family.

Additional Reading: Opting For Medical Insurance? Here’s How It Works 

2: Is Insurance premium a good parameter when choosing Health Insurance?

When it comes to health, there should be no compromise. However, many Health Insurance seekers make their decisions based on one parameter alone: the cost of premium.

Low premium Health Insurance plans are likely to offer a lower protective cover and fewer benefits. This would increase your expenses substantially should you seek hospitalisation or prolonged treatment of any disease.

Instead of comparing Health Insurance premiums, compare the protective quotient of each insurance policy. Your age and previous medical history also determines a role in the overall premium of a Health Insurance plan. Hence, comparing just the premium alone is a practice that is best avoided.

Additional Reading: How To Choose A Comprehensive Health Cover 

3: Will I be getting protection for any pre-existing diseases?

“Pre-existing diseases” is a vast term which various insurance companies interpret differently. Pre-existing diseases are those diseases which are present before opting for a Health Insurance policy.

So, if you have already have a medical condition, check to see if the same condition is listed under pre-existing diseases for the insurance company you plan on purchasing your policy from.

Insurance companies usually offer policies that cover almost all pre-existing diseases, but these come a waiting period ranging from one to four years from the time of taking the policy.

Additional Reading: How Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Affect Your Health Insurance 

4: Can I get a free lookin period?

If you are worried about getting conned into purchasing a health plan that isn’t suited for you and your family, then put your fears to rest. There is help at hand.

The insurance regulatory body, Insurance Regulatory and Development Agency (IRDA), gives you the right to have a fifteen-day, free look-in period. You have the right to return or cancel the policy if you are unsatisfied with any policy clause within the stipulated tenure.

Additional Reading: IRDA’s Health Insurance Guidelines – A Review 

5: Should I go in for a top-up cover?

Rising medical costs have resulted in people often worrying whether their sum assured would be substantial for their medical needs. If you also face the same dilemma, going in for a top-up cover could be a good option.

A top-up cover offers additional protection over and above your existing health care plan. An add-on policy cover is more pocket-friendly as well.

For example, for a 30-year-old healthy individual, a basic health care policy with a cover of Rs. 5 lakh would cost anywhere between Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 8,000 depending on the policy. A top-up policy of Rs. 10 lakh with Rs. 3 lakh as deductible would cost around Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 3,000, thus making it more affordable.

Additional Reading: Rising Medical Costs? Opt For A Top Up Insurance Plan

Buying Health Insurance can be difficult due to the vast array of confusing options in the market. However, one’s health is a deeply personal matter, which is why it is imperative that you purchase a policy that specifically caters to the needs of you and your family.

BankBazaar is your one-stop shop for your personal finance needs! Visit our Maha March Bonanza to shop for a Personal Loan, Car Loan, Home Loan or Credit Card with free gift vouchers (T&C Apply)