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Health Insurance: Are you availing lesser-known benefits of your health cover?

Priyadarshini Maji
insurance, health insurance, health insurance products, health risks, IRDAI, exclusions, health insurance policies, free health check up, home treatment,

Health insurance has become a necessity nowadays with the rising medical cost. As people are being aware of it, more and more individuals are seen opting for a health insurance policy. Health insurance provides cover for hospitalisation expenses, cashless admission in 'listed' hospitals, and tax breaks. However, along with those, there are list benefits that health insurance offers, and are missed-out by most. Most policyholders are not aware of all the features offered in their health plans, and hence, do not fully utilise the benefits.

Here is a list of lesser-known features of your health insurance policy, that you might be missing out on;

Free health checkups
Health insurance plans offer free medical checkups, which comes with certain conditions. For instance, this feature will be available to those policyholders who have had 4-5 consecutive claim-free years, depending on their policy type. It also has to be within the predetermined limit mentioned in the insurance policy. Additionally, this free health checkup becomes cashless when availed of at an empanelled hospital or centre.

More than Allopathic treatment
According to IRDAI guidelines, health insurance plans are not only limited to allopathic treatments which require hospitalization. It also provides cover for treatments such as Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Ayurveda, Unani, and Siddha. While some insurers bring these benefits under the ambit of their primary health insurance coverage, others offer these benefits under sub-limit treatment. Consequently, if you are also among the one who is in use of alternative medicine, check if your health insurance plan covers for it.

Day Care treatment
If policyholders opt for treatment at home for any disease or injury, under medical supervision, the health insurer will compensate for it, depending on the type of insurance plan. These are offered to those policyholders where the patient's feeble condition makes hospitalization not possible or also due to unavailability of a hospital room/bed. However, this comes with a limit on the amount and number of days up to which the benefit can be available.

OPD treatment
Most think their health insurance policy is limited to hospitalisation expenses, and cashless admission, however, many health insurance plans reimburse outpatient expenses. These include pathological tests, doctor's consultation fees, and also the cost of medicines. One doesn’t need to be hospitalised to make such a claim.

No-claims bonus
This is offered by most insurance companies. If the policyholder does not file for a claim during the policy tenure (one year), the policyholder will be eligible for a bonus. The bonus varies from insurer to insurer, but generally, a higher sum insured (up to 50 per cent) is offered or a discount in premium during the annual renewal. Some insurers also offer a cumulative bonus for every no-claim year.