How to select the right Health Insurance policy for you and your family?


I am sure that, since the onset Covid-19 pandemic a larger percentage of the population might now be considering to buy a Health Insurance policy for themselves and their family.
Through this blog I intend to point out the factors you should consider while selecting the `right` Health Insurance policy for yourself.
  • First thing is to figure out if you even need a Health Insurance or are you just paying the premium uselessly. So we must have insurance of any such asset/belonging whose loss/treatment we cannot afford in our current financial situation. That is if we fall sick and our financial condition doesn't allow us to comfortably afford any treatment(commonly max is about ~4-10 lakhs in India) then we must buy a Health Insurance Policy.
  • Next point is whether to select Floater(Family) or Individual Plan. Now the difference between these 2 plans is that in Floater plan you get a certain Medical coverage say 5 lakhs per annum which can be used for medical treatment of any of your family members but the maximum cap on the total expenditure covered by the Insurance company will be 5 lakhs. Whereas in Individual plan you may choose to have 2 lakh coverage policy for each member of your family but if 2 lakhs of a member is already spend you cannot use the insurance of other family members for him/her. So logical thing to do here would be to take Individual Plan of say 2-5 lakhs for older members of the family or for members with some medical condition and have a Floater Plan for the rest of the family.
  • Next point to look at is the Claim-Settlement(what percentage of medical claims made by clients are actually fulfilled by the company) ratio so that when you are in actual need of the money you get the claim even if it means slightly more premium amount.
  • Next is, depending on your location, which Insurance company has the tie-up for cashless treatment with maximum number of hospitals in your city. This would ensure that when you need emergency treatment in hospitals you may don't run into shortage of money to make the payment.
  • Avoid Policies with a lot of subheads/conditions in their policy like some company may provide a cover of 5 lakh but only provide a max of Rs 5,000 per day for ICU bed etc.
  • Look for Policies that cover pre and post hospitalization expenditure as well, like some therapy or expensive medicines post release from the hospital.
  • Some Policies have a large cooling of period for existing diseases, which means that if you are suffering from thyroid then the Insurance Policy would not cover for any thyroid related expenses for some `X` number of years. Try and look for policies where this `X` is as low as possible.
  • Select at Policies which have high No-Claim bonus. No-Claim bonus means that if you don't claim your medical insurance for a year, your will get some discount in your premium amount the next year or maybe your coverage amount will be increased by some amount. 
  • Finally it the question arises as to what amount of Health Insurance coverage one should purchase. The answer is depending upon today's hospital expenses in India, one should have a minimum Health Insurance coverage of Rs 5,00,000 per year.

For Insurance Policy comparisons you can use policybazaar.com which is easy to use, shows policies from all the reputed companies and also has really good customer service.

-by Deep Shekhar

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