Shopping for a health insurance policy for your family is as important as taking good care of your family. A health insurance policy will, in fact, aid you in making sure your family is prepared for any medical expenses that may arise in future. So, the insurance policy, too, will offer the much-needed protection to your near and dear ones.
You might have thought about getting a health insurance policy in order to benefit from the tax deductions available under the Income Tax Act, 1961. However, you should know that an insurance policy offers more benefits than that. A health insurance policy offers coverage for a wide variety of hospitalisation-related expenses incurred by the insured members. This means that by paying regular premium amounts, the insurance company will provide you with the benefit of covering your expenses for an amount of your choice.
As a first-timer, you may find it hard to choose a health insurance policy. Here are a few basic tips to help you understand health insurance and how to get the best insurance policy for yourself and your family:
Choose the right insurer
Since there are many insurance companies prevalent in the country today, choosing a single insurer may seem like a mammoth task. However, you can use certain pointers to slowly filter out one insurer after another until you find the one that offers the best insurance policy. Here are a few factors you should look out for while looking for a health insurance company:
- Check the incurred claims ratio from the latest IRDAI report and ensure the figure is between 75% and 85%.
- Find out the premium rates offered by the company.
- Check if your nearest hospitals are empaneled as cashless network hospitals.
- Pick companies that have convenient premium payment options.
- Make sure the product you are looking for is available with the company.
Pick the right plan
Once you have narrowed down the insurance companies, the next step is to check the plans available under each of them. The coverage offered by the plan should be suitable to all the insured members. Here are some of the features of a health insurance policy that should be included in the plan you purchase:
- Check if the plan has the cumulative bonus feature which offers a discount when no claims are made in a year.
- Take a look at the number of benefits offered and ensure basic hospitalisation expenses are covered.
- Pick a larger cover if you are covering older individuals.
- You can choose to get a separate senior citizen policy for your parents too.
- Choose a plan with specific benefits such as maternity benefits, critical illness benefits, newborn baby cover, and so on based on your requirements.
Read the policy thoroughly
Lastly, it is important to go through the policy document word-to-word before paying the premium. Here are a few clauses that you should look out for in a health insurance policy.
- Preferably pick a plan without a co-pay clause.
- Avoid plans with the room rent clause as that will affect your overall claim amount.
- Read through the exclusions thoroughly.
- Check the waiting periods applicable on the treatments.
- Check if pre-existing diseases are covered.
A health insurance policy may seem like a burden at the time of purchase or during renewals. However, you need to understand that the policy will surely come in handy during an emergency and it is thus imperative that you purchase a policy for yourself and for the well-being of your family.