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Health Insurance Plans

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health insurance

Health Insurance

How to Choose a Right Health Insurance

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Deciding to buy health insurance is crucial, so is the choice of the most suitable plan. With so many options available in the market, you are bound to get confused. Check out what the policy includes before you decide to buy. Make sure that you are aware of all terms and conditions. You will realise that price is not the only criterion when it comes to Health InsuranceBroadly speaking every health insurance policy covers the cost of hospitalisation and related costs of diagnostics, consultancy, tests etc. Assuming they all are the same, and opt for the cheapest plan might not be right when it comes to health insurance claims. Coverage, terms, cost and expenditure limits may vary for each company. Although it is important to consider the premium and check the affordability factor, a run through of features is what should ideally determine the final selection.Coverage, terms, cost and expenditure limits may vary for each company.First step in the direction is to determine the coverage amount that you need. Weigh your needs; see what you can spare for emergencies. Determine who all are to be covered in the plan. Once you have these things in place, you need to compare the best available options. Comparing different plans available in the market will educate you as to what various companies are offering and as well as help you identify your needs.

what to look for and compare
What to look for and compare?

There are certain must confirm points while buying health insurance. Check these points out when searching and comparing.

  • See till what age the policy will cover you

Most health insurance companies in India cover you till you reach a certain age. After this age the cover ceases to exist. Besides this, there is also a maximum entry age for getting a new health insurance plan. No insurance company will accept your proposal if you have crossed the maximum entry age. Maximum covered up to age may vary. Some companies even offer lifetime coverage.

  • Note the Policy Sub-Limits

Health insurance policies cover hospitalization charges, consultancy fees, diagnostic tests, medication, room rent, ambulance cost etc. But each part may have sub-limits for reimbursements. These sub limits may be fixed amounts or percentage of the total sum assured. It is important to consider the sub-limits in light of place of your residence and the kind of hospitals you visit.

  • Find out what is not covered

There are certain medical conditions, treatments and consultancies not covered in the policy. They may be permanently excluded or they may have time bound limitations. Like maternity and pregnancy related treatments may not be covered at all but ailments like hernia or cataract surgery may not be covered only during the first year of the insurance. Identify these and compare different policies to see which one suits your requirements most.

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Check the waiting periods

Any health insurance policy comes into force after a minimum of 30 days waiting period. Till then only accident related medical conditions are covered. For some companies the waiting period may be even more. Besides this initial wait, there are certain illnesses that are not covered during the first or first two years of the policy. You may have to wait for up to 4 years for any pre-existing illness to be covered, depending upon the insurance company. Check what the waiting period is for various situations.

  • Search information about the Networked Hospitals

Networked hospitals that offer the cashless facility form an important feature of a health insurance plan. They prove to be very convenient while dealing with the medical emergencies. Although generally you get the list of networked hospitals when you buy the policy, you can ask the company for the list before that or even check online on their website. Make sure that some of the hospitals near to you residence are covered by the insurance company.

  • Verify if there are any loading charges

Most insurance companies offer No Claim Bonus at the time of renewal if there is no claim in the previous year. That’s a monetary benefit that you get. But, what if you had made a claim? Insurance companies implement loading charges. Make sure that your health insurance provider has a clear and defined loading policy or you may end up paying heavy premiums.

how to compare
How to compare?

When you begin the search you must get a neutral and objective view of different health insurance policies available in the market. You can go to various companies’ websites and look for information about their products or call their agent advisors to explain things this would be tedious and time consuming and certainly not objective enough. Even if you have all the information, it will be difficult to compare them.

There’s an easier way out that has emerged these days and is becoming popular too. It is to go to insurance comparison websites like Easypolicy.com, Policy Tiger, Bima Deals etc. and compare. Most chances are that you will get a general but unbiased comparison of features and premiums.. Some of these websites also offer offline service support and also the facility to purchase insurance online.

Finally, read through the fine-print of the shortlisted products. Tedious, but very important as this will decide how you will get the benefit of the insurance in an emergency situation.