Most people do not realize the importance of a good health insurance policy till they get stuck in circumstances where they need it the most. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to choose the right health insurance policy suiting their financial budget. If you still haven’t got one and are planning to get one this year, here are the first five of ten things to consider when purchasing health insurance.
1. Choose your insurance company wisely
Generally, companies that offer health insurance are either general insurance or life insurance companies. Experts say that it is better to pick a general insurance company over one that offers life insurance. This is because a company that provides life insurance is invested in policies that will reimburse the family members of the deceased, and will not be focused on health insurance. Another reason is that the policy usually costs more when taken from a life insurance company.
2. Plan according to your future needs
One of the most important things to consider while choosing a health insurance plan is to think of the needs that might arise in the future. If you have a family with ageing parents or are newly married and are planning to start a family in the near future, your bet has to be on the policies that will cover aged parents or possibly cover maternity costs.
3. Make an informed decision about the type of health insurance
Read all that you can about the various options your health insurance company is providing you. Ask questions. Generally, if you have a family it is advisable to opt for a family floater plan. It is more economical and effective in the long run. Similarly choosing a cashless policy over a reimbursement type of policy may suit some but may not be beneficial to all.
4. Choose the right amount as ‘sum assured’
‘Sum assured’ in simple terms is the maximum amount that a person who is insured can be reimbursed or covered for in one policy year. Basically, it is the base for all your future medical claims. Before you choose the sum assured, take into account the rising medical costs. At the same time, the amount shouldn’t be so high that it would be difficult for you to pay the premium. For example, an insurance company assumes that the cost of a hospital bed for one day is one percent of the sum assured. Therefore if your sum assured is one lakh, hospitalization should cost you thousand rupees per day. If you were hospitalized for seven days and the hospital charges more than a thousand rupees per day, you will be left paying the difference. Hence, choosing the right amount as sum assured is imperative.
5. Check the empanelled hospitals
Every insurance company has empanelled hospitals, with whom they have a tie up. These hospitals are instructed on how to settle the claims of a patient who has a particular company’s cover. Therefore it is best to check which hospitals are under the insurance company. Checking for their specialty, reputation and distance from your home is important. This is because in case of an emergency you are most likely to visit a hospital closest to your home. Another consideration is that there should be hospitals with varied specialties under the insurance company– it is better to have a choice when it comes to certain illnesses rather than going to the same hospital that may not provide you with appropriate care.
These tips will help to guide you in the right direction when purchasing health insurance.
Watch for the next five pointers coming soon.