The popularity of health insurance is steadily rising in India. Since the cost of healthcare facilities is growing at a rapid pace in the country, buying a health insurance policy is the most feasible way to get the best medical care, especially for low and middle-income groups. Today, the insurers offer a variety of health insurance products with different features, benefits, and coverage.
However, when you are buying health insurance, you must not limit yourself to knowing only the benefits. You must do a bit more research to get the best out your health insurance policy. Here are a few tips that can help you:
Get a personal insurance cover
In India, most salaried employees rely on their employer to provide health insurance cover. However, you must know that the group coverage offered by the employer is only a basic policy, and often the sum insured is insufficient. And in case of a medical emergency, you may have to bear the expenses from your pocket. So, it is better to purchase a comprehensive secondary policy to supplement the group insurance policy. If the medical bills are covered to the full extent of one policy, you can utilise the secondary policy to take care of the remaining amount.
Take advantage of the preventive care feature
Preventive care primarily includes coverage against vaccines, mammogram, and annual physical check-up that are usually conducted for free at any of the insurers’ network hospital as per the policy terms. The preventive care has dual benefits – firstly, you don’t have to pay anything for the check-up, and secondly, since you get regular preventive care, the risk of meeting with a severe health condition is minimised.
Seek treatment from network hospitals and know what is covered
Today, most insurance companies offer cashless claim facility to all policyholders. But you can avail this feature only if you seek treatment from any of the hospital that is part of the insurer’s network. If you seek treatment from a non-network hospital, you may have to pay the medical bills from your pocket initially, and then file for a reimbursement. Additionally, if you opt for an alternative treatment method that is not in the policy, you will have to pay the bills yourself. Hence, it is paramount that you read the terms and conditions carefully and know the inclusions to make the most of the health insurance policy.
Ask the insurer about riders
Riders are an add-on coverage that you can buy at an additional premium to widen your policy coverage. The riders are also an affordable option to get coverage against things that are not covered by your basic policy, rather than buying an additional policy. There are many types of riders that you can choose; critical illness cover and personal accident cover are some of the most popular add-ons that people consider buying with their insurance policy. The CI cover can be beneficial if any of your family suffering from a major disease, as the treatment cost for such illness can be expensive.
Avoid filing a claim for smaller bills
For every year that you don’t file a claim, you are entitled to receive a no claim bonus or commulative bonus form the insurer. The bonus received is usually in terms of increase in the sum insured on renewal of the policy. The bonus can range from 5% to 50%. It is therefore advisable that you avoid filing a claim against small expenses like daycare treatment expenses, or medical check-ups, as you may risk losing the commulative bonus
Lastly, the key to getting the maximum benefit from your health insurance plan is to be aware of the terms and conditions. So, be sure to be wary of the inclusions and exclusions before you sign the policy papers.