We preferably as Indians have long being ignoring the predictions relating to tough times when planning for our finance. Though our general behavior towards proactive savings have made us the largest saving economy globally but have always denied the facts that worst times can occur any time so your financial plan should always have some amount of allocation to hedge risk. The same scenario is reflected in case of health insurance too. The country with one of the lowest penetration of health insurance products is a quick reflection of the same.
Considering the current average health care inflation rate which is hovering around 7.5% per annum, the average hospitalization cost for a 30 year individual is in the range of Rs.50000 to 3 Lakhs today which would be closer to Rs.13 Lakhs when he/she reaches the age of 50, the age at which the need for medical services would always be more. Foregoing health insurance today will also lead to you pay more for the same amount of cover or being denied of cover in future.
Keep in view the importance of a Health Insurance Polciy in your financial plan make it a must have thing but buying one can always be a challenging one. From a layman perspective understanding every possible technical details of a policy can be bit tough and even it is no possible for you to get a dream offering where all the features offered by the insurance provider can match exactly equal to your need but there are may be some legitimate list of things which we should always look into so that we make an informed decision.
1) ALWAYS PLAN YOUR COVER FOR FUTURE: Generally the cover that you opt today is something that would come to your help in future. Health insurance becomes very important during the old age when the cost of hospitalization would be much higher than the current. So when you consider buying a health policies today always evaluate the amount of cover considering the inflation rate so that you always get the right financial assistance when you actually need it.
2) BUY EARLY: It is always advised to buy a health insurance policy early in age. As you grow older you might pick up some diseases which might not get cover at an older age. Even at an old age you might even denied a cover by some health insurance providers.
3) CONSIDER YOUR HEALTH HISTORY AND LIFESTYLE: Your family might have health history for a particular disease or your current profession might have also pushed you into a lifestyle which can have bad effects in future. Do consider all these while deciding upon a health insurance policy.
4) LOOK AT ALL WHO TO BE COVERED: People around you are very much dependent on you. Your spouse, kids and even your parents are your responsibility so when you plan for health insurance policy evaluate whether you need just an individual cover or you need something which covers everybody. Selecting between an individual and a family floater policy is a critical decision to take. Best part of a family policy is that the combined cover offered by the policy to all the members under the same can be used by anybody who needs it makes it more flexible and fits well to your needs.
The above points can be more generic to most people who are looking to buying a health insurance but we should also look into something specifically technical while buying one. Few technical things which you should look into are:
1) In case a Health Insurance Polciy For Family, the premium that you pay would largely depend on the age of the oldest member of the group. Other than that having somebody of very old age would always lead him/her utilizing most part of the cover which leads to a situation where other family members can’t get benefit from the policy. So it is always advised that if you are buying a floater policy always try to buy a separate individual policy for the member who falls under the age group of 50 or above.
2) Room rent capping; most insurance put a cap on the amount of hospital room rent that would be covered by the policy in case of hospitalization. The capping would largely depend on the amount of cover you have applied for. The capping can be having a larger effect in case of claims. In a case say your capping is 1% is sum assured which ends up to Rs.4000 per day that would be borne by the policy though the actual cost you may be paying is Rs.8000 per day. This means that only 50% of the cost is covered. In case if you apply for claims other than the room rent charges all other charges also get proportionately covered so you might end up paying a lot more money from your pocket even though you have a policy.
3) Cash less hospital network is a factor which always needs to be considered. All insurance companies offer health insurance policy have their own network , in case a need for hospitalization arises you as policy holder can opt for a cashless treatment in all these hospital. Proximity of a network hospital to your city of residence can be a defining factor in opting for the right insurance company.
4) Co-pay, exclusions & inclusions, it is not necessary that all the cost would covered by your insurance policy. There is always a recommendation to go through the policy wordings in details in that case. Other than that there will always be limits and sub-limits on various categorizes of medical expenses which always need to keep in mind depending on your requirements
Making informed decisions is always advised. Financial products are not either good or bad but it becomes for bad for the person doesn’t need it. It is always recommended evaluate all the policies available in the market which fits into you requirement .A online comparison can also give you a fairer comparison. So follow the simple rules detailed above to make the best possible decision and stay financially healthy.