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How Should One Plan For Health Insurance If You Are Planning To Have Kids?

Planning for a newborn is always overloaded with emotions but with rising cost of pregnancy and rise in cost of raising a kid in today’s time make it also an important financial decision which need to be looked into from the strategic point of view considering your current financial status.We all understand the happiness associated when you hear the good news from your doctor,especially when you are expecting a baby.It is actually a new phase in your life but it is also quite financially challenging for people living in urban centres.The cost associated with medicare for both the mother and child is quite unavoidable at this stage and you end up incurring huge expenses.

But do you think the problem can be take care by any health insurance plan?

Going by the basic rules of insurance, a health insurance company should not be covering the situations relating to pregnancy because anyways this is not an unplanned risk but still there are specific plans which are available today which cover pregnancy related expense only when the policyholder opt for an add-on cover for the same.

What is a maternity health insurance?

At any point of time we can’t overlook the cost associated with pregnancy. Looking at the current cost dynamics it may be cost you in the range of Rs.60000 to Rs.2 lakhs. Your regular family health insurance plans generally provide a maternity benefit under an existing policy just as an add-on cover.So completely depending on family health plan can be disastrous for pregnancy related cost.There are few things that can be looked into which defines the basic feature of a plan

a) Your Maternity plans covers all expenses relating to hospitalization and cost related to delivery of the baby either through normal or caesarean mode.

b) Covers all pre and post hospitalization expenses and also cost related to pre and post natal care.

c) Generally cover the newborn but with certain sublimits.

d) In most of the cases the cost of ambulance which is used for ferrying the mother to the nearest network hospital is also covered

Other than the above benefits there are generally certain limitations with maternity health plans which should be well thought over in advance so that you get maximum claim settled.

a) Most regular health plans offering maternity benefit as an add-on always come with waiting periods of 24 to 36 months so if you are planning for a baby in the immediate future then the pregnancy will not be covered.

b) There is always a limit in pregnancy cost that would be covered by your policy.For the most of the plans though it depends on the sum assured of the plan but in a regular scenario not more than Rs.50000 would settled while you make a claim.So you only get just 20% to 30% of your expenses getting covered under the maternity plan.

So how should parents plan?

a) Do just buy health insurance plan because it offers maternity benefits because there is always a limit to what would get covered.Try to evaluate all features before you buy one.

b) Since in most of the case only 20% to 30% of the maternity cost is covered so you should always have financial backup to fund the rest of the expenses.

c) In any case , if your employer is always providing a group insurance plan, while making claims for pregnancy one should consider the same as the first option. Generally corporate group plans have less limitations compared to regular individual and family plans.In this way you also save your NCB discount on the individual plan which can used for other serious needs

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Why You Should Get Health Insurance For Parents Before They Turn 60?

This is a common problem with we millennial, your father who is approaching his job retirement and your mother would also turn into senior citizen in next five years and they don’t have health insurance in place. The main reason behind the same is mainly unawareness , five years back the health insurance industry was not so mature and not so many good plans were there as it is today. The other most important reason behind the same is , the baby boomer generation was not so obsessed with the idea of paying for something in which nothing comes in return post completion of the tenure and this phenomenon is quite observed in the term insurance space also,the term insurance reach was very less in the generation in which our parents fall.

But what it leads to? As our parents grow older, they always need our moral and monetary support and which in most common in all Indian middle class households .In which medical cost forms a larger of it. Since your parents are generally not insured under a health insurance plan you end up paying for their medical cost and which can effectively distort your own future financial plan. Though people don’t accept this fact because of the emotional underpinnings but the fact is a fact. So Should You Look At Buying Health Insurance For Your Parents At The Age Of 60?

Though there a whole list of senior citizen plans which are available today which you can even buy at an age above 60 for your parents but they are generally very costly .Since health insurance premiums generally remain fixed for particular age group so buying it for them before they turn 60 acts as an option to save money and make a smart decision.

What factors you should consider while buying health insurance for your parents?

  1. Always rely on making highest form of disclosure of pre-existing ailment of your parents. Even though you might end up paying a bit more money because of it but it always put them in secure hands while they make claims.
  2. Look at plan which provides for highest policy tenure so that the plan is always there to help them when they require.
  3. Prefer buying two separate individual plans for your father and mother. As data shows women generally have a higher life expectancy, you mother would be requiring the policy for a longer period of time. Plus at this age everybody needs a higher coverage so if you buy a floater or joint plan for your parents, during claims one of your parents can end up using the whole sum assured in a particular term and nothing is left for the other.
  4. Always keep a check on the limits on hospitalization cost, prefer plans with less boundations.
  5. While buying health insurance plan for your parents also prefer to look for a copy option. This particular option not only saves money on premium but the claim settlement would be always be easy because under it you have already made promise to pay a certain amount when the claim arises.

All above listed points may act as good guide for you when planning for health insurance for your parents but you should be always cautious at the time of buying and always into consideration their current health condition. The other benefit associated with this, if you are paying the premium out of your pocket you can always claim for an additional tax exemption of Rs.30000 under section 80D.So the Maximise Tax Benefits On Health Insurance under section 80D, everything gets planned, not only parent’s health because now they don’t need to shed the leftover money from their retirement fund plus it also keep your own financial plan robust.

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Health Insurance For Senior Citizens : Tips To Follow Before Buying

Getting a health insurance policy for the senior most member of the family is the most toughest thing to do in a state when the health care cost for them is the highest. Senior citizens are generally in a state where they need the highest amount medical care and which is very costly. if they don’t have a health insurance cover in place then that can be very dangerous from the perspective of financial health and accept their retirement benefits a lot.

Lot of people prefer not to buy a senior citizen health insurance primarily because of two basic reasons , one being they are very costly and secondly the hassle of getting multiple medical test done before getting a  health insurance application accepted by the insurer is also very tiresome.

Read also : Should You Look At Buying Health Insurance For Your Parents At The Age Of 60

One of the most common thing that one needs to keep in mind if you are buying a health policy for their parents who already have attended the age group of 60 or above please don’t include them as member in  your regular family health insurance plan.This is because the premium of a family insurance policy largely depend on the age of the senior most member of the group who are part of the plan. Plus there medical requirements for a person at a very old age are very much different when compared to lot of the young members of the family. So you always need separate plan for your parents if they are above the age of sixty and this applies to the person who is the proposer and also fall in the senior citizen category.

Few things which are very important from the perspective of buying a health insurance policy for senior citizens are:

  1. Always look for a plan which offers the entry on a plan at the highest possible age. This also increases the horizon of uptil how many years you will stay covered under the plan.
  2. Look for policies with the least waiting for pre-existing ailments and certain chronic diseases. This is an age where people generally come with a baggage of pre-existing ailments and which makes thing more deteriorating as the person ages.So less waiting period makes more sense to a senior citizen health insurance plan.
  3. Co-pay option in a senior citizen  health insurance plan should not considered as an hindrance towards not accepting a particular plan subject to the condition the waiting period is less and there is a maximum leverage on entry age side.
  4. Always keep a check on the sub limits on the various expenses which are very important when a claim is raised.Sum limits are the common normal for all these type of policies so do consider keeping in view of the policyholders current health conditions.
  5. This may the not be called as one of  important reasons to be considered while buying a health insurance plan but it should be important for a senior citizen policy. The reason is the number of networked hospitals of your insurer i a city where the policyholder resides.

The above mentioned facts may be something you should consider if you are buying senior citizen health insurance policy for yourself or your parents.If you are buying for your parents anyways you can always claim the extra tax exemption of Rs.30000 against Section 80D and which can be used a way to find the real price that you are paying for the health plan

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Increasing Your Health Insurance Cover With Top Up Health Plan

As all know the importance of health insurance in terms of providing financial security against health emergencies.With rising health care cost health insurance has become an important part of one’s insurance portfolio.But with increasing complexity the need for the amount of health insurance cover and type of cover keep on changing on a regular basis.New forms of physical ailments are on the rise, you never know when a particular health problem which was supposed to a minor disorder can turn epidemic.Like in the case of Dengue , two years back it actually took a epidemic stature and affected many northern states in India.This lead to insurance companies launching Dengue related specific health insurance cover.

 

The changing scenario discussed above may always force you to look for an higher cover from time to time and which in most of the cases may turn very costly.But if this insurance cover balancing act being done in a smart way can lead to higher savings of money. So let look from the perspective of how can we increase the health cover without raising much cost.Traditionally the health plans which policyholders been buying where base plans, the plan which cover every type of medical emergency and help you manage the whole cost involved during the phase of treatment .The premium of all base family health insurance plans depend primarily on three factors, Number of members who are cover,age of the person being covered and the amount of cover one is looking for it.All these plans also have their sub limits on the percentage of the total cost which would be covered for any specific expense relating to a medical treatment.But with changing conditions most of the policyholders are finding the cover in the base policy less that what is require. The prima facie solution for this is to buy a new policy but which tend to be bit costly because by the time you apply for the next policy you might have already grown older and your insurer might think you more risky while giving you cover.

 

Read also: Deciding Upon How Much Health Insurance Cover Do You Need?

 

The challenge is now we need an extra cover but don’t know how to do it at a cheaper rate. This is where top-up health insurance plan comes as a great help.The best part of these types of plan is that they are quite cheaper than buying another base plan for more increasing cover. These plans comes with mandatory deductible which makes them quite cheaper.Take the case of Anand, who already has base plan of Rs.5 lakhs but needed an additional cover of Rs.15 lakh to meet his current requirement.In case he opts for a top-up plan and makes a claim of Rs.7 lakh then the claim of 5 lakh is first raise on the base plan and rest can be covered by the top up. So technically there is a concept of Rs.5 lakh as deductible which makes the top plans as an option of increase health cover which is good and cheap.

 

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Why Health Insurance Plan At An Early Age Act As The Best Investment Option?

People at a younger age mostly don’t value the importance of health insurance when they are healthy and hearty. But one should remember investing into health insurance plans at an early age can have good long term benefits. When you are young and healthy then buying health insurance at this age can prove very easy for your pocket too.

Looking from the perspective of how health insurance premiums are calculated, it has lot to do with the age and health of the policyholder .Insurer generally charge low premium for young applicants. But this is not the only reason surely there are a lot of benefits associated with buying a health insurance plan at an early age and to count few are

A) NO PROBLEMS RELATING TO WAITING PERIOD: Waiting period in a health insurance plan is a common phenomenon. Going by the definition of waiting period when somebody buys a health insurance plan, in most of the times the insurer holds a right not to honor your claims in the initial years of the policy for ailments related to surgery, critical diseases and existing health problems. But in case when you are buying the policy at an early age the waiting period doesn’t become a pain for you and you save a lot of money also.

B) YOU CAN GET MORE THAN JUST HOSPITALIZATION COVERAGE: A large number insurers today have started offering innovative solutions other than the basic hospitalization cover. Since coverage for day to day medical expenses, doctor consultation fee and maternity benefits are some of the common coverage which are now part of a regular plan. Buying a health policy at an early age makes more sense for so that easily enjoy the benefits of all these covers by just paying a nominal extra premium.

C) BENEFITS OF BONUS: Insurer always incentivize policyholders by offering discounted premium or increased sum assured in case of claim free years. The maximum amount of benefit which one can think of it is close to 50% to 100% of the sum assured, which is a huge amount of money. When you buy a health plan at an early age your initial claim free years can add lot of benefits to your existing policy which can be used at an older age.

D) AVAILABILITY OF WIDER OPTION: Generally when you are buying health policy at an early age insurer at are also open to offer multiple features to the customers at a much lower premium but which as an option is not available to a older policyholder.

E) LOWER REJECTION RATES: When you apply for a health policy at an age above 30 health insurers are always jittery about accepting the application because of pre-existing ailments and as people at an older age is most prone to health hazards leading to higher rejection rates.  This is not the case when you are applying at a much younger age and the insurer would always happy to accept application from younger applicants.

Read Also - How Can One Maximise Tax Benefits On Health Insurance In Fy-2016-17?

Though a health insurance plan might look like a fancy investment at an early age but the long term benefits are awesome. A young policyholder can always apply for a long tenure policies at the much cheaper cost. So it not just the monetary benefits but there are real benefits for health insurance applicants falling in the early age category.

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Not So Known Benefits In Your Health Insurance Policy

Every Policyholder might be quite aware of the broader benefits of his/her health insurance policy but there can be some sub limits or specific benefits which we generally miss out because we don’t take the pain to read the policy document in details. Sub limits as we know that can prevent you from getting all claims settled by the insurer so you should be very clear with them while comparing plans from different insurers’ .Similar on those lines there are few unknown benefits associated with a health insurance plan which we should know so that we can reap better benefits from it. Though these benefits might sound very small considering the cost that you might have incurred during your medical treatment but they can really add value.

Few of the not so known benefits associated with your health insurance plans are:

  1. Good health Bonus: This is quite similar to the non claim bonus that you get in a car insurance plan. So if there is no claim term in your policy may be because good health practices that you have followed , you insurer would incentivize you in this case by either increasing you sum assured or may give a discount in your premium in the succeeding term. In both the cases you end up pay less for a larger amount of benefit. The most common of the benefits which insurers give is increase in sum assured. The maximum amount of benefit which a policyholder may enjoy in this case may range between 5% to 20% to a maximum of 50% to 100% of the sum assured.
  2. Free health check up benefit: Most health insurers provide free health checkup in their network hospitals to any insured after a block of either two or five no claim years. We should know that the premium rates don’t get affected by these health checkups. There are some health insurance providers which provide these health checkups with sub limits whereas some provide without any cost regardless of the claim history of the policy.
  3. Ayush cover: With rising use of alternate medical practices like Homeopathy, Ayurveda ,naturopathy etc now insurers are started covering medical treatments cost done through these methods subject to the condition that the same is done in a government accredited facility with accreditation from either Quality council of India or National Accreditation Board on Health
  4. Recovery benefits: You should know that your health insurance plan does also cover recovery post discharge from the hospital. This benefit comes as recuperating benefit in health insurance policy. Say if there is an income loss due prolonged hospitalization you may be entitled to receive a lump sum amount for the same as per the policy terms.
  5. Cover for treatment in home: In case due to non availability of hospital beds or due to extreme medical condition you are forced to take a domiciliary treatment the same can be covered fully with sub limits as per terms of the policy but it is always to subject one condition that the same has to be prescribed by a medical practitioner.
  6. Daily hospital cash allowance: During a period of hospitalization it is not only the medical and treatment cost that is involved but there are many ancillary costs. This may include travelling, food, accommodation etc which also add up to a big expenditure. A health insurance plan sometimes provides a daily hospital cash allowance to meet these expenses also. In most of the cases this fixed allowance which is given to the insured for a fixed number of days.

Read Also- Deciding Upon How Much Health Insurance Cover Do You Need?

So from the above it is surely understood there are many underlying policyholders generally miss out while making claims. For an insured person to take more benefits under a health insurance policy should possibly be aware of all the benefits associated.

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