Health Insurance

Are you buying the right health insurance plan?read this

Written by animalszoom

Necessity is, rightly, the mother of invention. This also applies to health insurance. India’s deteriorating lifestyle and rising healthcare costs have paved the way for Medicare services. This need is further exacerbated by the fact that India, unlike the West, does not have a social security system. The government has all the rules in place to tax citizens everywhere it can, but when it comes to health care and social security, it doesn’t do anything at all.

Therefore, it is the duty of citizens to protect themselves. But getting the right health insurance policy isn’t all that smooth. There are more than two dozen general insurance companies in India offering different types of health insurance plans. A lot of times people end up buying health insurance plans that have nothing to do with them and it doesn’t help when they need it.

Therefore, it is critical to understand the nuances of health insurance plans before making a decision. Here’s a quick list for you.

What does a health insurance plan cover?

The main purpose of a health insurance plan is to provide you with coverage for hospitalization and critical illness. Most plans cover this. However, there are many plans that do not cover certain types of health conditions. For example, you can find several health insurance plans that do not cover blood pressure and diabetes-related issues.

Coverage can also vary. For example, not every plan covers post-hospital costs. In some cases, the coverage period may be as long as 45 days, and in some cases, the period may be as short as one week.

It is your responsibility to check these matters. If you rely on an insurance agent going after you, you could pay dearly later. Agents are interested in making sales and commissions. They may show that they care and tend to offer you the best plan, but their reality can be very different. So, just pay attention to these aspects.

Growth in India’s health insurance industry has prompted insurers to roll out comprehensive plans. A wide variety of riders are also at your disposal. So, if you buy a standard policy, you can add riders, which cover you for many other risks, such as permanent disability benefits, diabetes coverage, and more.

Do they cover pre-existing conditions?

Most medical insurance plans in India do not cover pre-existing conditions unless otherwise stated. Don’t assume this. If you are looking for coverage for a pre-existing medical condition, please clarify it the first time. You can compare health insurance plans online and consult the customer service center via the live chat option or by phone.

In some cases, some plans cover pre-existing conditions. Usually, there is a pre-specified period within which pre-existing conditions are covered. Such plans naturally cost more than standard plans.

Can a plan cover multiple family members?

Yes, it is possible. You can simply choose a family floating plan and have your family members covered under a single plan. There are many benefits to these plans. If you buy different health insurance plans for different family members, the premiums will be higher, but much less. The collective cost of the various plans is much higher.

On the other hand, home float plans are cost-effective. The most common question about family floaters is what happens if one member uses the insurance limit and the other gets sick. There are solutions for these situations.

You can top up the coverage limit during the policy term. Of course, you’ll need to pay some extra premiums to get the extended coverage.

Can you switch from one health insurance plan to another?

Portability is not limited to the telecom sector. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) enables portability in the field of health insurance.

If for any reason you wish to change your health insurance provider, you can submit a request to switch. Until now, health insurance was provided by general insurance companies, and they couldn’t deny your portability claim.

They can try to keep you, but at the end of the day, you have the power to make the final decision. If you have any problems with your health insurance plan, you can file a complaint at IRDAI’s online consumer grievance remediation system. It’s amazingly efficient and you can expect to take action within 15-45 days.

Nevertheless, IRDAI has taken strong measures to protect consumer rights and it is entirely possible that your grievance will be resolved by the insurance company itself in the first stage, in which case you do not need to contact IRDAI.

How is the tax exemption?

Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can claim a tax deduction up to Rs 15,000 to cover medical insurance premiums in the current financial year ending March 2015. This limit is set at Rs 25,000 per annum starting from the next financial year.

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