Comprehensive health insurance cover has become a must, especially since the pandemic. Experts say, with the exorbitant hospital and medical bills being accrued during COVID treatment, people have now become more cautious when it comes to choosing the ideal health plan available in the market.
Rakesh Jain, ED, and CEO, Reliance General Insurance, says “The pandemic has put a spotlight on risk and underscored the importance of risk mitigation. People have now started valuing the importance of insurance as they have understood the financial consequences of not having one. One should note that insurance is the best tool to get back on feet without making a financial dent on savings”
These are the things you must look out for, before investing in an optimal health insurance policy;
1. Social demographics: The city you stay in and the average cost of hospitalization in your area – your demography should be considered while choosing your health insurance cover. For instance, experts say if one has a higher standard of living and expects coverage in better hospital rooms and with modern treatments, they need to choose a policy with a higher coverage limit.
2. Necessary Coverage: Check your policy for any capping or limitations on the expenses associated in advance especially with surgical procedures. Choose a policy that offers the most benefits such as ambulance service, coverage for pre-existing, etc.
Jain says, “Try to avoid floater policies with lower sum-insureds – in the current pandemic scenario, these plans have fared poorly. Choose a policy that does not cap treatment options.”
3. Cashless Claim Options: First take a look at the insurer’s network of hospitals and consider whether the facilities offered fall under cashless claim options. Experts say, one should note that it is difficult to make upfront payments during medical emergencies, hence, choose a cover that allows cashless claims.
4. Premium Values: Never choose a policy based only on the low cost of the premium. Jain says “You should pick a cover that suits your needs and figure out how to lower the premium. Explore avenues to reduce the premium using discounts offered by the insurer, like a discount on choosing a higher policy tenure of 2/3 years.” Further to avail online discounts, one can also opt for buying an insurance policy directly from the insurer’s website.
5. Charges and other coverages: Consider the age and pre-existing health conditions of your dependents before buying a policy. You could also consider choosing super top-up policies if you are looking to upgrade, for the additional coverage with a deductible up to your existing health policy. Experts say one should choose a policy that covers both pre and post-hospitalization expenses for an optimal period.
6. Waiting Periods: If you have a pre-existing disease or a critical illness waiting period plays an important role. Hence, check the waiting period applied within your policy, and experts say opt for policies that have it for fewer years so that you can get the cover as soon as possible.