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When we say India is on a growth trajectory, it also includes the growing cost of health. The days of manageable medical bills are left in the past- with premium healthcare facilities raising the prices. Even a minor hospitalisation procedure can cause a substantial expense, leaving families financially vulnerable. Hence, healthcare insurance has shifted from the position of being a luxury into a necessity for all. Yet, with the sheer number of health insurance available, it is common to get lost in the complexities. We are here to demystify the technicalities and help you select the insurance that fits your requirements best.

Understanding Your Needs

Before embarking on your plan selection journey, understand the importance of health insurance:

  • Health insurance acts as a buffer, saving you from reaching debt in a medical emergency.
  • The shift from worrying about treatment finances to getting the right treatment keeps you at peace.
  • Cashless hospitalisation that does not require cash is becoming increasingly common, eliminating the need to pay medical bills upfront.
  • A wide range of medical expenses, such as hospitalisation, surgery, doctor visits, diagnostic tests, and medications, are covered by health insurance plans.
  • When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, health insurance helps them manage the costs of treatment and other expenses.
  • Family floater plans allow you to cover your entire family under a single plan, protecting them against medical emergencies.
  • Through lifetime renewability, many health insurance policies guarantee long-term coverage as you keep ageing.

Now that we have decoded the importance, let’s proceed to the need. It is imperative to understand your unique healthcare needs. Consider these:

  • Age plays a role in premium costs and pre-existing conditions may have waiting periods before coverage applies.
  • Take into consideration whether you need the health insurance plan just for yourself or for the entire family under a family floater plan.
  • Consider your activity level. Does your plan need to take into consideration potential health risks associated with your lifestyle, such as adventure sports or a physically demanding job?
  • Do you have a preferred hospital network, or are you flexible in your choices? Knowing this will help you choose a plan with a wide network in your preferred location.


Also Read:
10 Easy Steps To Find The Best Health Insurance Policy In India

Identifying Right Health Insurance Options

In the current day, you have different options with regards to picking your medical services plans. There are numerous health insurance plans available to meet your specific requirements:

  • Individual Medical Insurance Policies:

These plans only cover medical expenses for the insured individual for whom the insurance policy is acquired.

  • Floater Family Policies:

These plans cover your spouse, dependent parents and children under one sum insured amount and are hence cost-effective.

  • Health Insurance for Senior Citizens:

Senior citizen health insurance schemes aim at the specific healthcare requirements of old people and may sometimes cover pre-existing conditions after the waiting period is over.

  • Critical Illness Policy:

This policy provides a lump sum that can be used for treatment costs in the event of a diagnosis of an illness like cancer or heart disease.

  • Top-up Policies:

These policies are intended to be added to an existing health insurance policy to expand coverage beyond the initial sum assured.

Choosing a Health Insurance Plan: Things to Consider

Since by now you have a background on the various options of plans, let us dive into the essential aspects that will shape your judgment:

  • Sum Insured:

This assesses the amount of money the insurance company will pay for medical expenses. Assess your possible health needs carefully and select an insured sum that offers adequate coverage. Keep in mind that higher sums insured result in higher premiums.

  • Network Hospitals:

Go for a plan with reputable hospitals, especially within your town or where you stay mostly. With this arrangement, you are guaranteed admittance to quality healthcare facilities, as well as cashless hospitalisation where the insurer directly deals with the hospitals within the network, saving you from making upfront payments at confirmation time.

  • Waiting Periods:

Health insurance policies usually have specific illnesses or pre-existing conditions that may have a waiting period before they can be covered. For previous illnesses, it is better to choose plans that have shorter waiting periods.

  • Claim Settlement Ratio (CSR):

This displays the percentage of claims settled. A higher CSR (preferably above 80%) means higher chances of claim approvals. Choose an insurer whose claim settlement process is transparent and efficient.

  • Policy Renewals:

Make sure the policy has lifetime renewability, offering coverage renewability and guaranteeing coverage even as you age, provided premiums are paid on time.

  • Co-made Non-refundable Benefits:

Some plans include copays (the policyholder pays a fraction of the claim) or deductibles (a fixed amount subtracted from the total claim before the insurance covers it). Ensure you are conversant with these clauses to avoid any surprises when finally settling claims.

Also Read: Understanding Tax Benefits: How Health Insurance Impacts Your Taxes

Additional Tips for Choosing a Health Insurance Plan in 2024

Here are a couple of things that you could keep in mind to aid you further-

  • Harness the Power of Technology: The plans provided by the various insurance providers can be compared online using the insurance aggregators to establish the most appropriate insurance plan to go for.
  • Read the Fine Print: Before going for a final call, make sure to scan through the policy document mentioning its inclusion, exclusion, and the mode of its claim.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: Unless otherwise, speaking with a registered insurance agent or a financial advisor may help in making appropriate decisions.

Conclusion

It is for this reason that choosing the correct type and plan of health insurance is one of the best decisions that one can secure in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, to choose the right plan from the given options, find out your needs, know how the plans are different, and be aware of the factors mentioned above to make an informed choice.

Kindly contact our specialists with additional inquiries by sending us a message at support@elephant.in or calling us at our number, 1800 266 9693! To find the best medical coverage rates, visit Elephant.in!

*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. You are recommended to obtain specific professional advice from before you take any/refrain from any action. Tax benefits are subject to changes in tax laws. Please contact your tax consultant for an exact calculation of your tax liabilities.| EL/BLOGS/24-25/08

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