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5 Easy Steps to Find the Best Family Floater Plan in India

Family floater insurance plans are a one-stop solution for taking care of your family’s healthcare needs. A family floater insurance plan is basically a sum-assured that can be claimed when any member of the family who is covered under the plan falls sick and requires critical medical attention. In other words, the sum assured “floats” between the different members of the family and is a lot more flexible than an individual plan. It usually covers you, your spouse and children. But some plans also include dependent parents, siblings or parent-in-laws. Of course, the treatment costs are only covered up to the outer limit of the overall policy. However, you can increase the coverage if at all it exceeds the limit by buying a top-up or a super-top up add-on depending on your individual need. 

The idea behind buying a family floater plan is that the likelihood of all members falling ill at the same time is quite low. Therefore, it makes sense to have a single policy that covers all members of the family. An advantage of the family floater plan is that the premium is much lower than what the premium would be if each individual member of the family had an individual health insurance policy. Also, maintenance and renewals are easier with a family floater insurance plan. For individual policies you have to keep a track of when each policy needs to be renewed and maintain records of the same. The family floater plan is also great in terms of flexibility. Let’s say you have a sum-assured of Rs.10 Lakh. Then this Rs.10 Lakh can be used for treatment expenses of any member of the family. So, having a family floater health insurance plan is a great idea as it takes care of expenses smoothly, offers flexibility and is easy to keep a track of. 

Moving on, how do you decide upon a family floater plan that is best suited to your family’s unique needs and at the same time it is economical and flexible? 

5 Simple Steps to Find the Best Family Floater Policy in India

Follow these 5 easy steps and you will successfully find the best family floater plan in India: 

  1. Calculate the coverage your family requires

The primary factor that determines which family floater plan you choose is the coverage your family needs. How do you calculate your family’s required coverage? Well, a recommended thumb rule to follow is that the sum-assured should be approximately equal to your current annual income. Additional factors to consider are the healthcare costs applicable in the city you live in. If you live in a metro city, having a sum-assured of at least Rs.20 Lakh is a safe bet. You should also make note of the sub-limits of the policy. A high sum-assured would not be of much use if the sub-limits prevent its usage. For example, some policies come with limits on amounts spent on categories like Rs.50,000 for medicines, Rs.1 lakh for pre-hospitalization costs etc. The age of your family members are also important factors that influence your coverage amount. If the family is young i.e., the eldest member is 40 or below and the children are above 5 years old, the chances of two members requiring medical claims in the same year are slim. Hence, you could opt for lower sum-assured. With an aging eldest member or dependent parents, you might feel safe to opt for higher amounts. 

You should also be cautious while going through the benefits you need like pre and post-hospitalization costs, transportation, medicine expenses and diagnostic tests. The due diligence with respect to your desired coverage should be done with a fine-tooth comb! 

  1. Calculate your ideal premium range 

The next step is to make a mental note of the range of annual premium you can afford to pay.  You should consider your family’s financial status and commitments before deciding upon your health insurance budget since it is a long-term commitment. The higher coverage you want, the premium shoots up accordingly. In order to not bite off more than you can chew, you have to balance the amount you would like available for your medical emergencies with the amount of premium you can comfortably afford to pay. While greater coverage is a safety umbrella, budget is an equally important concern. Health insurance is a long-term investment and making things difficult for yourself right now can result in budgetary constraints in the future. 

When you are starting out, it’s safe to buy a family floater plan that offers sufficient coverage at a premium price that is reasonable. Over time, you can see how it pans out and make additions and modifications according to your changing needs. After all, you are the best person to strike the appropriate balance and there is no one-size-fits-all kind of solution available in the market. Even for your own family, your budget and medical needs will change over the years, so tweaks in the plan will be necessary despite making the best choice while making the initial policy purchase. 

  1. Compare different policies

After you have decided the desired coverage and premium range, the next step is to dive into research and do you homework. In other words, you need to compare different policies online. These should be from various insurance companies. Compare the range of benefits offered, claim-settlement ratio, premium charged, listed network hospitals etc. You can go to each company’s website and ask for a specific quote. Quotes are prepared based on your requirements. Compare the approximate figures of your shortlisted policies and go for the one that suits your needs best. This process might be lengthy or time-taking, but extensive research is important at this stage as buying health insurance for your whole family is a valuable investment and it should be done after an in-depth cost-benefit analysis. 

  1. Check for convenience and miscellaneous benefits 

Before finally selecting your family floater policy, check out the hospitals included in your insurer’s network. Choose an insurer who has most of your local hospitals covered in their network, especially the ones in your proximity to be useful in the event of an emergency. Network hospitals are familiar with the insurer and their claim filing procedure. You will easily find all the documents required for reimbursement and won’t face any hassles. 

Secondly, network hospitals also offer cashless claim settlement. This is a huge benefit as your expenses will directly be settled between the insurer and the hospital. You might have to pay additional costs (Costs not covered under insurance, if any), but that is a smaller risk. Other miscellaneous benefits you should look out for are no-claim bonus or NCB amount, fees for pre-medical screening or number of free health check-ups, health club memberships, coverage for ambulance charges etc. 

  1. Take note of exclusions and benefits 

Before making your purchase, it is important that you carefully consider the benefit and exclusion clauses in your selected policy. Whether you require pre and post hospitalization costs, diagnostic test costs, doctor visits, ambulance charges etc. or you prefer a lump sum compensation, the policy should reflect your needs. Moreover, you should be aware of the exact nature of benefits and exclusions mentioned in your policy document including important information like waiting period, exclusionary clauses etc. Lifestyle diseases like lung disease, cirrhosis, cancer, HIV, pregnancy is often excluded under family floater plans. 

Once you go through all these steps and then finalize your family floater plan, you have made the best choice for you and your family!

”Best

Are there any disadvantages if I choose a family floater plan?

A sizeable disadvantage of the family floater plan is that the premium is decided based on the age of the oldest member of the family. So, if the eldest member crosses 50, the premium can be quite high. The ideal age of the eldest member of the family should be between 26-40 to reap maximum benefits out of your family floater plan. Studies have shown a family floater insurance plan can reduce the premium range by 55% as compared to individual health insurance policies. If you have a young family, then the family floater insurance plan is the best option for you. Instead of including them in the family floater, you can get your parents a senior citizen policy which is tailored to their needs. This way, everyone can benefit out of the situation.

What happens if the policy lapses during treatment of a family member?

As with regular health insurance policies, if the hospitalization has happened before the date of policy expiry and your insurer is already notified, then the insurance company is expected to honor the claim subject to policy terms. If the treatment starts after the date of expiry or during the grace period, then the insurance company is not liable to uphold the claim. However, if they are informed about it, they can make a decision based on the case using their discretion. If you renew your policy before the due date, this situation will not arise and your claim will be entertained smoothly. It is always better to ensure that your renewals are done on time.

If the person in whose name the family floater is registered dies, what happens to the policy?

In the unfortunate circumstance of the person’s death, the family floater plan is transferred to another adult family member. For example, if a husband, wife and 2 kids are covered under a family floater plan and the husband dies in an accident, the insurance plan is transferred to the wife. That is why the insurance company insists on naming the nominee in the floater policy so that the transition can be smooth. She can further get in touch with the insurance company and ask for a lower premium as the number of members covered under the plan have reduced. The request will be adhered to if certain conditions are met such as no previous claims etc. Also, the wife can wait until the time of policy renewal to make policy modifications.

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