Ten Questions to Ask before Buying a Family Floater Plan
Family and health are undoubtedly the most valuable gifts in any person’s life. A person typically works hard to take care of the family. With disease and illness becoming commonplace and consequential of one’s lifestyle, taking precautions for health care becomes increasingly important. A family health plan is one such precaution and, in these times, it is the need of the hour. A typical family of four requires regular health check-ups, treatments for occasional sickness, and enough financial cover to fall back upon in case of a medical emergency. In all these cases, health insurance is the best protection cover for a family.
Family Health Insurance versus Family Floater Plan: What’s the difference?
A Family Floater plan is a way of providing health insurance to all your loved ones in one-go, under one health insurance policy. Your family receives the much-required health insurance coverage against rising medical expenses.
A health insurance plan usually offers coverage to a member of the family whose name is included in the policy documents. Based on the insurance plan and coverage, the plan will work in a way that the member will not face any financial constraint when facing any unforeseen health mishap. In contrast, a Family Floater plan would cover all members of a family and the sum insured can be used by any member covered by the plan, as compared to only covering a single member under a normal health insurance plan.
A family of 4-5 with a separate health insurance plan for each individual would pay higher insurance premiums as compared to a family with a Family Floater Plan, which covers essentially the same number of people. Undoubtedly, a family can get receive better benefits, waivers and value of money when they opt for a Family Floater Plan as compared to individual health insurance plans.
A normal family floater plan covers the insured as well as their spouse and kids. However, certain policies for the same may extend coverage for parents, in-laws and siblings as well, depending on the policy add-ons included and the company. Naturally, as the number of family members included in the policy plan increases, the premium amount to be paid also increases. Adding a member to a family floater plan is a bit easier, as insurance companies freely oblige in exchange for an additional premium.
However, you must keep in mind that in a Family Floater Plan, the premium is determined on the basis of age of the senior-most family member. Insurance companies typically allow renewals only to a certain age limit. By implication, this means that if the senior-most member of the family reaches or crosses that age bar, no further renewals would be allowed and none of the remaining members will have the option of carrying the policy forward.
Benefits of a Family Floater Plan:
The biggest perk of a floater plan is that the policyholder enjoys the ease and benefit of insuring themselves and their family under one single policy, which is easier to manage. When it comes to getting your parents insured, a family floater plan turns out to be a more cost-efficient option than individual senior citizen plans. A Floater plan is also advantageous in the case of a maternity cover.
- Under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, you can avail tax benefits for your family floater health insurance policy and benefit from tax deductions up to the prescribed limit
- It becomes easier to add-on immediate family members, a spouse or new-born to a floater plan
- Chances of making more than one claim increase with an ageing family. Therefore, the member making the claim can avail a greater sum insured at a lesser cost.
- Under the family floater health insurance plan, you can avail certain discounts that these policies usually offer.
10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Family Floater Plan
- What type of health plan is it?
The first thing you must ask your insurer is what type of insurance plan is best for you. Does it provide the coverage you require? Is it affordable and within your budget and is it automatically renewable? Does it have the add-ons you would like? Deliberate on these before you decide on a certain family floater plan.
- What does the policy cover?
Policy inclusion and coverage is a set of conditions that are covered under the Family Floater Plan you choose. Ask your insurer if the coverage of the plan covers services that you feel are essential to you or your family, depending on any health issues prevalent among your family members. If any of your family members suffer from certain illnesses or health conditions like heart problems or diabetes, it would be advisable to make sure whether the plan includes things such as pre-and post-hospitalization charges, ambulance services, laboratory test, prescriptions, etc. Read the policy document carefully to understand the exact coverage of the plan, and of course, don’t miss the fine print as the devil lies in the detail.
- What does the policy NOT cover?
It is often advisable to make sure you know what isn’t included in the plan so you don’t get eleventh-hour surprises. Certain policies only cover the treatment of specific diseases only after a designated waiting period. The exclusions in the policy may differ from one insurer to another, therefore being aware of these exclusions is critical to choosing and buying the health policy best suited to your family’s needs.
- Does your Family Floater plan cover routine tests?
Certain health conditions, especially for older family members, may require routine health check-ups. Ask your insurer if the plan will cover such routine check-up costs and whether such coverage is subject to a cap, as is normally the case in most policies.
- How much does the plan cost?
Make sure the plan you opt for is easy on your budget. The cost of the plan is the monthly premium amount you pay every month to your insurer to keep your health cover active. The cost can vary depending on the coverage you require and the plan you choose.
- How is the policy premium determined?
Age is a major factor when it comes to determining the premium you pay for your family floater plan. Make sure you are aware of the nitty-gritty of age limits and conditions mentioned in the plan. The older you or any family member is, the greater the risk of disease and health related challenges. Therefore, the premium cost may be higher in the later parts of the plan. Make sure you take into account the premium payment timeline before you opt for any plan.
- Will you be able to avail treatment from your preferred doctor?
You may have a preferred family doctor/specialist or hospital that your family usually goes to for treatments. Make sure you check the list of network hospitals to ensure whether or not you can avail their services. An out of network provider can turn out to be an expensive affair, since there are normally restrictions on such coverage.
- What is the process for filing a claim?
It’s always helpful if you have an idea about the process of claim initiation, because emergencies happen suddenly, with no heads-up or time to prepare. You must understand the claim process and be aware of the documents you may require to initiate the claim on your policy. Insurers also offer cashless facilities, which allow you to avail medical services to no cost.
- What are the costs of availing medical care?
Health insurances come with certain out-of-pocket costs such as co-insurance and other deductibles. This is an amount you will have to pay when you receive medical care, which isn’t covered by the health policy. Make sure to take cognizance of these changes and clarify with your insurer before you opt for any plan. Also, account for the cost percentage that your health plan will cover once you pay the deductible.
- What is the maximum number of claims you can make in a year?
You or your family members may suffer from recurring emergency health conditions that may require multiple rounds of medical attention during a year. Typically, there is so no limit to the number of claims you can make in a year, as long as it does not exceed the sum assured by your policy. Ask your insurer about the claim limit beforehand.
Other things to keep in mind when you look for a suitable Family Floater Plan are the reinstatement benefits (this feature gets the sum insured refilled in case it gets exhausted before the end of the policy term), value-added features (concierge services, 24×7 free medical advice on the telephone, etc.) and the policy term. Make sure to also get different quotes of the plans you are interested in to get a tailored plan for your family at the best price and avoid any sort of over-priced plans. Staying informed and aware, and choosing a plan best suited to your family is the most efficient way to choose a Family Floater Plan.
On the face of it, all policies look identical and therefore reading the fine print of the contract is imperative as it may save you considerable amount of money spent additionally to opt for better safeguards. A Family Floater Plan can be an extremely cost-efficient and easily manageable way for you to medically insure yourself and your loved ones in one go!