Important factors to remember before renewing a health insurance policy
Vinayak (30-years-old) lives in Ahmedabad with his wife (27-years-old). Vinayak got married 3 years before, and after his marriage, he purchased a health insurance policy for both. However, after paying premiums for 2 years, Vinayak stopped paying policy premiums because he thought this was unnecessary as both are healthy and fine. As a result, his floater medical insurance policy lapsed. But just last month, Vinayak’s wife was diagnosed with some kidney problems, and she was admitted for 5 days to a private hospital for her operation. During the time of discharge, the hospital handed a medical bill of Rs. 2.5 lakh to Vinayak for his wife’s treatment. This made Vinayak devastated, and he realized he must renew his policy on time to avoid medical inflation and expenses. If he understood the importance of health insurance renewal, then he could avoid these financial expenses.
Why is health insurance important in India?
The most striking fact was only 4% of the COVID-19 patients in India had valid health insurance policies. Not only Covid-19, but any health emergency can also hit any time, and you should be well-equipped to face it. Health insurance policies are the most convenient solutions that will help you to fight against healthcare emergencies.
As the healthcare industry is thriving hurriedly, the cost of healthcare treatments is also rising exponentially. Thus, you should choose a health insurance plan that goes well with your lifestyle. When it comes to mediclaim policy renewal, complacency might set in. To make your health insurance policy renewal successful, you should remember certain parameters.
8 Important factors to remember before renewing a health insurance policy
- Consider your growing healthcare needs
- Claim settlement ratio record
- Get wide coverage
- Option to enhance the sum insured
- Adding Members to the Policy
- Choose the one whom you can trust
- Compare various plans
- Documents required at the time of renewal
1. Consider your growing healthcare needs
As you grow older, your healthcare requirements will change. Older people are more vulnerable to critical illnesses. If you take the example of coronavirus, it has been found that older people are more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. If you have taken your health insurance plans some years before, then they may not give adequate coverage against these new requirements. But the markets are crammed with many flexible insurance products that encourage customers to uplift their existing health insurance plans. For example, you can go for a top-up plan that will act as a shield once your basic medical insurance cover is exhausted. This shield plan usually takes care of your medical needs if it goes beyond your base medical cover. You can even choose a critical illness rider that will offer coverage for life-threatening diseases. If you are diagnosed with any critical diseases (mentioned in the list), you will immediately get a lump sum. This amount can compensate for the costs that are not covered by conventional health policies.
2. Claim settlement ratio record
While paying attention to medical insurance renewal, you should consider the health insurance settlement ratio. Suppose you have purchased a health insurance policy from an eminent insurer, and at the time of emergency, you need to initiate a claim. But, if your claim is declined on frolicsome grounds, then what do you do? You need support from the insurer at this crucial time, but your insurance company has rejected your claim. Thus, review the claim settlement record of your insurance company before renewing your health policy. Choose a company that has maintained a healthy claim settlement ratio over the past few years. Many insurance companies offer settlements to the claims of customers within 60 minutes.
3. Get wide coverage
Always opt for such health insurance plans that many network hospitals and clinics widely accept. Otherwise, at the time of requirement, you may not get the best treatment for your ailments. So, choose an insurer that has partnered with all major hospitals across the country. Then, for a hassle-free claim settlement process, go with an insurer that has the most network hospitals, especially the best hospitals in your locality.
4. Option to enhance the sum insured
At the time of renewal, policyholders can enhance the sum insured on their health policies by sending a request. Most health insurance companies enforce certain terms and conditions (such as medical tests and no claim history) to increase the sum insured. A policyholder should prepare for the waiting periods if he/she wants to enhance the sum insured amount. But if the sum insured is within the range of maximum coverage under the policy, then policyholders can’t use this option.
5. Adding Members to the Policy
If the policyholder wants to add or remove family members to the policy, then, at the time of renewal, he/she can do the same. For example, if an insured policyholder wants to incorporate his parents’ name into the existing family floater plan (that covers him, his wife, and his son), he can do the same without any hassle at the time of policy renewal.
6. Choose the one whom you can trust
While renewing your policy, always try to get the best value for your money. Check the features of your policy plans, add-on benefits, riders, and how much of a no-claim-bonus you are getting. Faith and transparency are the two prime factors that you should consider while selecting a health insurance plan. Customers can now track everything, including their claim settlement process and many more. Choose an insurer that offers a speedy resolution of pending claims and impartial assessments.
7. Compare various plans
Don’t take any decision hastily; instead, compare all health insurance plans thoroughly at the time of the mediclaim renewal process. By comparing health insurance plans from various insurers, choose the best one that goes well with your needs and requirements. If you are not satisfied with your present insurer as it does not give you the best value for your premiums, then migrate to another reliable and trustworthy insurer.
8. Documents required at the time of renewal
If the policyholder wants to renew his/her policy at the same branch of the company, he/she must carry the policy renewal notice and cheque during the time of renewal. But if the policyholder wants to change the branch, he/she needs to carry the below-mentioned documents
- Previous year’s policy
- Policy renewal notice
- Proposal form
- A cheque for the proposed amount
- Mandate letter
To enjoy the continuity of your policy plan, renew your policy on time. Generally, insurance companies offer a 15 to 30 days grace period before lapsing the health policy. Though insurers often send a renewal notice still, it’s the duty of the insured to renew their policy before the due date.