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individual health insurance plan buying guide
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Guide to Buy an Individual Health Insurance Plan

Health problems are an undeniable part of our lives. Unfortunately, health insurance is the most neglected type of insurance in India. People often tend to believe that buying health insurance is not worthwhile for them unless they get sick. Remember, it is always to be prepared for any financial consequences of health problems and that is where health insurance fits in.

There are numerous health insurance companies and a plethora of health insurance policies available in the market. But, which plan will you choose? First of all, you need to assess your eligibility and requirements. Then plan accordingly to buy a suitable health insurance plan. 

Some points to keep in mind before buying the health insurance plan

1. Right time to buy insurance 

Most of you might think about what is the right age to buy a health insurance policy. So it would help if you purchased a health insurance policy as soon as you start earning. Even you should add your family members to your health insurance policy. There are so many advantages to investing in health insurance at a young age. Some of the significant benefits are:

  1. You can get higher insurance coverage by paying a smaller premium
  2. At a young age, usually you don’t face any health complications. So the problem of waiting period does not overly impact you.
  3. There are lower chances of application rejection.
  4. You can get coverage against threatening diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases. 
  5. Hassle-free renewal.

2. Insurance Coverage

The insurance companies generally provide in-patient hospitalization expenses, pre and post hospitalization expenses, day-care expenses, domiciliary hospitalization, organ donor expenses, ambulance cover, maternity cover, newborn baby expenses, and many more. Apart from this, you have to analyze specific health requirements for yourself and your family. You should look for an insurance plan that covers you and your loved ones against a wide range of health issues and offer some additional benefits. 

You should keep your requirements in mind and then compare different plans, check their features, advantages, and limitations. You have to compare plans based on factors such as sub-limits, co-payment clauses, waiting periods, etc. Also, you have to make sure that before making the final purchase, you go through the policy terms and conditions by reading the fine print. It is to ensure that at the time of claim, you will not face any trouble. 

3. Lifetime renewability

You are required to choose a plan that offers life-long renewability. There are higher chances that you may suffer from diseases and sickness when you grow old as compared to the age when you buy the policy. This decision will let you free from all worries in your later life. 

4. Waiting period and claiming procedure

Buying an insurance plan at an early age is one of the advantages because you easily surpass the waiting period. But it’s another feature that you have to opt for the company that has a minimum waiting period. Also, it would help if you chose an issuer who offers a higher claim settlement ratio. You should check whether you will get a cashless claim or reimbursement facility. So to avoid huge billing at the time of emergency, you should prefer a cashless claim over reimbursement. The claim process should be simple and have a faster settlement that benefits you, apart from a wide network of hospitals.

5. Maternity Benefits

If you are a woman, then you must choose a plan that will give maternity benefits to you. You need to make sure that your policy must cover outpatient expenses too.

6. Network Hospitals Coverage

Before you choose an insurance plan, take a look at the list of network hospitals tied up with insurance companies. You should check whether you prefer these hospitals, doctors and other staff that are part of the listed network hospital. 

7. Room Rent sub-limit and co-payment clause 

In-room rent sub-limit, insurance companies restrict which type of room you can choose. Mostly it includes only the general room or the semi-private room in the policy. In case you need a private room, then you have to pay additional expenses from your side. So if you want to avoid extra payment from your pocket, then you must choose a plan with a higher room-rent limit. 

The co-payment clause is the percentage of the amount that you will need to pay from your pocket. And the rest of the hospitalization expenses paid out by the company. So while you opt for a plan then choose a plan that has the least or no co-payment clause at all.

8. Free Medical Checkups

It would help if you opted for such a health insurance policy that offers free and regular medical checkups. 

9. Coverage for critical illnesses

Every insurer provider generally covers expenses of specific diseases. But the policy that covers the costs of critical illnesses is best. These expenses include cancer expenses, donor expenses during organ transplant surgery, personal accidents, and health boosters etc. So while making a choice, you have to choose a health insurance policy that covers critical illnesses as well.

On a final note

Before buying any policy, you should keep in mind that every health insurance policy package has its unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. Your purchase decision will be successful only when you analyze every health insurance aspect. It would help if you gave every piece of information to your health insurance company before buying a health insurance policy.

You should fill in complete and accurate details in the proposal form and in the declaration so that there is no chance of policy rejection afterward. You should not hide your or your family members’ medical history while purchasing a health insurance policy. Last but not least, keep all the above points in mind before finalizing your decision.

Individual Health Insurance Guide

Why is Health insurance so important in COVID-19?

Health insurance is an essential financial tool that helps you not just in the case of COVID-19 but in most health emergencies. If you have health insurance, then without any delay, you can get treatment at the best hospitals. It can reduce your tension about whether medical bills will burn holes in your pocket.

Some top insurance companies like HDFC ERGO are offering excellent health insurance coverage for such pandemic situations and other diseases as well. A small investment in such policies can provide you with an extra layer of protection. You and your family will always be ready to fight such a deadly disease with great confidence.

Which is the best insurance policy that covers COVID-19 treatment?

Yes, some plans cover COVID-19 treatment:-

1. Corona Kavach Plan: - It is a family health insurance plan during COVID-19, provided by Max Bupa Health Insurance. It offers Hospitalization Coverage for COVID-19 up to Rs. 5,00,000 with policy terms options to choose from 3.5/ 6.5/ 9.5 months. It offers coverage of Pre-existing disease along with COVID-19 up too sum insured. It also offers coverage for availing treatment at home for COVID-19 and covers all Pre and Post Hospitalization Expenses up to the sum insured for 15 and 30 days respectively. It offers Coverage of AYUSH treatment for COVID-19 patients and provides them with treatment under Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy. It is a relatively affordable plan; anyone from age 18 years to 65 years can avail of this plan for her/himself or their immediate family.

2. Corona Rakshak policy:- It is another good plan which takes care of you and your family at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. It pays for the hospitalization expenses of a minimum of 72 hours and the patient to be available in India. It also covers the costs related to hospitalization, PPE kits, oxygen cylinders, gloves, nebulizers, oximeters, AYUSH treatments, etc. This policy is available to the individual starting from the age of 18–65 years. The premium rates are extremely affordable.

Is life insurance a must for the head of the family?

Yes, the lead of the family must buy the insurance and especially the Term Plan to ensure the security of the family in the event of any financial crisis after your demise.

Term Plan is a plan which is given only to the eligible customer. Earnings, health, etc. of a person are taken into consideration. So it's always better to take life insurance early in life.

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