Problems You Can Avoid while buying Health Insurance
Rithik (22-years-old) lives in Bengaluru is a young, dynamic, and energetic guy. Rithik works in an advertising agency, but his employer didn’t offer him a corporate health insurance plan when joining. Rithik also considered himself a wholesome and rigid man, and that’s why he didn’t purchase any individual health insurance plan. Just two months back, Rithik suffered from cough, cold, and throat irritation. Initially, he ignored it, but he was detected with coronavirus after testing. After 5-6 days, he experienced some chest pain and breathing complications. So, he was admitted to a super specialty hospital in Bengaluru. Though he won over COVID-19, he was astonished to see the hospital bill amount of Rs. 1.65 lakh for 14 days treatment. Since he didn’t have any health policy, Rithik paid the amount from his pocket. At that time, he realized the importance of having a health insurance policy. So, Rithik decided now he would purchase an adequate health insurance policy that would give him the utmost protection against severe diseases and safeguard his finances.
Since Rithik is a novice customer, we are going to discuss things to consider before buying health insurance so that people like Rithik can purchase a policy in a hassle-free way.
Things to know before Buying Health Insurance
Health insurance is important these days as the costs of treatment have increased manifolds due to the COVID-19. Moreover, medical inflation is also rising exponentially every single day. If you stay in metro cities like Bengaluru, you need to pay a humongous amount for your treatment (whether a big operation or mere root canal treatment). Proper treatment with world-class facilities always comes at a price. It may not be possible for you to arrange money every time, and this is when health insurance comes to your rescue.
Things to consider before buying Health Insurance in India
- The options are fathomless because of innumerable insurance companies
- Sudden hike in renewal premiums
- Missing renewal reminders
- No cashless option
The options are fathomless because of innumerable insurance companies.
This is the common problem that most people face while choosing the right health insurance policy. The markets are thronged with various companies that offer different types of health policies. Moreover, each company has different health plans, and conditions and thus, benefits are also different. So, this is an uphill task for policy buyers to evaluate and choose the best health insurance plan as the options are unlimited.
Sudden hike in renewal premiums
According to many professionals and industry experts, an abrupt hike in health insurance premiums is one of the biggest problems many policyholders face. Your health insurance premium will indeed increase with your age and new medical advancements. But many times, these premiums don’t increase properly with a cap. Your premiums will be on the lower side if you purchase a health policy at a young age. However, your premiums will keep on increasing with age because your health risks will also increase. If there is an unexpected hike in premiums, then people with fixed income resources or retired may face difficulties in paying their premiums. Because of increased premiums, they may discontinue their policy plans. And they will lose all the benefits that have been accumulated over the years.
Recently, a 54-year old man complained to a channel stating that his renewal premium suddenly enhanced from Rs 19,212 to Rs 26,524 for insurance of Rs 6 lakh. These people don’t have any option except to discontinue their plans. Porting will also be a difficult task because of their existing illnesses.
Missing renewal reminders
It is not compulsory for health insurance companies to send regular reminders to the customers for their policy renewal. But because of technological advancement, companies are taking this as their added responsibility and are sending reminders to their policyholders for better customer service and experience. So, when you purchase a policy, all the details will be shared with you at your registered email address. Moreover, the companies will share reminders with you regarding your renewal.
These reminders are advantageous for customers as these will remind you regarding your renewals. If you miss it your policy will lapse. As a result, you may need to purchase a new policy.
If you suffer from any health issue, the new insurance company will consider your condition before issuing the policy. But nearly 20-30% of renewal reminders are not delivered to the customers. This is because the insurance company didn’t update its database fully or do not have adequate systems for systematic follow-ups.
No cashless option
Most health insurance policies come with deductibles, under which the insurance company usually pays 90% of the bill, and the insurer pays the remaining amount. Some hospitals may take up to 30- 45 days to settle the bills.
Since there is a delay in cashless approvals, the hospital might force the patient to deposit the bill amount from their pockets. This is because insurers hardly maintain their database properly, i.e., in most cases, the database of insured policyholders is not updated. Thus, TPAs request customers to deposit the cash as they cannot identify the insured’s details with the insurer.
The lack of communication transparency between insurers and policyholders is another issue you may face. If you suffer from health conditions like high cholesterol and sugar, don’t hide it from your insurer. The customers should be extremely open about their health conditions and what they are looking for. At the same time, the insurance company needs to explain the terms and conditions and must suggest the best health policy that offers adequate coverage to customers. Both parties should exchange proper information and must rely on each other.
Now you have an adequate idea regarding what to know before buying health insurance. These are some challenges that you may face. But don’t ignore these problems, instead, try to overcome them. Purchase the best policy that fulfills all your healthcare requirements and needs.