Every year, 55 million Indians are pushed into poverty because they have to pay for their healthcare. This made me realize how vital health insurance is because accidents can happen at any time.
I am not an ‘agent.’ So I am not going to try and sell you a policy, but by the end of this article, you will know exactly what you need to do to buy the best Health Insurance policy for yourself or your spouse, your children or your parents because in this article we are going to see ‘What is health insurance’ and ‘what are the parameters you need to check before you buy one’?
A step-by-step procedure to pick the best health insurance policy. And towards the end, I’ll give you a Bonus Tip to ensure that you ‘touch-wood’ never have to claim health insurance.
Suppose you get hospitalised because of some illness or accident; then, the expenditure will be in lakhs for the surgery, hospital room, medicines, tests, etc.
But if you have a health insurance policy, they will take care of all of these expenses for you, and in return, they’ll charge you a small premium every year.
So obviously, health insurance is a smart thing to have because it saves your health, and it saves your bank balance.
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Parameters to Check before Buying Best Health Insurance
But not every health insurance provider is excellent. So, let’s quickly see the six parameters that you need to check before you buy health insurance. Don’t worry; I’ll also tell you where you need to check these parameters. Let’s start.
Claim Settlement Ratio
It is the ratio of the number of claims settled by the insurance company divided by the number of claims it has received.
So obviously, higher this ratio, more are the chances that this company will also settle your claim without any issues. Above 90% is a good number.
Network Hospital Covered
Now, there is something called a ‘cashless facility’ wherein, if that insurance provider has a tie-up with the hospital that you are admitted in then, the hospital will directly send the bills to the insurance provider, and you don’t have to pay anything.
But if there is no tie-up, you have to pay the hospital bills first and then get reimbursed from the insurance company.
It is too much of a hassle if you are recovering or have a patient to take care of.
Make sure that your insurance provider has a tie-up with a large network of hospitals and that your favorite hospitals are covered in that network, especially the ones that are closer to your home.
Hospital Room Eligibility
There are lots of things that make the patient uncomfortable, who is already in distress. So make sure that your insurance covers at least the cheapest private room available.
Health insurance policies cover pre-existing illnesses after a certain wait period. For example: Suppose you have diabetes, then after 2-4 years of wait-period, can you claim any hospitalisation due to diabetes.
So if you have any pre-existing illness, check that the waiting period of that insurance is as less as possible.
Family Floater Health Insurance Policy
Now, instead of buying separate policies, parents along with two minor children can be combined in one plan.
In that plan, depending on the insurance provider, each insured member will be given a separate coverage amount, or all the members will share a combined sum.
For example, suppose its a policy of 10 lakhs for five members, so each of these five members can either have 2, 2 lakhs coverage each, or share ten lakhs no matter who claims.
The premium of such insurances is slightly higher, but they are a money saver because you don’t have to spend on multiple policies.
On a side note, if your employer is giving you a health insurance policy then check if you can also include your parents in the same because in my opinion, your company will be able to negotiate with the insurance provider better than you more so, if you do it as a group.
Along with the significant surgical expenses, a good policy also covers ambulance charges, pre, and post-hospitalisation charges, and some even throw in a few health-checkups here and there.
Apart from these six generic parameters, the other parameters that vary from person to person that you need to check are these.
If you are planning a baby and want maternity expenses covered. If your family has a history of cancer, and you want to be covered for chemotherapy, radiation, or any other specific critical illnesses.
If you want day-care procedures like cataract surgery or even dental included. Our requirements are different.
So, the best health insurance policy for me will be different than the best health insurance policy for you.
But don’t worry, I’ll give you a step-by-step procedure of how to find the best health insurance policy for you in the next segment.
This was about health insurance. Now, there is something called a ‘Life Insurance’ wherein the company pays a lump-sum to the beneficiaries in case of the insured person’s death.
4 Steps to Buy Best Health Insurance
So here is a 4 step procedure to find your best health insurance policy.
Write down what your requirements are. What hospitals you’d like, whether you want your parents included in your policy, maternity expenses covered, what illnesses you want to be covered, etc.
Now go to these health insurance comparison websites like PolicyBazaar, Coverfox, etc..
They will show you the list of insurances that will be best for you, according to your age and other details.
Here you will find policies as low as Rs. 9000/- per year, which is less than Rs. 25/- per day. But more than premium, check their features and features not covered.
While you are at it, google, ‘5 Best Health Insurance Policies of India’, to get an idea of what policies people are talking about and reading their reviews.
Directly go the website of that insurance policy provider, call their executives and tell them your requirements.
Talk to 3-4 executives (of different insurance providers) before you make a decision. They’ll only come to your office/home to give you the papers.
Now, an important point. Sometimes these executives are in a hurry just to sell you the policy.
So it’s your job to read it carefully and fill in if you have any pre-existing illnesses. If you miss writing illness and because of this, your claim gets rejected tomorrow, then these executives cannot be held accountable because their job was only to sell you that insurance.
So don’t be in a hurry, read carefully, and mention everything truthfully.
Do not forget to reap the tax benefits of paying your medical insurance premium under Section 80D.
And that’s about it. Now, where are you going to invest the money that you are saving from the taxes? See, health insurance is an investment for life.
You can get a decent health insurance policy for a premium of Rs. 25/- per day BUT you can get the best health insurance policy… for FREE!
Just eat at home, exercise for 20-30 minutes, and sleep well every day, and you can avoid most of the lifestyle diseases that our generation suffers from today.
All health insurance providers want the same thing, for you to be healthy because even they don’t want to pay your hospital bills! And I am sure you don’t want to get admitted either.
After living in the hospital for four days and looking at all types of patients, I’ve realised that health is not wealth. It is MORE than wealth!
Today’s bonus tip is this. Take care of your health because nobody else is going to do it for you.