The COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world for the better part of the last two years highlighted the need for proper health insurance in today’s world. However, a high level of ignorance coupled with the belief in myths about insurance companies and their policies are still rife in India.
But the truth is, there are many health insurance policies that Indians can take advantage of to cater to their health needs. But how do you know which insurance plan will be ideally suited to your family’s health needs? In this ultimate guide to choosing the right health insurance policy for your family, you will learn some handy tips on what to look out for before you decide on which family health insurance plan to subscribe to.
5 Tips for Choosing the Right Family Health Insurance Policy
Before signing up for any health insurance plan, it is essential to practice due diligence. By following the five tips highlighted below, you can identify those family health insurance policies that would meet your family’s healthcare needs.
Consider the Coverage of All Family Health Insurance Policies
When choosing a health insurance cover for your family, you need to consider the coverage dynamics of the policy carefully. Remember that you are insuring not only yourself but every member of your immediate family. To this end, the policy coverage you decide to choose should be able to protect your family against a broad range of health issues.
In addition, it should cover the cost of ambulance services, in-patient hospitalisation, pre and post-hospitalisation care, cashless medical treatment, maternity benefits, daily hospital allowance benefits, critical illness coverage, and so on. You must compare as many health insurance policy as possible, looking at their limitations and features.
Also, make sure you read between the lines on every policy you assess to learn about and avoid missing out on any implied condition that could void your claim, like the waiting period, deductible clause, and sub-limits.
Select A Family Health Insurance Policy that offers Lifetime Renewability
For most people, the need for decent healthcare becomes more prevalent in their middle-age and senior years. That is why you should ensure that whatever health insurance policy you choose should offer you lifetime renewability. Avoid policies with a set validity period. This way, you can maintain a specific plan for the rest of your life instead of looking for a new policy to purchase after a while.
Many healthcare plans have limited validity periods and are renewable after a set time frame ranging from up to 45 years. Once the policy’s specified period expires, the plan will be due for renewal. A health insurance plan with lifetime renewability is cost-effective in the long run, unlike renewable policies, which may require buying a new, expensive health insurance coverage after your old one expires.
Consider the Co-Payment Clause in the T&Cs of the Family Health Cover
The co-payment clause simply states a percentage of a medical cost you must pay out of pocket. Finding a cover without a co-payment clause is preferable, but if not available, you should always go for those policies with a low co-payment clause.
For example, if your claim for medical treatment is Rs. 2 lakh, and the cover has a 20% co-payment clause, you are expected to pay Rs. 40,000 while your insurance company pays the rest of the Rs. 160,000.
Know the Waiting Period of the Health Insurance Policy
You need to know how long you have to wait before you and your family can file a claim on your family health insurance coverage. A typical healthcare insurance plan covers things like maternity costs, treatment for pre-existing ailments, and other specific forms of treatment, but it could come with a certain waiting period.
However, coverage for the ailments may only become active after a waiting period of, say, between 2 to 4 years, depending on the cover. It is essential to compare the waiting period of plans, preferably buying the cover with a shorter waiting period.
Ensure the Health Insurance Policy Offers You Flexibility
It is another vital consideration. You should ensure that before you buy a family healthcare insurance plan, you can seamlessly add a new family member to the cover if need be in the future. Imagine a scenario where a family member passes away or a senior member is no longer eligible under the terms of your family health insurance coverage. You should be able to add another family member to the plan to continue benefitting from the health insurance policy.
With rising healthcare costs in India, the need for subsidised medical treatment through a family health insurance plan is greater now than ever. However, before committing to any cover, adhere to the tips for choosing the right health insurance policies for your family.