5 Things You Should Look for When Comparing Health Insurance Policies

How to find the right health insurance plan

The cost of healthcare as it stands today, combined with a relatively higher need for medical attention, makes health insurance policies a must-have resource. A resource that we fall back on in case of emergencies, and a resource that assures us we are taken care of when in need. The labyrinth of information regarding policies and what they entail can often confuse us, but these five essentials need a clear understanding before you take your pick:

Claims Process

The claims process has to be simple and easy for you to follow during the emotionally and/or physically difficult time of hospitalization. The settlement of claims also needs to be disbursed at an expedient rate to ensure you don’t face a cash crunch after paying premiums for years.

Policy Cover for Dependants

When you look for a health insurance policy, you’re often seeking cover for your dependants as well. This includes your spouse, children, parents, and in some cases siblings too. Have you considered the medical attention they will need in a few years and is the corresponding sum insured in your policy sufficient for such a cover? Similarly, make sure your health insurance premium is something you can afford to pay and not an exorbitant part of your paycheck.

Policy Terms and Conditions

When you compare health insurance plans, there’s a lot to look into when it comes to policy terms and conditions:

Waiting period – Most health insurance policies stipulate a wait period for maternity and other pre-existing conditions. Be sure to check how the wait period fairs in comparison with other policies and that it is in line with your family’s needs.

Pre/post hospitalization – Hospitalization expenses often run into consultations and tests done ahead of the procedure and during follow up visits. Several policies cover these expenses too. Similarly, not all policies cover dental insurance, but some do offer a modest coverage. Don’t forget to look out for these!

No claim bonus – A cumulative bonus or a no claim bonus is often extended when an insurer doesn’t file a claim in the previous policy year. The bonus can either be an increase in the sum insured or a discount on the premium payable, or can even be a combination of the two.

Buffer sum – This provision comes with clauses but can be of huge financial assistance when you are in need. For a few listed major illnesses, your policy can auto trigger a stipulated buffer sum if your sum insured is exhausted.

Network Hospitals

Opting for medical care and inpatient care at the health insurance provider’s list of network hospitals allows you to go through a cashless hospitalization experience. This means you can skip the hassles of claims and settlements and let your insurer directly settle the bill with the network hospital while your copay stays limited to a smaller percentage of non-medical expenses during your hospitalization, as stipulated in your policy.

Free Medical Check-Up

A regular health check goes a long way in ensuring your wellness and can even help identify and check major illnesses. So don’t forget to look for a policy that includes a free medical check-up as part of the benefits.

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