Your Step-By-Step Guide To Buying Health Insurance In 2021

June 28, 2021

Health insurance is a financial product designed to offer you the utmost protection against serious illnesses and a range of medical issues.

When you choose a comprehensive policy, you will get the benefits of free health check-ups as well as tax benefits u/s 80D. Additionally, it also provides preventive care to detect the onset of diseases in their early stages.

If you are looking to supplement your financial portfolio with a health insurance plan but not sure which one to buy, here are the steps to help you make the right selection.

Step 1: Examine your medical needs

When looking for a health insurance policy, the first thing you need to do is to consider all your family members. Based on that, you need to choose between a family floater plan and an individual plan. If you choose the former, then be sure to check the cap on the number of members allowed to be covered in a single policy. You also have to keep the age of the youngest and the oldest family member in mind when you buy a family floater plan because your premium will depend on that. Experts recommend buying a separate policy for senior citizens and an individual plan for younger people in the family to avoid paying a higher premium. Don’t forget to keep the medical condition of your family members in mind and make a note of all the pre-existing health conditions as well as potential health risks, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, etc.  You can also consider buying an individual plan for people with pre-existing medical conditions as their premium will be higher. It is best to speak with your doctor to get a better idea and tips to choose an insurance policy.

Step 2: Assess the coverage you need

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The cost of healthcare in India is increasing at a rapid pace. So the sum insured of your health insurance should be adjusted to the inflated expenses. Before you finalize the cover amount, keep the information such as age, medical status, future medical needs, medicare, inflation, and income handy.

Step 3: Compare plans

The best way to assess a health insurance policy is by comparing it side by side. You can compare them based on the type of plan, such as family floater, critical illness, senior citizen plan, individual plan, etc., you want to purchase. Learn more about each to understand their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Step 4: Check the list of network hospitals

In case of a medical emergency, you should be able to access quality healthcare quickly without worrying about expensive hospitalization bills. That is the reason you need to check the list of network hospitals to ensure that the preferred healthcare facility in your vicinity is in the insurer’s panel. This is an important factor because network hospitals offer cashless facility to their policyholders. It means your insurer will directly settle all the bills as you focus on your quick recovery. Therefore, always choose a plan that has your preferred hospital in the insurer’s network.

Step 5: Learn about out-of-pocket expenses

Some policies will come with a co-payment clause, deductibles, sub-limits, etc. These amounts are payable by the policyholder before the insurance provider can release the remaining payment. Always compare policies on the basis of these expenses and choose the one with the lowest out-of-pocket expense.

Step 6: Compare policies online

Before you buy health insurance, you need to perform thorough due diligence about the insurance company. Consider all the plans they are offering, their features, benefits, premium charges, etc. Ensure that your preferred insurance provider gives you adequate coverage that covers all your medical insurance needs. You must also read the policy document carefully, especially the exclusions.

The best way to evaluate an insurance company’s reliability is to check its claim settlement ratio. For example, Care Health Insurance offers CSR of 95.2%, which means that the company settles more than 95% of claims raised in a given year. Additionally, you can also check their service quality, reputation, history, and customer reviews to get better insight into their work ethic.

Keep all these points in mind when you are looking to buy a health insurance plan that provides adequate protection to you and your loved ones.

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