In a country like ours, where we witness medical inflation in double digits, buying a health insurance is a must. It not only protects you from the inflation but also ensures that you do not spend a lot of money from your own pockets on treatment or medical procedures. However, a health insurance is a vast topic and needs quite some research before actually buying a policy. Here are some of the safety measures that you can take from your end to be safe.
- Waiting Period
Most of the insurers that offer health insurance policies have waiting periods for pre-existing diseases. While some of the diseases warrant a waiting period of one year, others can go up to four to five years. There are quite a few numbers which suggest that a person will easily get through these waiting periods. However, it is a good habit to check for the waiting period of various diseases before buying a policy.
- Network Hospitals
One of the biggest advantages that a health insurance policy brings to the table is the presence of network hospitals. Any treatment in network hospitals essentially means cashless service. A network hospital ensures that you can concentrate on taking care of your family while the insurer settles the bills on your behalf. Thus, do keep an eye out on the list of network hospitals that an insurer has tie-ups with.
- Right Amount
Buying a health insurance plan with a lower coverage is as bad as not having a health plan, if not worse. We at times tend to opt for a plan with lower coverage just to save a few thousand rupees. However, it can backfire at a later stage. It is a good habit to look at your income levels, and do a quick assessment check of some medical procedures. You can then arrive at the right coverage needed for you or your family.
A few prominent insurers offer the capability of renewing the policy for a lifetime. Such policies not only help you save money up front but also later on. The probability of falling sick increases with the increase in age. Thus, a policy with lifetime renewal option is recommended.
When you are on the lookout for a health insurance plan, make it a point to look for the features and benefits. For an instance, a good health plan would offer maternity cover for your spouse. Similarly, we spend a decent enough amount on pre-hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation. If your plan covers them, well and good, if not, speak with your insurer to include the same.
Benefits of Buying a Health Insurance Plan
Here are some of the most important benefits that you can avail while buying a health insurance plan.
This is the most obvious benefit as well. A health plan makes it a point to offer you with covers against various medical and hospital related expenses. Insurers also offer a family floater cover at an additional cost to an individual plan. But the same can be very beneficial if you have dependents.
The restoration benefit is slowly catching up with a lot of insurers and can be a very handy benefit to have in your kitty. It essentially reinstates the sum insured under certain conditions. And obviously, the terms and conditions can vary depending on your insurer. For an instance, some insurers do not allow for restoration if the claim is for the same disease or procedure.
A great advantage of buying a health insurance plan is their tax benefits. The premiums that you pay for your health insurance is tax deductible under Section 80D and Section 80DD of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The maximum amount of savings that you can do is up to INR 1, 00,000.
There is a possibility that you are not happy with your health insurance plan. At such times, you can opt for portability during your policy renewals. This allows you to change your insurer without losing out on any accumulated benefits.
The Best Time to Buy Health Insurance
Given the seriousness and pros of having a health insurance plan, there is no predefined age or time to buy a plan. If you do not already have one, you must get it at the earliest. Maybe even before planning for that next trip with your friends. The earlier you buy a health insurance, the lesser the premium for the policies would be. Simply because when you are young, you are less prone to being sick, thus, making it easier to buy a health insurance plan.