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9 Tips to choose the Best Health Insurance Plan in India

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How to choose a best health insurance plan in India - Tips to choose a health insurance policy-min

Health Insurance Plan is one of the most ignored or neglected type of insurance. Many of us would think it would not benefit unless we are falling sick or hospitalized. However, if hospitalized, it can screw your financials. Your savings can vanish with hospital and medical bills without a health insurance policy. This article would provide you various tips on how to choose the Best health insurance plan in India.

What are Health Insurance Plans?

In simple words, Health Insurance plans provide medical coverage for hospitalization expenses.  Check this article, if you want to know more on Health Insurance Plans and how they work.

Health Insurance Plans have several other benefits too.

Picking up a right health insurance is key, else it can dent your hard earned savings

Tips to choose a Good Health Insurance Plan in India

Here is the checklist one can consider before opting a health insurance plan.

#1 – Identify the Ideal health coverage

Gone are the days where one used to opt for a health insurance for a low coverage.  In the last decade, medical expenses have skyrocketed.

First, identify how much health insurance coverage you would need. Consider a health plan that that covers against medical expenses and provide various benefits like hospitalization expenses, pre or post hospitalization expenses, ambulance services, day care expenses etc., If you have family medical history, opting a plan that covers surgeries is  recommended.

Consider the medical history of all your family members needs while opting for a family floater health insurance plan.

#2 – Co-Payment and other benefits

There are several health insurance plans that come with low premium. However, there could be hidden terms and conditions. E.g. With co-payment.  Generally, co-payment is the featured offered by an insurance company where the premium would be low, however in case of claim, one need to bear part of the claim amount (e.g. 20%) and balance would be borne by the insurance company.  Try avoiding co-payment plans wherever possible. Refilling sum insured is another good feature in health plans. If the sum insured is exhausted due to hospitalizations in a financial year, the sum insured would automatically refilled without any extra cost.  This way one need not worry about sum insured.

#3 – Consider a health insurance plan based on your need

There are individual health insurance policies, family floater plans and senior citizens health insurance plans. If you are single, you may consider individual health insurance plans. However, post marriage and with kids, considering a family floater health insurance can help to reduce the health insurance premium.

Also, if you have elder parents who are senior citizens, considering a separate plan for them would be ideal. Otherwise, the insurance company would calculate premiums on the age of the elder members in the family and health insurance premium could be very high.

#4 – Coverage of Network Hospitals

This is another key aspect in choosing a health insurance plan. One need to find the list of network hospital coverage in their city or town wherever they are residing or wherever family members (whoever is being covered) are residing for the medical insurance policy. This way you can always have access to good quality network hospitals in case of medical emergency.

#5 – Lifelong Renewability

Health insurance plans generally come for 1 or 2 year tenure and can be renewed year on year. Check whether the health plan provides lifelong renewability feature. This way you can just make sure you renew the plan and use when it is really needed in the later years of age.

#6 – Compare Premiums across companies

There are several web aggregator portals available where one can check the health insurance premiums across insurance companies, their features and the premium. While you may opt through these aggregator portals or go directly to the insurance company is a secondary aspect. This comparison would help you to know low premium medical insurance plans.

#7 – Buy based on affordability

One should opt health policy not able based on their need, but also based on the affordability. If you cannot afford a health policy for a high sum insured, consider a moderate sum insured to start with. No point in buying a plan for high amount which you cannot afford and miss to pay premiums later on.

#8 – High Incurred Claim Ratio (ICR)

Incurred Ratio (ICR) is the ratio of total claims paid over the net premiums received by the insurance company. This ratio indicates the ability of the insurance company to make claims compared to the premiums it receives. High incurred claim ratio indicates the company is honoring majority of claims and not getting any profits. Low ICR indicates the company is not honoring all the claims and retaining majorly as profits. Consider a health insurance plan from an insurance company that have Incurred claims ratio of say 70% to 90%.

#9 – Good Customer Support

While this is difficult parameter to track, one can check on various forums / groups on how good is the customer support of the insurance company. Even if a health insurance plan is available at a lower premium, but if the customer support is bad, one should rethink the decision.

Final Thoughts:  While it is not possible to consider all the parameters. One can assess what is critical for them and what parameter they are okay to let go. This way one can choose a good health insurance plan suitable to them.

Suresh KP

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