Health insurance plays a pivotal role in providing financial support during a medical emergency. No matter your age, health insurance is indispensable when it comes to safeguarding yourself and your family against a financial crisis in the event of a severe disease or illness. Choosing a health insurance plan can be tricky the first time around. Whether you opt for an individual insurance plan or group insurance plan, there are some factors that can affect the coverage, benefits, and the final premium of your plan.
To help you make a wise pick, we have listed out 5 key tips on selecting the best health insurance policy suited to your needs.
Choose the right coverage
It is prudent to select a plan that can cover a broad range of medical problems and offer maximum benefits. You would need to compare and contrast various health insurance providers to see which ones offer more value for the premium paid. For instance, check whether the insurance plan provides coverage for daycare expenses, pre and post-hospitalization costs, ambulance transportation, alternate medication like Ayurveda, and so on. Never assume these are all covered by default as inclusions may vary between insurance providers.
Look for the least waiting period
When an applicant has a pre-existing illness, a health insurance company would require them to face a waiting period before being able to raise claims associated with these health conditions. For example, a patient with pre-existing diabetes might have to face a waiting period for treatment for complications of diabetic retinopathy. Typically, the waiting period varies from 2 to 4 years for major health insurance providers. It would be wise to discuss this waiting period with the provider and opt for the least waiting period you can avail of.
Consider network hospital
A network hospital is one that has an official tie-up with your insurance provider. This enables them to offer cashless healthcare treatment to the policyholder. Once you have shortlisted your preferred health insurance plans, the next step is to check whether your preferred healthcare centers are included in their network hospitals. To consider an example, if you are living in a rural area and planning to opt for a family health insurance plan, then choose a plan that has a maximum number of network hospitals in that area. This will truly make life easy as you will not need to submit bills manually to the insurance company to claim coverage.
- Go for high claim settlement ratio
A claim settlement ratio refers to the number of claims processed compared to the total number of claims received by the health insurance provider. For instance, if a health insurance provider has a 70% claim settlement ration, it means that 70 claims are settled out of every 100 claims received. Choose an insurance company that offers the highest claim settlement ratio. By doing so, you can be assured that your insurance provider has a good history of living up to its side of the bargain.
Read the exclusions carefully
Finally, while purchasing a plan for health insurance, do make sure to make a detailed inquiry into the exclusions of given health policy. If a plan provides coverage for something, then it might also not cover some other illnesses. For example, there are several plans that do not include coverage for cataract, cosmetic surgery, hernia, and HIV/AIDS. You should always select a plan that possesses less exclusion.
A health insurance plan is one of the biggest financial products you will invest in. Do take the time to compare, contrast, and choose wisely.