Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

5 factors to consider when buying health insurance policy

Health insurance is a must-have in your insurance portfolio. It is vital to get financial protection against medical risks

Published: May 26, 2020 11:59:06 AM IST
Updated: Jun 28, 2021 06:06:50 PM IST

5 factors to consider when buying health insurance policy

Health insurance is a must-have in your insurance portfolio. It is vital to get financial protection against medical risks. But, how to ensure you get the best policy? Read on to know the five critical factors you must consider while purchasing a health plan.

As the risk of lifestyle-related disease is increasing, especially among the youngsters, and the healthcare cost is rising, the need for having robust health insurance is hard felt. Today, the insurance companies are offering a myriad of innovative healthcare plans to suit the different insurance needs of the people. As an insurance buyer, you would surely want to ensure that you and your family get maximum protection at an affordable price. So, how do you make a purchase decision? If you are looking for a health insurance policy, considering the following factors is paramount. 

1.  Coverage Amount 

Before you choose the first policy, you come across online, take some time to determine your insurance needs. Know about the dependent family member’s healthcare needs and choose a plan accordingly. If you have a family of 5-6 members with old-aged parents, you must purchase a plan with a sum insured of 10-15 lakhs. But, if you have a nuclear family with young kids, an insurance policy with 5-7 lakhs would be ideal.

2.  Cashless Treatment 

In the event of any medical emergency in the family, the last thing you would want to worry about is arranging enough cash to settle the hospital bills. Hence, while looking for a health insurance plan online, choose an insurer that has a collaboration with several hospitals and offers a cashless treatment facility. Also, don’t forget to check the list of network hospitals located in your locality. Generally, the list is available on the insurer’s website.

3.  Waiting Period

All health insurance policies have a waiting period for treatment of certain diseases and pre-existing disease. This means if you have any pre-existing medical condition at the time of policy purchase, the insurer is not liable to pay for the hospitalisation expenses until a specific period, as mentioned in the policy documents. So, when you purchase a policy, you must review the waiting period, and choose a policy that has the least waiting period.

4.  Exclusions

Just as it is essential to know what the policy covers, it is equally important to know the exclusions, which may vary depending on the plan you purchase. So, before you sign the policy documents, make sure that you read the exclusions section carefully and know exactly what is not covered so that you avoid the confusion while filing a claim. Typically, most health insurance policies have permanent exclusions for certain diseases like HIV, AIDS, STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), all surgeries for beautification, etc.

5.  Premiums

Finally, the importance of the premium cannot be overlooked. The insurance company decides the premium based on a variety of factors including your age, the number of members covered under the policy, medical history, add-ons purchased, etc. So, make sure that you carefully compare the different plans and choose the one that provides sufficient coverage and has an affordable premium.

So, the key to getting the best insurance coverage for your family is to be aware of the different aspects of insurance. Do your research well, know your needs, and choose a plan accordingly.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.