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Best health plans to buy

A health insurance policy packs in several features and caveats

How do you buy a health insurance plan? If you just settle with the plan your agent sells or are happy knowing you have bought the cheapest plan, there is a bit of unlearning and a lot of learning in store for you. A health insurance policy packs in several features and caveats. To give you a ready comparison, we designed Mint Mediclaim Ratings (MMR), which was developed by SecureNow Insurance Broker Pvt. Ltd. The full ratings along with the methodology can be seen here: http://www.livemint.com/mintmediratings.

In the ratings, for family floater plans, we have considered two sum insured amounts ( 10 lakh and 20 lakh) and three age categories in each—eldest insured member is 35, 45 or 65 years old. For individual plans, the age categories are the same but the sum assured is 5 lakh. The newest edition of the ratings (January 2015) has a new category of individual plans of 10 lakh for senior citizens aged 70 years.

This week, we spotlight family floater policies with sum assured 20 lakh, the eldest person being 65 years old and the coverage is for two adults. We also explain some of the important aspects that one should look at while choosing a policy. Let’s look at disease-wise capping. Other than the waiting period, insurers will also specify the amount that they would pay for specified illnesses. For instance, most insurance companies specify caps on cataract. That’s because the cost of treatment varies from 10,000 to 1 lakh. So, in order to limit its risk, an insurer may institute caps. Other than that, insurers may also want to limit their liability on major illnesses. Insurers do this to bring their risk down, which may get reflected through cheaper premium. We, however, prefer a comprehensive plan with fewer sub-limits, hence lower the sub-limit, higher the score.

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