Ask Mint Money | If you’re going to study abroad, buy health insurance in India

Ask Mint Money | If you’re going to study abroad, buy health insurance in India

I am 29 years old and have been working for the past five years. I took a health insurance as soon as I started working. Now I am going to France for my higher studies. I have no idea as of now where I will end up working. I am in a fix whether to continue this policy as I might come to India and since this policy was taken at an early age, the premium is low. However, I will be paying three years’ premium unnecessarily. Also, this policy won’t be helpful abroad. What should I do?

—Brijit Sen

There are some pros and cons of retaining your health insurance policy.

Coverage for pre-existing diseases: Since your policy is more than four years old and if you have not made any claim in these four years, your policy covers all diseases. However, if you discontinue the policy now and take a policy after three years, the new policy will not cover diseases you may contract in the interim three years. On the other hand, since you are young, the chances of contracting any major life long disease in these three years are very slim.

No-claim bonus: In case you have not made any claim, you must be enjoying a 20% enhancement in your policy value, in the form of no-claim bonus, which will go up by another 15% in these three years if you continue with the policy. If you come back after three years, you would be 32 years of age and should be able to build the no-claim bonus again.

Overall it would be better to discontinue and take a new policy if and when you come back.

I am applying for a post-graduation course in Singapore. The fee structure of the institute I am applying for has a component called medical insurance which gives a nominal cover. Should I also opt for further cover? Should I take it here and go or buy one in Singapore? Also, what is the ideal way to go about when going for higher education abroad?

—Hemen Nath

Health costs in developed countries is quite high. It becomes almost impossible for a person to get medical care without insurance back-up. As you have mentioned in your mail, the medical cover provided by the university is nominal. Therefore, it is important for you to take a cover of a higher amount.

Since health insurance for students travelling abroad is very reasonably priced in India, it is best that you take the insurance policy in India before leaving for Singapore.

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