A health insurance checklist. Make sure to ask these things while buying policy2 min read . Updated: 05 Jan 2021, 11:35 AM IST
- Read the policy papers carefully to understand whether it fulfills your requirements, the exact benefits offered, coverage amount etc.
- Also, check the terms and conditions for 'no claim bonus' and restoration benefit.
Considering the health inflation rate, increasing medical costs and the rising number of diseases, having health insurance is essential. However, just buying health insurance is not enough, you will have to ensure that you have bought the right policy that covers your specific needs.
Hence, no matter how lucrative a policy might sound, you need to check a few things before signing the deal.
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Here are the things that you need to check:
The first thing that you need to analyze is your biggest requirement while getting a policy. The essential requirements for health insurance might vary from person to person. For example, for you, the biggest requirement might be some pre-existing illness. So while getting a policy, check whether it covers that disease and what are the policy terms for pre-existing illnesses.
The coverage amount:
As per the rule of thumb, one's health insurance cover should be six times his or her monthly salary. That is if your salary is ₹50,000, then your health cover should be ₹3 lakh.
However, the coverage amount should be as per one's need. For example, a ₹3 lakh cover might be sufficient for an individual policy, but not enough for a floater policy.
The exact benefits offered:
Read the policy papers or speak to your agent in detail to understand the exact benefits offered under the policy.
For example, apart from inpatient hospitalization, what are the terms and conditions of daycare procedures, then whether your policy has any room rent cap, then what are the conditions from pre and post hospitalisation coverage.
Also, check the terms and conditions of the waiting period, co-payment clause, exclusion and sub-limits.
Enhancing the coverage amount:
Owing to the increasing healthcare costs, it is important to have enough health insurance coverage for each member of your family. And what might be sufficient for today, might not be enough tomorrow.
"Your policy should have the flexibility to upgrade in the future. While life insurance needs decrease over time, health insurance needs may increase in the future. You should be able to upgrade the existing policy. It is an economical way of getting higher insurance cover at a later age," said Renu Maheshwari, certified financial planner and SEBI Registered investment advisor, Founder, Finscholarz Wealth Managers.
So, check the terms and conditions for no claim bonus and also, whether the policy offers restoration benefit. Regarding no claim bonus benefit, Maheshwari said, "Enquire the quantum of no claim bonus and how a 'no claim year' is rewarded to the policy buyer. This can bring down your premium payments without compromising on the cover."
Plus, you can create more economical solutions by combining a base health insurance with a top-up policy rather than buying a single higher value policy. Both can be from the same insurance company or a different company, the financial advisors concludes.