The statistics from a recent National Family Health Survey conducted by the ministry of health and family welfare, has thrown up glaring statistics. As per the survey the health insurance coverage in India is far from satisfactory. Less than one-third of households (29%) have one or more members covered under or health scheme. Many a times, the belief that such insurances are very expensive is a huge factor in avoidance of such insurance product. But if you calculate the cost of a Rs. 5lakh cover, which can provide coverage to a family of 4 members, it does not come for more than Rs.. 20 to Rs. 30 per day.
Looking at the escalating cost of medical procedures, with annual inflation in this field hovering around 15% or more, it has become imperative for everyone to buy a suitable health insurance. Health insurance is an essential pillar of a sound financial portfolio. With our current stressful and fast paced lives, it is no surprise that even people in their mid-30s have started contracting serious diseases. In this scenario, it is crucial that there is awareness and acceptance of health insurance policies. There are many medical insurance plans available in the market; all you need to do is to choose the right one.
Why should you buy a Suitable Medical Insurance?
Medical insurancenot only covers expenses related to hospitalization and related medical procedures in case of any medical emergency, but also gives you peace of mind since you don’t have to constantly worry about the financial fallout of such an emergency. Ideally, you would buy medical insuranceonce in your lifetime, and hence it is important that you pick the best one after intense research. If you do not carefully select a good plan, your financial goals may get completely derailed in case of an emergency, and you may even have to experience a compromised quality ofhealth treatment for yourself and your family, in absence of suitable funds.
Mistakes to avoid while buying a Health Insurance Policy
There are some common mistakes that people end up making while buying health insurance. Let’s make you aware of those mistakes and why to avoid them: -
Mistake 1: Not Enough Coverage
With an intention to save money, people buy a health insurance policy that offers a limited coverage. However, what they don’t understand is that an insufficient health plan with a low premium may ultimately be heavy on their pocket inthe case of an unfortunate health emergency. An inadequate coverage will not be able to cover the high hospital bills translating to unnecessaryfinancial burden. Hence, you must not commit the mistake of buying an inadequate cover. Before deciding on your coverage, fully assess the healthcare needs of your family, compare various plans provided by insurers and then choose one best suited to your needs.
Mistake 2: Not Revealing True Medical History
People sometimes get scared that the might not accept their insurance application or may charge a higher premium for their health policy and hence they hide their medical history and the preexisting diseases. This hidingof crucial information often leads to the refusal of the claim, because sooner or later, themedical insurance provider comes to know the reality. Therefore, it is better to state all medical facts at the time of buying the policy.
Mistake 3: Opting for Health Insurance solely based on Tax Benefits
The premium of the health insurance is exempted from the tax as per the Section 80D of the Income Tax act. There is no doubt that the health insurance lowers the tax liabilities, but buying health insurance just to save taxes is not an ideal approach. The primary aim should be to keep your and your family’s health protected and be ready for any medical emergency. Many a times opting for medical insurance in a jiffy, just to save taxes without due consideration of all aspects of the policy may leave you and your family vulnerable and ill prepared to handle health scares.
Mistake 4: Not being Fully Aware of the Policy
Some people just buy the health insurance policy but they miss out on the fine print. While opting for a health insurance, it is important to go through all details, inclusions, exclusions and terms and condition. It is important to be clear about important things such as whether the policy covers or excludes specific illnesses, the network of hospitals covered etc. Even if you have missed reading the fine print while buying the insurance, you can take the benefit of free look up period offered by most health insurance plans. The free look period, generally 15 days, allows you a time to go through every detail of your health insurance policy, andif during this period you find any clause problematic, you have the option of canceling the policy and the company shall pay you back your money as per its T&Cs.
Mistake 5: Thinking Employer-insurance is enough
It is not prudent to rely totally on the insurance offered by your employer. The group health insurance offered in the companies, most of the time, do not provide adequate cover. It is most often in the bracket of Rs. 1 lakhs to 4 lakhs for a family of 3 or 4. Also, just in case the company policy changes overnight, you will be left with even lower benefits. Hence, you must examine your employer-provided health insurance first, and if it doesn’t feel sufficient to you, you must buy an additional health cover.
Mistake 6: Not checking the hospital network
Every insurance company has a tie up with hospitals, diagnostic centers, and healthcare clinics etc. Often this aspect is ignored when opting for a medical insurance policy. It is important because if the hospitals in your vicinity do not have a tie up with your insurance provider, you will have to run to the hospitals located far to get the benefit of cash-less facility or re-imbursement, which will not be convenient for you. IT is best to opt for an insurance provider with a vast network.For instance, insurance providers such as IFFCO Tokio have access to more than 4000 network hospitals offering cashless facility across the country.
With these mistakes mitigated and kept a tab upon, having the right health insurance cover becomes a lot easier, and extremely well-planned for that matter.