Things You Should Consider to Choose the Right Health Insurance

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 22 February 2023, Updated on - 02 February 2024

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Life is unpredictable and so are medical emergencies. Though these situations are inevitable, the best you can do is be prepared. This is where health insurance comes in handy. With rapidly rising healthcare costs globally, buying a good health insurance policy is the only way to ensure your financial security in trying times. However, with so many options provided by a large number of insurance providers, it can be tough to determine what’s the best choice for you.

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To make things a little easier for you, here’s a list of things you should carefully take into account before choosing a health insurance plan for yourself.

1. Inclusions and Exclusions

Every health insurance policy underlines in detail what it will cover and what it won’t. Exclusions are the conditions against which you cannot file a claim. Make sure you have total clarity about the coverage provided by the policy before you buy it. Being confused about or unaware of these inclusions and exclusions can increase your chances of claim rejection and out-of-pocket expenses.

2. Waiting Period

Before buying a health insurance plan, carefully understand its waiting period clause. During the waiting period, your insurer will not approve any claims you make related to specific illnesses or pre-existing conditions. The waiting period for these policies can range from a few months to years based on your chosen plan and insurance provider. So, make sure you are fully aware of the duration of the waiting period and the illnesses it applies to.

3. Claim Process

During emergencies, an easy and straightforward claim process can prove to be a blessing. So, before you buy health insurance, thoroughly read about the claim process as described by the insurer. Don't skip out on doing some research and reading customer reviews. Only select an insurer that is known for providing a seamless and hassle-free claim settlement experience.

4. Hospital and Clinic Network

Every insurance company has its own cashless network of hospitals. During a medical emergency, these hospitals provide policyholders with the cashless option, wherein they settle the medical bills directly with the insurer, saving them any hassle. This can make things much easier for you. So, choose an insurance company that has a large network of cashless hospitals.

5. No-claims Bonus

Also referred to as NCB, a no-claims bonus is offered by most insurers to the policyholders who don't file a claim during the policy year. For each claim-free year, your assured sum is increased automatically at the time of policy renewal. This claim-free bonus can range from 1% to 100% of your assured sum. So, before making a purchase, check the policy's NCB clause and choose an insurance company that offers the best deal.

6. Coverage

Plenty of health insurance plans only cover medical expenses incurred during hospitalisation. It's advisable to buy a plan that also covers pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses to save the cost of medical tests, medicines, diagnostic tests, doctor consultations, and ambulance rides. Moreover, don't ignore the maternity benefit as the cost of maternity care and delivery can be exorbitant.

7. Co-payment Clause

Many people ignore the co-payment clause, which is a major mistake. Co-payment refers to the percentage of the amount that you'll be required to pay at the time of the claim with the rest paid by your insurer. So, before purchasing a policy, carefully look for the co-payment clause. Always prefer a plan without any sub-limits. However, in case of certain pre-existing conditions and other circumstances, a co-payment clause becomes inevitable.

Buying the right health insurance policy is crucial for your own well-being. So, don’t miss out on carefully considering all of the points mentioned above before making a decision.

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