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Key Terms to Know Before Buying Health Insurance

Planning to buy health insurance? You need to be aware of top health insurance policy terms. Learn top terms before buying health policy

  • 04 Mar 2022
  • min read

As the world is still reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic and is struggling to attain normalcy, health insurance has become even more significant in ensuring peace of mind. Health insurance provides a cover of assurance that you will be taken care of in the face of a medical crisis. Healthcare, today, is very expensive and a little something can cost you lakhs of rupees in the name of quality treatment and hospitalization costs. However, just getting any health insurance is not enough, what you need is the right cover that meets your needs without going over your budget. Here are some things to know before buying health insurance, including the important health insurance terms and conditions, to help you make an informed decision.

Health insurance conditions

Most insurance companies have their own set of conditions laid out for policy seekers. You must meet these conditions to be able to enjoy the policy benefits. Some of them are:

- Pre-policy health checks:

  • At times, health insurance companies ask you to undergo several pre-policy health checks at their cost. These health checks help them assess your health risk profile so that they can offer a policy that best suits your needs. As an added advantage, you also get to know if there is something to look out for in terms of your health conditions.

- Waiting period:

The waiting period is a very important aspect of c. When you buy a health insurance plan, in the first month, the insurance companies only cover an accidental injury. This is considered a cooling-off period in which the insurance company can check if some problem might not have been missed in the health checks.

- Deductibles:

Deductibles are very important in terms of health insurance conditions. Deductibles are meant to help insurance companies while preventing misuse of medical insurance policies through frivolous claims. A deductible is the percentage amount of your medical bills that you are required to pay out of your pocket—generally 15% or 20% of the total bill amount as well as non-medical and administrative expenses. One good thing about deductibles is that for people who lead a healthy lifestyle and are at low risk, adding a higher voluntary deductible helps in bagging a higher discount on policy premiums.

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Tips for purchasing health insurance

While you have many options of insurance companies and product offerings to choose from, the following tips for purchasing health insurance apply to almost every insurer and product.

- Buy as much cover as affordable:

As the amount of cover in health insurance goes up, the premium margins tend to get shorter. For example, a health insurance policy of Rs 10 lakh may not be charged at double the cost of a Rs 5 lakh health insurance policy. The margin would be narrower. Besides, with healthcare costs, you can never say how much money you may need, so it is best to buy as much cover as possible.

- Buy insurance from a company with a wide cashless network:

The cashless network of a health insurance company is a key factor in deciding who to buy insurance from. The wider is the cashless network of an insurance company, the better cover it will be able to provide as it will have package and pricing agreements conducted after rigorous safety and regulatory checks. A wider cashless network also means you can easily get care at the hospital of your choice.

- Buy health insurance online:

The days of the agent-based insurance selling model are passé. With increased digitalisation, you can now buy a health insurance policy online from the comfort of your home. All you need is a laptop or a smartphone with an active Internet connection. This way, you also save money as there are no agent commissions involved and insurance companies keep their best deals reserved for direct customers.

- Get health insurance for parents as soon as possible:

Aged people, especially senior citizens, are at a higher health risk, and thus need health insurance a lot more than younger, healthy individuals. The catch is that health insurance companies also tend to charge a lot of money to cover aged people and some companies may even deny new policy at all. It is, therefore, very important for all of us to get health insurance for our parents as soon as possible so they can continue to get the protection of health insurance as their age advances.

- Buy individual plans when affordable:

While family floater plans may seem like a very good deal, you are better off buying individual policies for every member of the family as long as you can afford the same. Remember, in a family floater plan, everyone is relying on the same policy and if one person gets seriously ill and the policy gets depleted, other family members may see themselves on a sticky wicket. To avoid such a situation, you are better off buying individual cover as compared to a floater plan.

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