Health insurance has proved to be a lifeline to innumerable people during crisis. A sound health insurance policy safeguards you by preventing a health crisis to transpire in to a financial crisis.
Today, the benefits of health insurance are well acknowledged by all, but what is often asked is, "How much health insurance should I avail?"
One needs to factor in many variables while deciding on the right health insurance cover. Lifestyle, one's medical history, family's medical history and annual income are the main parameters on which an adequate health cover should be selected.
On an average, Indian’s prefer to avail health insurance cover amounting to 50% of their annual salary.
If your family has a history with a particular disease then you are more likely to suffer from it. One needs to look at the nature of major and minor diseases that may probably affect you and your family, along with the approximate costs of dealing with those health issues to ascertain your ideal health cover.
Group Health Policy
People often consider the group health policy offered by their employer as a primary health policy. Yes, it acts as a cushion but it is not adequate to be considered as a primary healthcare policy. Irrespective of whether one's employer provides a group healthcare policy, the need for a personal healthcare policy is paramount.
Your employer may opt to back out of the policy by discontinuing with it. Many group health policies do not consider one's parents in the health cover. Moreover, it is not available from a sustainable point of view. What if you leave your present job and your new employer does not provide a group health insurance policy?
Insurance provided by your employer is an added advantage and that is what it should be. It should be in addition to your primary individual health care plan.
Even if you plan to continue with your existing company for a major part of your life, the group insurance policy may not support you after you retire.
Tips for Purchasing Adequate Health Cover
Insurance companies go all out to promote their respective insurance policies. Every company has policies that are similar to others and they differ with minor changes. After all, different people have different needs. While choosing an adequate cover, you must ensure that you are availing the policy, which you need, and not what the insurance company is providing. Go through the following tips to ascertain an adequate health cover.
• Tip 1 - One must understand and differentiate between necessity and frills. Additional covers to the policy should not be opted for if you do really do not require them.
• Tip 2 - Many a times people decide the cover depending upon the premium they will have to pay. Rather than concentrating on the premium, one must focus on the finer aspects of the policy like benefits and terms.
• Tip 3 - Noting the renewal age is one of the important factors while deciding your insurance cover. The need for insurance is more profound when one has crossed the age of retirement and the regular source of income is not available any longer.
• Tip 4 - The sum insured is not a guarantee for the claim. There are certain limits, which overrule the sum insured. One must consider limits if any, in the policy and then weigh those with the extent of the coverage. Example, there are limits on the insured amount in case of heart related diseases, cataract etc.
• Tip 5 - Long term policies overpower plans restricted by days. Think of the sum insured as a long-term investment to safeguard your health. While choosing the sum insured also consider the inflation rate.
• Tip 6 - Insurance premiums undergo a drastic change when the person in question crosses the age of 45. Hence, premiums have to be weighed accordingly and an insurance plan must be bought at the earliest.
With the advent of technology, the claims process has become streamlined. The claims are sorted through dedicated portals of insurance companies.
For example, ICICI Lombard's Health ID card facilitates cashless services. All one needs to do is display the card at an affiliated hospital.
Health Care Plus
Health Care Plus is designed to provide an adequate and enhanced sum insured. Such type of a policy is extremely beneficial when one is unable to meet the towering medical expenses. Health Care Plus helps when the coverage limit is crossed and the expenses are beyond an individual's affordability limit. It is advisable to enhance your health cover with Health Care Plus to protect your finances and overcome unexpected health issues.
It provides individual cover for each member of the family with a flexible sum insured and flexible deductibles. This long-term cover is applicable for two years for people falling in the age group of 5 - 65 years. There are no sub limits on room rent, hospitalization expenses, diagnostic tests and doctor's fees. Free health checkup is also provided on policy renewal. One can also avail income tax benefits using this cover.
• Health insurance is a saviour but one must define its exact role by availing the right policy
• Consider your lifestyle choices, income, personal and family's medical history before choosing an insurance cover
• Average policy cover is 50% of one's annual salary
• Group Health insurance is advantageous but should not be your only option
• Follow above-mentioned 6 tips to choose the right policy and cover
• Settling claims is not a cumbersome process at all, a simple card can make it hassle-free
• Enhance your Health Insurance cover with Health Care Plus
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