In majority of Indian families, there is usually one or maximum two earning members and multiple dependent members. As a consequence, when dependent members fall sick, earning members go through tremendous financial hardship to arrange for the medical expenses. With increasing instances of frequent illnesses and rising healthcare costs, earning members of a family are on the lookout for something to resort to that can cover their exorbitant medical expenses.
This is where a family health insurance plan comes into play as it covers most of the medical expenses and also offer a range of benefits. There is no dearth of providers of health insurance in India, so finding the best health insurance remains a concern especially for those who are not aware of the nitty-gritties of health insurance plans. If you want to plan a health insurance policy for your family, you should pay heed to the following pointers.
The chief purpose behind investing in a health insurance is to avoid out-of-expenses in time of hospitalization. All health insurance companies in India offer cashless treatment facility to policyholders in some selected hospitals in the network of the health insurer. When you select a family health insurance for your family you need to ensure that your chosen insurer has some extensive network of hospitals so that you can easily find a hospital in your vicinity so that you can avail cashless treatments at the earliest in time of emergency.
Health Insurance Company
No. of hospitals in the network
Inclusions and Exclusions
Since, you will have to pay premium to get the coverage, you need to check each health insurance plan closely and see what's covered and what's not. Ideally, your preferred medical insurance policy is the one that covers all types of ailments without any limit. Some mediclaim plans cover certain diseases up to a certain limits like cataract operation up to a maximum of Rs. 50,000. You should avoid this type of health insurance plans. You should take time to go through the policy documents of health insurance plan and select with the longest list of inclusions and shortest list of exclusions.
Consumable items are covered by very few health insurance plans. Cigna TTK Pro Health is one of those few health insurance policies that covers all consumable items.
Sub-limit is another downside that you don't want to see in your family health insurance plan. Some medical insurance policies come with sub-limit on coverage of various expenses during hospitalization. Some mediclaim policies cover room rent only up to 1% of the Sum Insured. Even if your coverage of Rs. 3 Lakh, your health plan will cover room rent only up to Rs. 3000. If you choose a room that costs Rs. 5000 for rent, your health policy will not cover the full rent and invariably you have to pay from your own pocket in spite of paying premium for Rs. 3 Lakh coverage. Hence, you should always stay away from this type of disadvantageous health insurance plan.
All health insurance plans in India come with a waiting period for pre-existing diseases. Pre-existing ailments refer to those diseases that the policyholders are suffering from at the time of buying health insurance policy. Depending on the provider, this waiting period varies between 2-4 years and you should choose a policy with shortest waiting period
Apart from waiting period for pre-existing ailments, some medical insurance policies in India also come with waiting period for treatment of specific treatments. For an example, many health insurance plans cover cataract operation after 2 years since the inception of the policy. You should steer clear of this type of mediclaim policy.
The renewal option is not the same for all health insurance policies in India. Plans that come with lifetime renewability should be the one you buy. There are many benefits of opting for a health insurance plan that you can renew throughout your life. Ideally, you should buy health insurance at an early stage of your life and continue with the same throughout your life. If you opt for a medical cover that expires once you reach a certain age, you will have difficulties in finding a health insurance plan at an advanced age. Even if you find one, you will have to pay very high premium and there will be many exclusions, waiting period and co-pay.
Apart from regular coverage and cashless treatment facility, health insurance plans in India have lately come with some additional benefits to allure customers. Some of the most useful benefits that these health policies provide are;
- Auto-restoration benefit
- Critical illness coverage
- Maternity benefit
Some health insurance plans refill the exhausted coverage without asking for extra premium and this feature is called auto-restoration of Sum Insured. This benefit is very useful for your entire family. If one dependent member finishes the entire Sum Insured in one go, others will still have coverage in that particular year. Some of the health insurance policies in India that offer auto restoration benefit are;
- Family Health Optima Plan by Star Health
- Health Companion Plan by Max Bupa
Aside from the regular coverage, some medical insurance policies provide coverage against some selected critical illnesses. Life-threatening diseases trigger lump sum expenses that a regular health insurance plan doesn't cover. If you come across with medical insurance policy with such coverage you can buy that for you or your family.
Maternity benefit has lately become very popular and one of the most sought-after features especially among newly married couples. If you are newly married you should find a plan that covers maternity expenses along with all regular expenses. While looking out, you should compare health insurance online in terms of waiting period before covering maternity expenses. There are two health insurance plans in India that covers maternity expenses after just 9 months since the inception of the policy.
- SBI Arogya Premier
- Religare JOY
Performance of the Company
All providers of medical insurance plans are not equal on the basis of financial strength, customer service, claim settlement , grievance resolve. You should assess the current position of all health insurance companies in India in terms of their financial stability. You also need to check claim settlement ratio and time taken to settle claims and after-sell customer service of all health insurance companies in India to sass out the provider of best health insurance in India.
The money you save by availing a medical insurance plan is way more than the money you spend for the premium of a health insurance plan. It takes away the financial stress, the anxiety of arranging money for treatments during exigencies and gives you easy access to timely and proper treatments.
According to many surveys and reports, India is now the diabetes and cardiovascular disease capital and holds third position in obesity after USA and China. These alarming stats clearly indicate the fact that Indian citizens spend highest amount of money in various treatments. And, being armed with a comprehensive health insurance plan is the sole solution of such a predicament.
Now that you know what to look for in a health insurance plan, you should compare health insurance online on a portal like GIBL,IN that facilitates easy and fast comparison of health insurance plan in terms of all the aspects mentioned above. After all, you take care of your family so you should not make any compromise and buy the best health insurance in India for your family members.