Why a Health Insurance policy is “must have” for all and how to choose the one suitable?

No body can predict the occurrence of a medical emergency or an accident. If any medical emergency arises and at that time you are not protected adequately, it will ruin your investment portfolio and thus your future financial planning.

There are still certain inhibitions among people when it comes to buying health insurance for self and their family. Let’s clarify some of them here…

Inhibition 1: We do not need to buy health insurance as we are all healthy and fit

first of all, we dig well when we are not thirsty. If we start digging well when we are thirsty then most probably we will die of thirst before the well is ready. Similarly, we buy health insurance when we are healthy and fit as we can never predict illness and accidents.

Secondly, if we buy health insurance when we are young and fit we pay lesser premiums owing to lower health risk.

Thirdly, there are certain diseases that are covered after the completion of 2 policy years and still others with waiting periods of 3 or 4 years. So, buying early may help at the time of actual need.

Fourthly, we get no claim bonuses, which adds up to our sum assured, for every claim free year. So, buying policy when we are fit increases our sum assured with same lower premium.

Inhibition 2: As I have health insurance cover provided by my company, I do not need to buy a personal policy

Firstly, we need to check whether the cover provided is appropriate in terms of amount and features (a personal top up plan helps us to increase our cover with a very low premium compared to normal plans).

Secondly, this cover will continue till you are with this company. While shifting your job you may end up needing a health policy during the shifting period when you do not have a protection. During this time a personal health insurance policy comes in aid.

Thirdly, you cannot control insurance company policies, they may withdraw their contracts with your company and in that case, if you need to buy a health insurance at a later age, you will have to pay higher premium and also waiting periods for different ailments will be applicable to you.

So, having a policy of your own is always better.

We need to decide on the health insurance cover / sum assured needed depending on our age, no. of dependents and health conditions of all to be covered, among others. Now, while choosing a health insurance policy we can consider following points to get a suitable product:

  • Check Co-payments (if any)
  • Sub-limits (if any)
  • No Claim Bonus rates
  • Pre & Post hospitalization days
  • Included day care procedures
  • Waiting periods for various illness
  • claim settlement ratio of the provider (though this may not always indicate the best policy)
  • Maximum renewal age period
  • Critical Illness add-on (if required)
  • Any special features ( e.g. restore of cover on exhaustion)
  • Network hospitals in your area
  • Premiums to be paid

Though the above list is not the ultimate guide, however, this will definitely be helpful in creating an idea of what exactly to look for in the policy. Additionally, one should take the help of their financial advisor and if required check available online comparison tools  to arrive at the right product for you.

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