Published On: Tue, Jan 12th, 2016

What Makes a Health Insurance Policy a Good Health Insurance Policy?

Healthcare costs are increasing at a rapid rate. While advances in medical science and improved healthcare facilities have resulted in longer life expectancy and successful treatments for many fatal diseases, it has also increased the costs of hospitalization and medical services.

health insurance

To help ease the financial pressure of your medical bills, it’s advisable to buy health insurance for yourself and your family. Once you decide to take out health insurance, you need to pick a policy that best suits your needs. Familiarize yourself with insurance jargon, identify key terms that you need to look out for when you go through your policy documents. The first of these is ‘sum insured.’ This is the maximum amount your insurer is obliged to pay.

For now, let’s move on to what you should be considering to choose a good health insurancepolicy.
Identify Your Needs

Before you choose a policy be clear on what you want it to cover. Do you intend to take an individual or group cover? If you are taking a group cover, are any of your family members over the age of 50? Do any of them have chronic health problems?

If you’re newly married or have young kids, the higher premium for the family floater policy might be lower than the total premium amount you would have to pay for individual policies. However, there is a downside to opting for ahealth insurance for family. If more than one person needs medical assistance during the year, the sum insured might not be enough to cover all your expenses. If one member is prone to illness and needs frequent healthcare, this might affect the other members, reducing the amount of cover that the other family members can get.

In certain circumstances, you might be better off with individual plans or a combination of a family floater and other specialized policies. If either of your parents suffer from a medical condition, buy a separate senior citizens policy to provide health insurance for parents. Get a critical illness policy to cover chronic or critical healthcare needs.

Keep Long-term Needs in View

When you buy a long-term policy, you are mostly looking to cover future medical expenses you may incur in your middle-age or old age. If all goes well, you might not need to file a claim on your policy for many years. However, when you finally have to use the insurance cover, healthcare costs might have gone up exponentially. Medical care and hospitalization costs are rising fast. In a decade or so, you might need to pay ten times more than the current costs.

So, when you buy a policy, go in for the maximum coverage that you can afford. Also, calculate any revisions in the premium that the company might make as you grow older, and ensure that you can make those revised premium payments in the future.

Limits and Sublimits

Your policy can contain many limits or sublimits that you need to take into consideration. For instance, your insurer might cover only a small percentage of certain surgical procedures or only a fraction of ICU costs. Look for a policy that will give you the maximum coverage for these costs at a premium that you can afford.
Another important factor is the room cost cap. This is the highest amount that the policy will pay for your hospital room each day. If you are in an expensive room, you will have to pay the difference. You need to remember that this difference will not just be the room cost. Sometimes a better room also means that you have to pay more for medicines and other hospital services. This will result in a huge increase in your bill, a major part of which you might have to pay out of your own pocket, as a result of the room cap. So, when you buy health insurance, opt for one which doesn’t have a room cap.

Cashless Facility and Hospital Network

Most insurers list a network of hospitals that they have a tie-up with. The main advantage of this is that you don’t need to worry about the availability of cash when you’re admitted. The insurance company will pay the hospital directly once the claim is filed and approved. You only need to cover the additional expenses that are in excess of the claim limit or in excess of the sub-limits. Make sure that there are reputed hospitals near your place of residence that are part of this network.

The Essentials

One point that cannot be stressed enough is, don’t put off buying your health cover. The older you are, the more your policy will cost. If you are young, you can purchase maximum coverage and benefits at lower cost.
Invest in plans that have fewer exclusions and sublimits. Take advantage of features like no-claim bonuses. A no-claim bonus is an incentive paid by the insurer to reward you for not filing claims on the policy for a whole year. Most insurance companies will deduct this bonus amount from your next premium.

Taking out a health insurance policy is a good investment in the long run. Just be sure to choose a policy that will provide you with the maximum number of benefits within your budget. Use an online health insurance calculatorto calculate the premium. You can find these tools at general sites or on the website of the company from which you intend to buy the policy.

A Complete Health Insurance for family offers numerous benefits like no medical tests for policyholders below 46 years of age, cashless medical treatment in over 4500 hospitals all over the country, and a lifetime policy renewal facility.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade.