Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Tips to pick the right Health Cover to suit your needs !!

It takes an Agent Several Days, even weeks, to convince a customer to Buy Health Insurance.

Introduction of new Medical Technologies, over-prescription by Doctors, and a General rise in Medicine Costs.The treatment protocol for angioplasty today is vastly different from that followed five years ago. Many of these advanced medical technologies and procedures cost more. For Ex- Someone is now looking for a Health Insurance policy for his family. However, the vast array of choices before him is confusing. There are individual policies and family floater plans, policies that restore the limit after the claim and plans that cover critical illnesses or offer cash benefits on hospitalization. How does one pick a suitable plan from this clutter? The answer is that your needs should define the type of policy you buy. Each type of Health Insurance policy fulfills a certain need . The choice depends on the Buyers age, family size and Structure, and existing Insurance Cover.

Young nuclear family:

If you have a nuclear family, a family floater plan will suit you best. In these plans, the cover is shared by the entire family. The premium per Rs 1 Lakh may be higher compared with an individual policy, but the premium per person works out to be lower. Its a calculated risk you can safely take. It is unlikely that all the members will require hospitalization in the same year. For newly married couples, who intend to start a family in a few years, it makes sense to plan accordingly. Though most health insurance policies do not cover maternity costs, some do. However, these costs are covered only after a waiting period of 2-3 years. Buy a policy that covers maternity costs immediately after marriage.

Covered by employer:

Some people believe that if they are covered by their employer, they dont need to buy a separate policy. This can be a costly mistake. While such covers are useful, they may not be sufficient. If you lose your job or switch to another company, you may be rendered uninsured. Even if you buy a fresh cover immediately, keep in mind that there is a mandatory 45-day cooling period during which certain claims will not be paid.

Before you switch to a new insurer:

Besides, there is a 2-3 year waiting period for pre-existing diseases. This is where the employer-provided cover is very handy. The waiting period for a pre-existing diseases cover is taken care of by the group cover.

Watch out for sub-limits:

While supplementing an existing cover, you can either buy a normal policy or a top-up plan. A top-up policy is cheaper because it will cover expenses beyond a certain initial threshold. For instance, Someone, his wife and child already have a Rs 2 Lakh Health Cover from their employers. They should ideally supplement this cover with a top-up policy. If they buy a normal cover of Rs 5 Lakh, their premium will be at least Rs 10,000 per year. However, if they buy a top-up cover of Rs 5 Lakh with a Rs 2 Lakh deductible, it will cost them only Rs 4,100 a year, a saving of Rs 5,900 per year. Their existing policies can take care of the initial Rs 2 Lakh, which wont be covered by the top-up plan. Let us look at some other situations. 

Self-employed or businessperson:

Health insurance is especially important for people not in formal employment. For them, a simple indemnity plan that covers hospitalization expenses will not be enough. They also need to insure themselves against loss of income due to hospitalization. Most salaried people get paid medical leave, but if your company does not offer this benefit, a fixed benefit plan comes to the rescue. Self-employed professionals should supplement the base cover with a fixed benefit policy, which pays them a certain amount for the period that they are out of action.

Living with dependent parents:

The family floater plan is not a good option if you want a cover for an older relative as well. This is because the premium rates in these plans are determined by the age of the oldest member. If you live with aged parents, it is advisable to go for individual policies rather than a family floater. Buy individual plans for them so that the premium for the rest of the family does not shoot up. Also, there is a greater likelihood of making a claim for an older person. So the floater plan will miss out on the no-claim bonus it might have otherwise received.         

A policy for senior citizens:

While Buying a policy for your parents, study its features in great detail. Most health insurance policies dont offer coverage beyond the age of 70 years, but some policies now offer a lifelong cover. "If the cover ceases at the age of 70, no other insurer will provide you one at that age.  However, do the math when you buy a health cover for someone over 70 years. The premium is prohibitively high and you could be paying Rs 24,000-30,000 a year for a cover of Rs 1.5 lakh. Some may find that putting away the premium money in an emergency fund for medical expenses is a better idea than buying insurance at that age.     

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