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How is the grace period different from the waiting period in health insurance ?

The ever-increasing medical and surgical expenses can quickly burn a hole in the pocket. However, if you have health insurance, you can get the right treatment and meet medical expenses sooner. Insurance companies offer different types of health insurance plans to suit your needs and pocket, and each health policy has a predetermined term. If you want to continue with your health insurance policy, you can renew it by paying the premium within the graceperiod. Every health insurance policy also has a waiting period or qualifying period. It is the time before your insurance coverage kicks in or the time you have to wait before you can avail the policy benefits.

Grace Period in Health Insurance

Did you forget to renew your health insurance policy within the stipulated time? No worries, as your insurance provider has already accounted for this contingency. It is called a grace period.

While the health plan is active only for apredetermined period, you can renew the same by paying the premium on time. In case you are unable to meet the premium payment deadline, your insurer will offer grace or an extended period within which you can renew the policy.In this period, your existing policy benefits remain active. An insurer usually offers a grace period of 15 days to one month.

Waiting Period in health insurance

Every health insurance plan also has a waiting period or qualifying period. It is the number of days you have to wait before you can avail of the benefits of your health plan. In case you file a claim within this period, your insurer will deny it.

The waiting period is implied on pre-existing diseases, maternity expenses, newborn cover, annual health check-up, and more. Some policies also have an initial waiting period of about 30 days. However, there is no qualifying period for accidental hospitalisation.

Most health insurance plans are valid for one year only, and you have to renew it on time to continue availing of its benefits. In case you fail to do so, you may face a lot of hassles and financial losses. Here is a look at the disadvantages of not renewing your health insurance on time.

  • Loss of coverage: If you do not renew your health insurance in time including the grace period, your policy will lapse.

  • You will lose the No Claim Bonus (NCB): If you do not file a claim against your health insurance, your insurer will offer a bonus or discount in the premium amount. It is called the no claim bonus, and it is cumulative. So, if you do not raise a claim for the entire year and renew your policy within the grace period, you will be entitled to it. However, if you fail to renew your health plan in time, you lose the bonus and suffer a financial loss during medical emergencies.

  • A new policy is expensive: When you fail to renew your policy in time, you will have to buy a new one to cover medical emergencies. It can be costly, as you lose the no claim bonus. Loss of NCB means you will have to shell out a higher premium amount.

  • Longer waiting period: Health insurance plans have a waiting period applicable to certain pre-existing conditions and maternity benefits. In case you have to file a claim, you can do so only if the waiting period is over. If you do not renew your policy in time, you have to serve another waiting period for the new plan.

  • Health check-up: Before insuring you, a health insurance company may ask you to get a detailed medical examination done. However, this is not required if you renew the policy on time. In case your existing health plan lapses and you plan to buy a new one, you may have to get a medical examination done again.It can be annoying and time-consuming.

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Conclusion:

If you do not want a medical emergency to impact you and your loved ones emotionally and financially, then timely enrolling with a health insurance policy is a must.Once insured, you can avail of quality medical treatment without worrying about the hospital bills. Hence, check the different types of health insurance plans today and choose one that suits your requirements. Also, remember to renew it in time or within the graceperiod to continue reaping thebenefits. A lapsed health insurance policy is the last thing you want in case of a medical emergency.

Disclaimer: The above information is for illustrative purpose only. For more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before concluding the sales.


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