Individual Health insurance provides coverage for operational procedure, medicines, hospital stays, diagnostic tests and other medical expenses related to the hospitalization. There is a wide product profile ranging from indemnity/reimbursements, fixed hospitalization and surgery benefits to lump sum amount towards diagnosis of a critical Illness etc. Policies differ in what they cover, the size of the deductible and/or co-payment, limits of coverage and the options for treatment available to the policyholder. Health insurance can be directly purchased by an individual, or it may be provided through an employer.
Need to know about Health insurance
One should recognize the plan, inclusive of different kind of limitations and conditions. Therefore it is necessary to have knowledge about the coverage the policy offers and to understand how much one has to pay for getting it.
One should determine closest in-network doctors, hospitals and other medical facilities before an emergency arises, else one may land up paying a larger percentage of the bill if one goes to an out-of-network hospital in an emergency as some plans levy a co-pay for treatment taken out of the prescribed network. Most of the health insurance plans provide coverage for spouse and children some plans extend coverage to parents as well. Check and pre determine your eligibility for your spouse and family.
Most health insurance providers in India offer health insurance with a validity of a year with options for renewal and a bonus coverage increase or premium discount if the insured sum is not utilized. Health plans are available in two formats, individual and group plans. In an individual policy you are personally the owner of the policy. While in a group plan, the sponsor owns the policy and the people covered under it are called its members.
While deciding on your coverage, you may come across a term called “rider”.A rider is a certain add on which gives you additional benefits. You will have to pay for the rider but usually the incremental costs are minimal. You cannot purchase a rider without first having a health insurance policy. Some of the riders commonly available with health insurance policies are Criticall Illness cover, hospital cash benefits etc. These riders may be insurer or plan specific and may not be available with all policies.
Right age to buy insurance
As such there is no right age to buy health insurance, but it is beneficial to purchase at an early age. This is so because there are waiting periods for some ailments and full coverage generally kicks in after certain years have elapsed (usually 4 years). Also, at an higher age there may be some ailments already existing, which may get excluded from future coverage or a higher premium may be charged depending on the results of the pre-issuance health check-up.