Buying a new health plan? Read this before you do

Posted by amrina alshaikh on February 16th, 2022

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Having a good health insurance plan is necessary at a time when healthcare costs are high and infectious viruses are rampant. If you are about to buy a new plan, do read on.

What to consider when buying a new health plan

Are you about to buy a new health plan? Consider the following factors before you do:

* Whether you’ve chosen the best policy: Always go with the most reputed insurance providers and choose the best health insurance plan in India, whether making your first health policy purchase or not. Leading insurers have a wide range of both individual and family health plans, and an easy purchase process. Besides, you are assured of good service and faster pay-outs when you deal with a leading insurance provider.

* If the coverage is sufficient: You may have picked the best health insurance plan in India with valuable features and affordable premiums, but is its coverage adequate for you? The coverage must be at least 10 times your annual income at any point in time. This means that it must be liable for periodic revision as inflation and living costs rise, and so do the needs of your family. If you cannot adequately enhance coverage at the time of policy renewal, you can buy a super top up plan for supplemental coverage. The best plans in India offer high coverage at an affordable cost.

* If the insurer has a simple claims process: Every good health insurance plan will come to nought if the insurance provider does not have an easy and hassle-free claims settlement process. It is unhelpful if you or your family members have to run from pillar to post to get the health claim settled. Another point to check is the pay-out mechanism: understand whether the policy pays the sum insured upon actual hospitalisation or submission of paperwork, or upon diagnosis (the latter happens with critical illness insurance).

* What the waiting period is: The best health insurance in India will still have a waiting period upon purchase. Find out what the minimum waiting period is before buying.

* Limits on hospitalisation covers: Check if your selected plan has limits on pre- and/or post-hospitalisation expenses before purchase.

Should you port to another plan instead?

Suppose you already have a health insurance plan, but you are unhappy with it. You wish to get higher coverage but you cannot do so till it is time to renew the plan. You may also wish to get additional features and benefits that the plan cannot provide at this juncture. Or you might hold an individual health plan and wish to add your spouse to your health plan and need a family health plan. If you are faced with either of these situations, you should consider porting to another health insurance provider.

  • You can port to another provider without losing any of the benefits on your current plan, as stipulated by the IRDAI. The continuity benefits extend to waiting periods and NCBs (No Claims Bonus) as well
  • However, porting is entirely subject to the new insurance provider’s willingness to carry out the process. The insurance provider has the right to reject the porting request for suitable reasons (age of the insured is advanced, the insured has a few pre-existing diseases, the older plan has already lapsed at the time of porting, etc.)
  • Porting does not make financial sense if the new insurance provider’s underwriting process (including additional premium) are too many. In this case, you might consider buying a new health plan or supplementing the existing coverage with a super top up plan

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amrina alshaikh

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amrina alshaikh
Joined: April 24th, 2018
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