Health is wealth. You must have heard about the importance of getting a health insurance plan.
You may even have already gotten one, but do you really have the right health plan suited to your lifestyle and needs?
Majority of us not wanting to get into the boring details of the varied health plans available, just go along with the agent’s advice and buy the policy without really bothering about our personal requirements.
Is that okay?
Of course, not!
Having the wrong cover is nearly as bad as not having any cover.
That’s because of it most probably might not be able to provide you with the right kind of financial assistance you may need at the time of a mishap.
So, if you have already gotten a health insurance or are looking to buy one; then here are few crucial mistakes you need to either get altered or avoid making.
5 Common Mistakes While Buying a Health Insurance Plan
Everybody wants to make a wise investment and seek the best insurance plan. Take lessons from these mistakes and make them your best tips for purchasing the best health insurance plan.
1. Purchasing Insufficient Cover
Life is uncertain, and hence we take insurance policies.
But what if a loved one was hospitalized and when you approach the insurance company, you are left baffled because you find out that the policy does not cover a certain type of illness for which you require finance!
Or, your policy does not cover pre-hospitalization charges; or can cover only a very small part of in-patient treatment.
This may mean you would need to get the remaining balance, and as you were not expecting this expense, it might leave you with quite a problem on hand.
Hence it is important to check that you have gotten sufficient cover by finding out all the pre-hospitalization charges covered, post-hospitalization charges covered, exclusions, etc. of your policy to avoid getting a nasty surprise later on.
2. Relying Solely on Your Corporate Health Cover
You have a health cover due to your current employment, where you have been working for the past four years, so you haven’t taken a personal cover.
But what if your employer changes some benefits in the cover which don’t fit in with your personal needs; or what if you suddenly decide to quit your job?
Corporate covers do not last once you change your job and in such a case getting a new cover at that time may also not only be more expense but might also have certain limitations; depending on your health conditions.
Hence it is always better to have your own personal health cover; even if your company is offering you one.
Also if someone in your family is suffering from a chronic disease; then there are several family health cover plans which can cater to varied critical illness needs.
For instance, some health insurance plans provide protection for both you and your family from critical illnesses. These policies help you deal with hospitalization and other expenses which might arise in the case of critical ailments.
As the coverage offered by corporate health insurance usually varies between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh in India (between USD4500 to USD7500), it makes sense to opt for an individual health insurance which offers wide coverage.
These rates may vary from corporate to corporate and from country to country.
3. Not Upgrading Your Plan Regularly
Staying in a city like Mumbai, New York, or any cosmopolitan city would mean much more spent on healthcare as compared to living in a smaller city.
While medicines may not vary much; but things like doctor’s fees, hospital expenses, consultation fees, etc. may vary considerably.
So if your job has necessitated you to shift from a smaller city to a metropolitan, then you would require upgrading your healthcare plan to suit your new lifestyle; which now also has higher living expenses.
The best way is to port your old plan instead of purchasing a new one to get maximum benefits.
This is because in this way the benefits which have been already accumulated in your old plan get transferred into the new policy. Moreover, it is also necessary to upgrade the health plan from time to time in order to counter medical inflation rates.
4. You are Delaying Buying the Policy
Buying a health plan as early as possible has become imperative in today’s environment with the rate of critical illness going up even in younger people.
Also if you wait for too long and meet with an illness before getting a health plan, then getting one later might take longer depending on your health conditions at that time and also not cover you for a specified period of time for certain pre-existing diseases.
In addition, since you are less likely to make claims at the early stages of life; it is important you buy a health cover as early as possible; especially before you reach your 40’s; as this way you can reap the benefits of no claim bonus later on; as many insurance companies generally add this up to the original coverage every claim-free year.
5. You Have Taken a Plan With a Fixed Time Limit
Generally, health insurance is most required at an older age; as this is when most have major health problems.
Also as health care expenses are expected to increase significantly as you grow older; it is best to take a policy which offers lifetime renewability rather than taking a policy which ends after a certain fixed period of time.
In this way, you can opt for a protection cover even at a much older age by simply renewing your existing health care plan.
Finally, there is a lot to consider while picking a health care plan; and it needs to be well planned rather than something to be taken at the spur of the moment.
You need to assess the possible health risks and the type of finance you may need before taking the cover.
For instance, if your job requires you to travel a lot even outside the country; besides the cover offered by your employer; you would need to get a family health cover, which can cover your family during any problem even when you are in another city or country.
Overall it is optimal that you get sufficient cover, which actually fits your needs; along with a policy with no or minimal sub-limits.
Over to you –
What factors did you take into account when you bought your health insurance policy? If you too made any mistakes or have any tips, share them in the comments.
Posted on: September 1st, 2016
Last Updated on: September 1st, 2016