Updated: Mar 1, 2021
We have lived in uncertainty throughout this year, with the fear that coronavirus might infect us or our family members. It’s a reasonable fear considering over 78 million people across the world have been affected by the COVID-19 virus killing over 1.7 million of them. In India also, over 10 million people have already been infected by the deadly virus, out of which, almost 1.5 lakh people have lost their lives. This has made a lot of us realize how significant our health is, and how critical it is to safeguard it with a good health insurance policy.
Many people, however, do not treat health insurance plans with the seriousness they deserve, at least not until some adversity shakes their lives. What’s important to understand is that this financial product protects you from unwarranted emergencies. At the same time, being insured helps you get cashless treatment and quality health care at a reputed hospital. It also provides for some great tax savings!
Now, when you go looking for a health insurance policy, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are a plethora of options available today, which might make it difficult for you to select one. That’s exactly why the following five parameters will help you make the right choice:
Sum assured: As the name suggests, it is the maximum value that your insurance company would be liable to pay, in case you fall sick and have to make an insurance claim. Any additional expense beyond your sum insured must be incurred by you on your own. Since medical costs are high today, it is important to go for a higher sum assured that can provide protection to both you and your family in times of need.
Type of coverage: Insurance companies have designed different types of health insurance plans for different needs. There are specific ones for women, for critical illnesses, for senior citizens, for individuals, for families and those that offer extended coverage. The coverages offered by these different types of medical insurance plans are different. So, compare health insurance plans and take a call based on your needs. For example, when you are unmarried, it is good to have an individual health insurance plan. However, it would be even better if the chosen plan allows you to add another member, perhaps when you get married or have children. So, it is crucial to select a plan that suits your needs at every stage of your life.
Renewability: Once again, this is an important parameter. Health insurance is not a one-off investment. It is more about long-term needs. Ideally, your health insurance policy must have a lifelong renewal option, so that you can renew it annually, and go about your life without worrying about anything. There should not be any cap on age. But, make sure to check it properly before selecting the policy.
Claim settlement ratio: It’s not just about the cover that a health insurance policy offers. It is also important that your claims are settled effectively, and on time. As the name suggests, the claim settlement ratio is the proportion of insurance claims paid out by the insurer out of the total claims filed during a financial year. The higher the ratio, the better it is for you because you can be rest assured that all your genuine claims would be accepted by the insurer.
Cashless hospitalization benefits: Last but not the least, your health insurance policy must offer the benefit of cashless claims and quality medical care at network hospitals. A cashless health insurance policy means you do not have to shell out anything in case of a medical emergency. Besides, the larger the network of hospitals, the better it is!