Nothing is certain in life! You are happy one day and sad the next. The same principle applies to your health. You may be feeling tip top healthwise but suddenly catch a viral— or worse, discover that your Himalayan Base Camp dream needs to wait for a knee surgery, or you could not lead your team at the annual corporate cricket tournament finals because of a last minute detection of an illness! Nothing is more painful than delaying those Zumba lessons because of that ankle you injured back in college – regular physio sessions are expensive and so is a personal Zumba instructor. Healthcare has become exorbitant and small simple procedures now require a rethink, both for the young and the old. It is for such scenarios that companies offering health insurance plans can prove invaluable to you.
Given that people are faced with the problem of plenty when it comes to health insurance packages, it's good to make smart, well-informed choices.
Act When the Going is Good
The trick is to start early when you are in the pink of health and at peak performance career wise. The good part about any health insurance provider is that they can cover you as well as your growing family. In general, most insurance providers cover a maximum of four family members – two adults and two kids.
Covered For What?
Generally, health insurance plans help you recover medical expenses incurred before and after hospitalization (for a certain period of time). This ensures you can undergo treatments without worrying about draining your bank balance!
Insurance products also provide you free health check-ups which can help flag health issues early enough to nip them in the bud.
Another bonus of a health insurance plan is the cashless claim facility offered for a wide range of hospitals in India. This means that in an emergency you just need to flash your insurance card—not bank card— to be admitted for treatment without the pain of standing in (and getting lost finding) queues. This ensures you can focus on the patient and the treatment and leave the insurer to pay the hospital directly.
Checklist for Choosing the Right Plan
Just selecting a health insurance plan may not be enough, if you do not know which one suits you and your family the most. Keep in mind these key points before you sign up with a provider:
• Select a plan that allows coverage for any pre-existing illness for a couple of years or more.
• If you have a family, you may want flexible options in family health coverage. Ideally, go for a choice of coverage between an individual basis (premiums to be paid for every insured family member separately) and a collective basis (single premium covering the entire family).
• If you are single, opt for a short-term health insurance plan but ensure that the provider offers the option to renew the package, so that once married, you can get a broader insurance plan for your family. Alternatively, you need to ensure that the plans cover you and your family for a very long period of time.
• Make sure you are covered for critical illnesses, either as part of the plan or as an add-on feature.
• Do not make the mistake of assuming anything; go through the policy document thoroughly as well as clarify all the inclusions for your plan with the service provider.
You definitely need to be vigilant about buying insurance. But a renowned and transparent health insurance provider like ICICI Lombard can ease this process considerably for you. Not only does it offer flexible health insurance plans covering far more than these benefits, it does not require you to bear a certain percentage of the claim amount for any diseases or hospitalisation expenses incurred in a non-network hospital!