10 Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Availing Of Health Insurance
Before availing of health insurance, there are a few important things you need to know. Here's what to keep in mind for insurance success
Despite advancements in modern healthcare and affordable treatments, falling prey to deteriorating health without the leverage of back-up can surely put a dent in your life savings. Taking care of your health is not a choice – it is a luxury that is mandatory and expensive. While you can stay healthy by keeping a vigorous check on your lifestyle and dietary habits, sickness and disease often come without warning. One day, you are slouching on the couch watching your favorite show, and the next day, you are hospitalized due to an unfortunate, untimed, and unpredictable accident.
In today’s modern times, taking care of yourself can become expensive, given that modern medicine and treatments are not as affordable as they used to be. The world is becoming more aware of the pros of health insurance, but many people have a vague idea regarding insurance companies and their healthcare policies.
1. When To Buy A Health Insurance Plan
Why wait for buying a healthcare plan when you can avail the insurance claim now? Choosing a healthcare plan in your youth is beneficial due to two factors. One, the cost of premiums is significantly lower when you avail a health insurance plan before the age of 40. Since your body shows minimum signs of age-related, deteriorating disorders, you can also avail a limited number of claims with comprehensive coverage.
Plus, buying a health insurance plan when you are healthy to the bone will not go to waste! Most insurance policies have a No-Claim Bonus that you can avail every claim-free year. So in actuality, even if you are blessed with great health, your healthcare insurance claims will not go to waste and will grant you with extensive coverage when required.
2. The Age Limit Criteria
Most extended health insurance plans consist of policies that you can opt for after turning 91 days of age! Each health insurance policy has its age limit criterion. Some health insurance plans even have a requirement of eligibility at 25 years to 60 years of age while many do not take any applicants that are beyond 50 years of age. But, some plans are lucrative and comprehensive based on their no-age-limit criterion, making them eligible for all ages.
For instance, some family floater insurance plans charge premiums without imposing any limitations on age and are not obsolete for elders beyond 60 years of age.
3. Type Of Coverage And Premiums
The most important part is to decide what kind of health insurance policy is beneficial for you. For instance, with Cigna Health Insurance in the US, there are individual coverage plans as well as those that ensure full coverage of your entire family. Buying individual coverage plans for each family member when you can avail the family insurance policies for lower premiums will not only be expensive but ensure an umbrella opportunity of extensive coverage.
Secondly, when availing a health insurance plan, people tend to choose the one that bags the lowest premiums, because it seems a wise decision. But, always correlate the premium to the kind of coverage you might get upon availing. Most insurance plans that offer extensive coverage with lesser premiums have additional clauses of co-payment and various deductibles that get revealed to you later on.
Make sure you make a carefully thought decision of a policy that not only requires fewer premiums but provides extensive health coverage without compromising on the quality and quantity of benefits.
4. The Sum Insured Instead Of Maximum Liability
The second most important part when choosing a health insurance policy is to consider the amount of sum insured instead of a maximum liability. The optimal sum insured is the amount that your policy is liable to pay with your claim. Before deciding on the sum insured, you should consider the number of members in your family, including their existing health condition and the medical expenses that you might come across in the future.
It is necessary to factor the affordability of the premium when setting an optimal for the sum insured. The higher the sum insured, the higher will be the premium that you will be required to pay, so make sure you choose your plan wisely.
5. Pay For Coverage Features That You Require
Every insurance policy has a certain umbrella of coverage features that might come in handy. But, when making a decision, you might become side-tracked and choose a plan whose coverage features are of no use to you. Shortlist your plans by considering your health and opt for features that fall into your usage.
6. Office Insurance Policies
Workplaces usually offer insurance policies to permanent employers with lucrative benefits. But, most employees have no idea what their claims usually are. Also, if you decide on leaving your job, you will be required to withdraw from the insurance policy, losing all reliance. It is better to opt for an individual healthcare insurance policy so that even if you plan on changing your workplace, you are thoroughly covered.
7. The Waiting Period Clause
The waiting period clause waives off the insurer of any claim of illness or accident that might occur during the period of availing a plan. The waiting period can range from 2 to 5 years at the very most, which means any illness that occurs during the period will not have any coverage from the insurer. You can, however, avail the coverage benefits of pre-existing and diagnosed illnesses such as thyroid and arthritis once the waiting period is over. Make sure you choose a plan that has a minimum waiting period so that you can avail the benefits instead of any medical emergency.
8. Hospitalization Coverage
Most insurance companies have a list of hospitals on their panel of networking. By getting treated on the panel, you can avail a list of treatments and consultation without paying for the services. Plus, most insurance plans also have policies that cover a limited amount of medical expenses incurred during treatment upon admission to a hospital. To make sure whether your insurance plan covers pre-and-post hospital additional charges such as doctor’s consultation fees and ambulance charges, check with your insurer wisely.
9. Maternity Coverage
Even if you do not plan on getting married shortly, try not to opt-out of maternity and neonatal coverage as your mind can change eventually. In this way, you will be prepared to cover the cost of maternity expenses as delivering a baby is becoming expensive day by day.
Moreover, once you opt for maternity health coverage, you might have to wait for a minimum of 2 to 4 years to avail the claims. When planning a family, make sure you keep the waiting period clause in mind so that you can avail the coverage benefits during and after your pregnancy.
10. Co-Payment Clause
When committing to a health insurance plan, make sure you read the co-payment clause before you are surprised at the last moment. A co-payment clause dictates the amount of payment that you are liable to pay along with the insurer. For instance, if your insurance policy has a co-payment ratio of 10%, then 90% of the amount will be payable by the insurance company, irrespective of the claim. Since the co-payment clause is applicable on the entire list of claims in your coverage policy, make sure you choose an insurance plan that has the lowest rate of copay imaginable.
The Final Verdict
Most people tend to pick a healthcare insurance plan by solely depending on the ‘word of mouth’. We get it – reading the fine print and researching about a prominent health insurance plan can become arduous. But, when considering your health, we believe you should give yourself the time, especially when a disease or injury challenges it lucratively. Choose a health insurance plan today so that you are prepared when life throws its uncertainties at you.