In simple terms, a health insurance is an assurance of an individual’s medical and surgical expenses in case of a medical emergency. This makes health insurance plans a worthy investment because they pay off the expenses sustained due to an illness, injury, or the overall care of an insured individual.
Do You Really Need Health Insurance Plans?
The present scenario of health insurance in India is grim. Roughly 70% of Indians bear health care costs as a part of out-of-pocket expenditure. And only 5% of Indians are covered by health insurance policies.
Only 30% of the country’s total health care budget is spent by the government on primary health care in India. Surprisingly, this is just a fraction of what countries like the US and the UK spend every year.
This must be taken as a wakeup call for staying prepared. When the worst time hits, you must have a way out for you and your family. The best way to prepare for medical emergencies is to opt for best and all-inclusive health insurance plans.
The healthcare cost rises every year with higher inflation rates than food or other articles. While the inflation for food and other articles rise by single-digit, the health care usually sees an increase in double digits. This makes arranging funds for medical emergencies at the eleventh hour extremely difficult, especially for seniors. Thus, the value of a health insurance gets even more significant.
Is Your Service Provider Giving You The Best Health Insurance Plan
You have realised the importance of health insurance plans. But how do you know that you have the best health insurance provider? Well, there are a few things that you must look at before selecting a health insurance provider.
Here are the top 5:
1) Incurred Claim Ratio (ICR)
It is defined as the total claims paid by the insurer against the total premium received in a year. The annual IRDAI report publishes the ICR for general insurance companies. This is an indicator of trust and performance of the insurance company.
- ICR above 100% – means the company paid a higher amount of claims for the premium received indicating a loss for the company. This insurance provider won’t be the right choice to buy a health insurance plan.
- ICR below 100% – means the company paid lower claims for the premium received indicating a profit for the company. You may consider this company if you are satisfied with everything.
- ICR of average range (60 to 80%) – makes for best insurance provider and consider ideal for buying a health insurance plan.
It is imperative to read every clause of the insurance plan. Understand and check if it covers key-terms like inclusions, waiting periods, exclusions, day care procedures, list of diseases covered, consultant fees, medical expenses, etc.
3) Network hospitals
Most insurance providers have tie-ups with a network of hospitals. If you undertake medical care in any of the listed hospitals, you have the benefit of easy claim settlement and cashless payments which is advantageous in the hour of need.
4) Sum Assured
As mentioned earlier, the Medicare inflation is high and increases every year. The maximum assured health insurance sum can sometimes not suffice your needs. Hence, it is advised to buy a health plan that offers a higher sum assured at the lowest premium.
Before finalising an insurance plan for you must do a thorough and comparative analysis of the premiums. Free and transparent broker sites like Coverfox.com can efficiently help you do a comparative study of different premiums. Keep in mind that plans with low premiums are not necessarily always the right ones. Everything depends upon your health requirements.
Tricks To Buy The Best Health Insurance Plans
The healthcare requirements of every individual are different. And so, let’s look at points that will help you zero in on the best among the list of health insurance plans available in the market.
- You can choose between two kinds of health insurance policies – the indemnity and benefit. Indemnity policies are individual and family floater plans that help you pay hospital bills. The benefit policies, on the other hand, are for critical illnesses as they pay a lump-sum amount for the disease diagnosed and covered for.
- Check and select the right amount as ‘sum assured’. The sum assured, also known as the cover or the coverage amount is the guaranteed amount the policyholder will receive without adding any bonuses. You should choose a higher sum assured to account for inflation and give your family sufficient cover for the health plan.
- Check reviews and compare policies. This will help you make comparisons between the best health insurance plans out there.
- Opt for a flexible policy that helps you pick and choose the kind of benefits you would want in your health insurance plan.
- Check if the insurance provider offers a no-claim bonus or discount. It is kind of a reward given by the insurance provider for making prudent use of a policy. The No Claim Bonus is a cumulative bonus given to insurers on indemnity based health insurance policies under certain situations.
An Informed Decision Is A Hope For Future
It is all about making informed decisions. As mentioned earlier, read all clauses in an insurance plan before going ahead with it. It should cover all your requirements and prove beneficial during your time of need.
Don’t think these terms to be insurance jargons. Try to get as much information as you can and you’ll have a clear picture to select the best health insurance provider. Online insurance brokers like Coverfox.com can help you decide everything in simple, easy steps.