Personal finance

Personal Finance: How to pick the right health insurance

For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)

Post the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for health insurance policies has gone up. Here’s a guide on what to keep in mind before you pick up one that suits your needs.

By Abeer Ray

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 12:15 AM IST

The unprecedented nature of the coronavirus pandemic revealed for many of us just how unprepared we were to pay hospital bills. Post the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for health insurance policies has gone up. Here’s a guide on what to keep in mind before you pick up one that suits your needs.

How’s the health?

There are many kinds of health insurance plans in the market. Currently, health insurance companies offer two kinds of plans: indemnity and benefit-based. Those with indemnity plans are reimbursed the amount spent on hospital bills while those with benefit-based plans are compensated with the predetermined lump sum amount irrespective of the actual expenses incurred. Indemnity plans are available as individual health insurance policies or family floater plans while the critical illness covers available are categorised as benefit-based plans. Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar.com, an online market place for financial products said, “Indemnity plans and fixed benefit plans fulfil two different requirements. Fixed benefit plans are necessary if one wishes to get specific coverage for a defined illness, while indemnity plans are aimed at minimizing the financial burden of hospitalization arising from any kind of medical exigency.” If you have a high risk of specific ailments in the family, it might be better for you to get a fixed benefit plan as well as an indemnity insurance plan for a comprehensive health cover. “Balancing between both indemnity and defined benefit plans also ensures that any expenses towards pre or post-hospitalization are also covered and health insurance does not remain limited to hospitalization expenses alone,” Shetty said.

Check for sub-limits

An essential feature of indemnity health plans is the sub-limits embedded within the plan. This means that you have to foot a portion of the hospital bills on discharge. This is because in plans with sub-limits, the added charges including doctor fees, nursing charges, ICU charges, etc. are linked to the room rent. In most cases, hospital expenses and room rent are limited to 1% of the total coverage. Raj Khosla, founder and managing director, MyMoneyMantra.com, a financial services company said, “The sub-limits on health insurance plans are the capping on the total claim for specific diseases and medical treatments. Before signing up for medical insurance, it is recommended to check applicable sub-limits. Always opt for a comprehensive health insurance plan for max coverage flexibility and convenience in the long term, though it can be a bit costly and will attract additional premium.”

Note the waiting period

Health insurance plans cover the treatment expenses of unforeseen health problems or diseases. This explains why insurance companies do not cover diseases from the first day of buying the policy as existing ailments are not covered. The expenses on treatment of pre-existing diseases will be covered only post completion of the waiting period. The current insurance regulations mandate a waiting period of four years though some companies limit it to two or three years. The concept of waiting period is alike in both indemnity and benefit based health plans.

Find out about co-payment clause

Senior citizens often find the co-payment clause embedded in the health plans they buy. This clause mandates the policyholder to bear a part of the hospital expenses while the rest is paid off by the insurance company. In most cases, insurance companies insert co-payment up to 20% of the hospital bills paid. Rakesh Jain, executive director and CEO, Reliance General Insurance, a private insurance company said, “Co-payment in any insurance claims is sharing of risk, higher the co-payment, higher the insurance company will provide a discount on the premium to customer.”

Choose coverage amount

No fixed rule determines health insurance coverage. However, depending on your family’s medical history, your residential city, and the hospitals in your proximity, you may decide the coverage amount. Since medical expenses are increasing, it makes sense to seek adequate coverage to pay off the entire medical costs.

Elderly people find it difficult to buy health insurance plans of their choice. This is because many policies have an entry age limitation which bars the aged from buying them. However, those paying for health plans before they turn 60 years are relieved from the burden of co-payment for the entire tenure. Though family floaters covering your entire family including parents are relatively inexpensive, it makes sense to buy a separate health insurance cover for parents to ensure increased coverage. However, health insurance premium increases with age, which is why the old have to spend more on health insurance premiums than their younger counterparts.

Personal Finance is a weekly feature that aims to provide our readers pertinent and helpful financial information.

app

Close

e-paper

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (File photo)West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (File photo)BJP indulging in religious polarisation in West Bengal, says Shiv Sena’s Saamana

UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 01:20 PM IST

The editorial comes at a time Sena is expected to contest around 100 seats in the assembly elections in Bengal. Senior party leaders will visit Kolkata early next month to chalk out the party’s strategy for the polls

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

Bhendkhal wetland in Uran in Navi Mumbai. (File photo)Bhendkhal wetland in Uran in Navi Mumbai. (File photo)Mumbai: Environmentalists begin digital drive against MMR wetland destruction

By Neha LM Tripathi

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 11:59 AM IST

According to Wetlands International South Asia, Mumbai lost 71% of its wetlands between 1970 and 2014. MMR is home to a large number of wetlands; Raigad district alone has identified 130 wetlands

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

Farmers from Nashik district walk along the Nashik-Mumbai highway to participate in the protest march scheduled to take place on January 25, in Mumbai. (PTI)Farmers from Nashik district walk along the Nashik-Mumbai highway to participate in the protest march scheduled to take place on January 25, in Mumbai. (PTI)Farmer’s protest: Maharashtra ruling parties likely to join Mumbai rally today

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha

UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 10:03 AM IST

Farmers have been arriving in Mumbai, some of them travelling over 200 kms, for two days to protest against the contentious farm laws and in solidarity with those protesting at the Delhi borders

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

Arguing for the appellant, advocate Sabahat Ullah submitted that the statement of the mother was on hearsay because she had not witnessed the incident and also raised doubts about the minor’s account.Arguing for the appellant, advocate Sabahat Ullah submitted that the statement of the mother was on hearsay because she had not witnessed the incident and also raised doubts about the minor’s account.Groping without skin contact not sexual assault, rules Bombay High Court

By K A Y Dodhiya

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 05:07 AM IST

It couldn’t be deemed an offence under the Pocso Act because there had been no skin-to-skin contact with sexual intent, the bench observed in its ruling on January 19. The man allegedly pressed a breast of the minor.

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

The farmers have announced to take out a morcha to Raj Bhavan after a public meeting at Azad Maidan on Monday.(HT photo. Representative image)The farmers have announced to take out a morcha to Raj Bhavan after a public meeting at Azad Maidan on Monday.(HT photo. Representative image)Farmers reach Mumbai, vow to intensify agitation

UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 05:04 AM IST

Ruling parties Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress and other political parties including Aam Admi Party, communist parties have announced their support to the agitation.

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

NEET aspirants wait in queue to enter inside the exam hall in Thane on September 13, 2020. (HT FILE)NEET aspirants wait in queue to enter inside the exam hall in Thane on September 13, 2020. (HT FILE)Delay in admissions for professional courses: Students forced to look for options outside Maharashtra

By Priyanka Sahoo and Shreya Bhandary

UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2021 12:33 AM IST

Delay owing to pandemic, confusion over inclusion of 12% SEBC quota; CET cell has declared six merit lists so far

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)Maharashtra rights body did not hear a single case in 2020: RTI response

By Ankita Bhatkhande, Mumbai

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 12:19 AM IST

In a response to an RTI query filed by HT, state’s child rights commission has stated that in 2020, a total of 134 cases were filed with the commission. However, not a single hearing took place that year, leading to a 100% pendency rate as far as action against these cases is concerned.

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)For representational purposes only. (HT FILE)Personal Finance: How to pick the right health insurance

By Abeer Ray

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 12:15 AM IST

Post the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for health insurance policies has gone up. Here’s a guide on what to keep in mind before you pick up one that suits your needs.

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

Farmers who have been walking from Nashik, to participate in a rally on January 26, reached CSMT on Sunday, January 24, 2021. (Pratik Chorege/HT Photo)Farmers who have been walking from Nashik, to participate in a rally on January 26, reached CSMT on Sunday, January 24, 2021. (Pratik Chorege/HT Photo)Maharashtra farmers reach Mumbai to protest at Azad Maidan

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 12:07 AM IST

Ruling parties have announced support; Sharad Pawar, Aaditya Thackeray and Balasaheb Thorat likely to join sit-in

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

 (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)Mumbai: BMC aims to give Covid vaccine to 9,500 healthcare workers daily this week

By Mehul R Thakkar, Mumbai

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 12:07 AM IST

From January 16 to 23, the BMC has vaccinated 13,365 HCWs. The turnout for the first three days was around 50%, however, on Friday and Saturday, the turnout went up to around 90%

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

 (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo) (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)Maharashtra ups Covid-19 vaccination centres to 511, drive to be 5 days a week

PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 12:05 AM IST

After the initial hesitancy, the turnout for vaccination had improved to 83.73% on Saturday, the fifth day of the vaccination drive as nine districts reported more than 100% turnout

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

Mumbai skyline.(File photo)Mumbai skyline.(File photo)As temperatures remain low, Mumbai records very poor air quality

UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 11:33 PM IST

  • On Sunday, Mumbai’s overall air quality was only slightly behind Delhi’s air quality where an AQI of 339 was measured

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

Bombay High Court.Bombay High Court.Consider plea to increase awareness on Constitution, laws, Bombay HC asks academicians

By K A Y Dodhiya, Mumbai

UPDATED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:54 PM IST

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) recently asked a social activist to approach academicians, central and state government authorities and place his plea before them to spread awareness about contents of Constitution of India, Right to Information (RTI) Act and Consumer Protection Act, among masses before them

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

BMC medical staff administer vaccine to a beneficiary at Nair Hospital. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)BMC medical staff administer vaccine to a beneficiary at Nair Hospital. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)Covid-19 vaccination: First phase in Mumbai may be completed in 1 month

By Rupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:51 PM IST

In Mumbai, around 130,000 HCWs have registered for inoculation on the centralised application Co-WIN, of which 70,000 work at private hospitals

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

Representational pictureRepresentational pictureOperation all out: 52 wanted accused arrested; warrants against 59 in Mumbai

By Manish K Pathak, Mumbai

PUBLISHED ON JAN 24, 2021 10:44 PM IST

The Mumbai Police on Saturday carried out a combing operation across the city and arrested 52 wanted accused, and issued arrest warrants against 59, involved in non-bailable offences

Get our daily newsletter in your inbox

Close

Story Saved

An essential feature of indemnity health plans is the sub-limits embedded within the plan. This means that you have to foot a portion of the hospital bills on discharge. This is because in plans with sub-limits, the added charges including doctor fees, nursing charges, ICU charges, etc. are linked to the room rent. In most cases, hospital expenses and room rent are limited to 1% of the total coverage. Raj Khosla, founder and managing director, MyMoneyMantra.com, a financial services company said, “The sub-limits on health insurance plans are the capping on the total claim for specific diseases and medical treatments. Before signing up for medical insurance, it is recommended to check applicable sub-limits. Always opt for a comprehensive health insurance plan for max coverage flexibility and convenience in the long term, though it can be a bit costly and will attract additional premium.”

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/mumbai-news/personal-finance-how-to-pick-the-right-health-insurance-101611513908740.html

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button