How to choose a health insurance in India?

You take many important decisions for your family and choosing the right health insurance plan is one of them. A health insurance plan that takes care of you and your family is a must-have in the present times. Rather than taking any health insurance plan just for tax benefits, look for other important parameters like maximum coverage and minimum premium.

The choice among different health insurance plans is something that need not be influenced by what your friend or relative says. A 24-year-old single person would have different requirements from a health insurance plan than the one who is taking care of a family with two children.

Even for the same health condition, there can be varied insurance policy options. Different health insurance policies in India have different ways of handling a particular health condition, so it’s better to choose the one that best fits your needs. While selecting a health insurance plan, there are certain checklists:

  • The maximum period for which the premium remains constant even after claims has been made
  • Cashless benefits of hospitalization and surgery
  • Hospitals covered under the policy
  • Flexibility regarding coverage, benefits and premium payment duration
  • Enhanced coverage provided in case of zero claims over certain years with constant premium
  • Expansive coverage for even such health problems which run in the family

These factors need to be considered before choosing between different health insurance plans. Along with these, certain decisions need to be taken at your end.

The right time to take the health insurance

It’s better to have health insurance plan early in your life so that you get maximum coverage for different health benefits. If you delay it, then you may have to face the risk of denied coverage for certain diseases which come under the age limit. Moreover, it is to be noted that certain critical diseases are not covered under major health insurance plans in India.

Zero in on sum insured

Inflation is one of the most important factors for deciding the sum insured. Many commit the mistake of determining the insurance amount depending upon the current medical costs. The medical expense for the treatment of any disease five years later would be different from today. It’s better to take the help of insurance experts in deciding the sum insured.

Further, don’t get misguided by the healthy lifestyle of your family members. Your family may avoid certain diseases by following a healthy lifestyle, but accidents come without warning!

Subscribe to a policy which suits you the best

Health status of people whom you want to cover under the insurance scheme is also important to take into account the current health status of those family members whom you want to be covered under the health insurance plan. Over 600 policies are now available in the market from approved insurance companies in India, and picking the one that suits your needs is a dedicated task. It is important to know who provides what as their unique selling point. HDFC ERGO health insurance policies boast of providing the coverage for even non-allopathic treatments and that too without capping any benefits. The healthier they are, the better are your chances of being spoilt for choices!

For those family members who are above the age of 50, it is better to have separate health insurance policies, as they may require frequent claims. The amount insured also depends on the age of the oldest member in the lot, so the inclusion of the elderly in one's family health insurance plan would lower down the sum insured. According to a report by Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) for the FY 2014-15, 74.79 lakh policies were renewed against 2.67 lakh  pending plans for renewal.

It amounts to 80.7% renewal of health insurance policies in the time period, and thus, indicates increasing awareness for such schemes in India. While the awareness is growing on one side, the options have also surged for health insurance plans.