Health Insurance POST Covid-19 - choosing the best policy for you and your family
The year 2020 will always be synonymous with Covid-19. This was the year that impacted the health, work, businesses and lives of millions around the globe. Worldwide, institutes and scientists collaborated and toiled towards developing vaccines that will protect us from future infection and severe symptoms. Very soon, Covid-19 will become a thing of the past. But health insurance is here to stay!
As a result of the pandemic, health insurance sales surged while people tried to get urgent medical cover in a rush of fear. Soon people recognized the importance of health insurance as being a safety net against massive hospitalization bills on account of Covid-19-related treatment. In the process, the true nature and relevance of health insurance was realized – that it offers much needed lifelong financial support during planned and unexpected medical treatments and emergencies.
Thanks to the clear-cut directive laid down by the regulatory authority, all health insurance plans now cover Covid-19 and related treatment costs. Additionally, health insurance also shields against associated expenditure for vector borne diseases (dengue, malaria) which are seasonal (monsoon is just around the corner!). Besides, accidents and critical illness which are unpredictable and high-priced also get covered under health insurance.
It is not just Covid-19 that we need protection from. Our family’s health should be safeguarded from any other maladies that can adversely impact our lives. Choosing the right health insurance scheme will ensure the safety of our family’s health and finances. Some key factors to consider while looking to invest in the best medical insurance plan for our family are:
1) Coverage amount or Sum Insured: This is the big question! How much cover should you take for yourself and your family? The answer depends upon a few points such as:
a. The number of family members insured under the plan. The more the number, the higher the coverage amount will be. Also take into consideration the age of the insured family members. The higher the age, the more likely medical attention will be needed for more grave health concerns and the more expensive the treatment is likely to be.
b. Where you live. Treatment costs are higher in cities and metros compared to non-metros and uptown locations. Always better to account for higher cost of treatment for sufficient cover, rather than regret being under-covered in times of need!
c. Planning for the future while taking care of today. While taking a health insurance plan today, do consider future health requirements. Sure, you can increase the sum assured amount in future in the base plan, or get a top-up or super top-up for additional cover. But if it gets too late, you might end up paying a higher premium and losing out on crucial time that you could have safely spent on waiting periods in the health policy.
2) Past, Present and Future Family Health Needs: General health disposition and requirements in the coming times will influence the kind of features and benefits you would want in your health policy. Factors to take into account include:
a. Medical History. Were there any medical conditions or illnesses detected in any of the family members in the past, for which they sought attention and treatment? How far back in time was this? All of this will affect the clause of “pre-existing disease” or “pre-existing condition” in your health insurance policy. It will also dictate the nature of treatment you are looking for immediately or later on.
b. Present health condition. How healthy a lifestyle does your family lead? Insurers are promoting wellness and a healthy lifestyle, so you could actually gain from doing all the right things to live a hearty and healthy life! Many insurance companies offer wellness benefits like free health check-ups, specialist consultations and gym memberships to promote maintaining good health.
c. Future medical requirements. If you are getting married soon, your spouse and you might want to have kids in the future. That means you would be keen on getting maternity benefits from your health insurance scheme. Or perhaps your elderly parents are looking to get covered for age-related health concerns in time. One should make a note of these requirements of the future while choosing the best health insurance policy today.
Some critical things to look for when choosing the best health insurance policy are:
1) Base Features and Benefits: What does your health insurance policy cover, and for how much annual premium? Also, what are the benefits offered under different categories of the same plan, if any, and at what additional premium amount?
2) Add-on cover + riders: What are the optional covers offered (such as personal accident cover or critical illness cover) and at what premium amount?
3) Lifetime Renewability Option: Does the policy allow for lifelong renewal? Also, what are the entry and exit age specifications for insured members?
4) Associated Benefits: What are the benefits for no-claim bonus and family discount for adding more members
5) Waiting Period: How long before pre-existing or specified conditions / illnesses are covered?
6) Inclusions & Exclusions: Does the policy specifically exclude any treatment or conditions? Exactly how many conditions, illnesses and treatments does the plan cover and to what extent (i.e. sub-limits, if any)
7) Insurer Network and Performance: Such as number of cashless network hospitals nearby, Claims Settlement process and ratios etc.
SANA.Insure is here and happy to help you with your health insurance needs! Our Health Insurance Buddy can assist you in choosing the best health policy for you and your family by guiding you with the right answers to these critical factors. We invite you to visit our health insurance portal, sana.insure for quick, unbiased, simple and easy access to comparative information on various health policies available in India, suited to your needs.
Wish you a healthy and happy life!