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Don't Compromise on Health Insurance

Adequate health insurance should always be a priority. Keep these points in mind when looking for a policy

I am 33 and working in a bank. I am covered by employees' group Insurance. Still, I would like to buy a mediclaim policy to cover me and my family just to cover pre-existing diseases when I change my job in future. Please let me know whether I can buy any mediclaim policy with the lowest premium so that I can switch over in future. Or should I look for other features? Please suggest the best plans.
- Ahilan S

You are asking for a health insurance cover for you and your family. Adequate health insurance coverage should be a priority. Do not compromise on the quality of coverage and go for the best plan. A health insurance policy of your own would save you from risk of medical uncertainty at time of a job switch. You did not mention the age of all family members and number of members. So it would be difficult for us to recommend a plan best suited to you. But in general, while looking for a health insurance policy, keep in mind the following points:

  • Lifelong coverage - Old age is the time when medical problems are at their peak. So make sure the policy allows lifelong renewals.
  • Waiting period and Exclusions - Pre-Existing illnesses and a few other illnesses or health conditions may be covered after a stated waiting period is over from the date of purchase of the policy. Whereas, some illnesses are excluded and not covered under the policy. You need to understand these thoroughly.
  • Sub-Limits - Some insurance companies might impose maximum permissible limits on certain facilities such as room rent or ICU charges etc. Such policies might be comparatively cheaper. You need to decide whether you are comfortable with sub-limits or wish to go for a plan without any sub-limits.
  • Individual or family floater cover: If you are a young family, it will be suitable to go for a family floater whereas if you wish to insure your parents in the same policy you will have to take a different policy. Check the premium under the two cases. First insure your parents in a separate policy and then insure others in a family floater policy. If your parents are old or having some illness, the premium will shoot up under a family floater plan. In this case, individual policies for them will be suitable.
  • Co-Pay - Some health insurance policies require policyholder to pay a pre-stated percentage of his medical bills, say 10 percent, before the insurance company pays the remaining. This is known as the Co-Pay clause. See if your policy carries such a clause. If it does it will be applicable each time the policyholder needs to avail medical services.
  • Network of hospitals - A key factor to look for in a medical cover is the network of hospitals covered. In most big cities, all major hospitals have a tie up with insurance companies. Residents of small cities must go through the network list to check if the hospitals nearby or the hospitals of choice are included in the network of hospitals of insurer.

Keeping these points in mind would help you choose a good policy for yourself.

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