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A health insurance cover for a 49-year-old

Residents of small cities must go through the network of hospitals to check if the hospitals nearby or the hospitals of choice are included in it

I am 49 years old and I am looking for the best health Insurance plan for myself. Kindly suggest me a plan for a premium up to ₹10,000 per year. The claim ratio of that company must be good. How about Max Bupa, Religare and Apollo Munich? Which will be the best for me?
- Manoj Kumar Singh

While looking for a health insurance policy for yourself, you should keep in mind the following points:

Lifelong coverage: Old age is when medical problems are at their peak. So make sure the policy allows lifelong renewals.

Waiting period and exclusions: Most policies cover pre-existing illnesses and a few other illnesses or health conditions after a waiting period. However, some illnesses are excluded and not covered. 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.

Co-pay: Some health insurance policies require policyholder to pay a pre-stated percentage of his medical bills, say, 10 per cent, 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 you need 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.

You can buy an individual plan for yourself with an annual premium of around 9,000-10,000 for a ₹5 lakh cover.

Religare Health Care and Apollo Munich Easy Health Standard are very good plans. The claim settlement ratio of the companies is also good. The claim settlement ratio of MaxBupa is lower than the other two companies you have shortlisted. Compare Religare Health Care and Apollo Munich Easy Health Standard in detail and see whether they meet your requirements. Also, you might not have the option to buy a health plan online at your age.

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