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5 important things to consider before purchasing a health insurance policy

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When it comes to purchasing a health insurance policy for your family, it is important that you consider all of the options.

Today, everyone in the world is suffering the after-effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Given the severe impact this pandemic has on life and livelihoods, no one would want an unwanted financial liability. And there can be no better time to invest in a health insurance policy than now. After all, the whole concept of insurance is to protect you against unforeseen financial liabilities, in case things go wrong.

However, there are a few important things to keep in mind before choosing the right insurance policy and coverages. Before choosing a policy, it is important to do your research and find a policy that meets your needs.

The amount of coverage you need to get an insurance policy

As medical costs are on the rise, it has become imperative to think about what kind of coverage we need from our health insurance policy. While Rs 5 lakh may seem like a big hedge today, it may end up being insufficient 10 years from now. It’s a good idea to factor in medical inflation before deciding on the amount of coverage that would be enough to help you and your family through a tough time.

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Protection for the whole family

When it comes to purchasing a health insurance policy for your family, it is important that you consider all of the options. You can choose to cover everyone under a single-family floating policy, or you can choose to purchase individual health insurance plans for each family member. If you opt for a family float, your sum insured will be divided among all family members under the policy.

Limits of processing and co-payment

Depending on the type of policy you choose, the coverage you will receive for certain treatments, such as cataract surgery, may have a limit. For example, the limit for a cataract operation may be Rs 40,000. If you choose to go to a doctor who charges Rs 45,000, the additional Rs 5,000 will be an expense for you. There are also co-payment clauses in insurance policies, which oblige the insured to cover up to 20% of the amount of the claim settlement. Depending on the type of treatment you are asking for, you could end up spending a lot of money.

Ease of cashless claims

You should check the list of hospitals in the insurance provider’s network to see if you can qualify for cashless claims in the hospital of your choice. Most providers have a well-connected network of hospitals where policyholders can seek treatment without having to pay anything up front. Now that you know what to look for, you can easily decide what type of health plan would be ideal for you and your family members. Remember, insurance is a necessity, not a luxury.

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Powers of the company

And finally, beyond all the product comparisons and technical aspects, choosing a brand or a company with the right references is extremely important. My advice will be to look at the following aspects of the business while focusing on politics.

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a) Brand reputation and lineage – Choose a brand that you can trust and has a strong lineage to serve its customers.

b) Claims settlement figures – The claims settlement percentage is a ratio of the total claims paid by the brand to the total claims received. Be sure to check the claims settlement ratios that are available in the public domain like the company’s website.

c) Customer Service – You don’t want to be stuck with a brand that doesn’t serve its customers well or has complex processes. While no brand is claims-free, a good measure of this can be the number of claims reported relative to the total number of policies sold. This information can be found on the IRDAI website.

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d) Brand Financial Data – Although this is a technical area, a company’s financial data tells you about its financial health and stability. Go ahead, if you have the appetite to understand and delve a little deeper. This information, again, can be found on the company’s website, in public disclosures.

As I said earlier, having a comprehensive health insurance policy is extremely important, especially in these unprecedented times. Understand these aspects, be well informed and choose the most suitable insurance plan according to your needs and your use.

Stay healthy, stay safe.

(By Eswaranatarajan N, COO, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company)

Disclaimer: Opinions are personal and do not reflect the views of Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company.

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