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How To Compare Family Health Insurance Plans


wealthymattersIf you’re thinking about taking a family health insurance plan, there are a lot of things you need to consider before buying the right plan for your family. You have the option to choose from a variety of policies but if this is your first time buying an insurance policy, you’re probably not quite sure which one actually suits your needs.

Here’s an entire glossary on health insurance plans that will surely enlighten you on the nuances of procuring the perfect health insurance for your family.

Types of Health Insurance Plans

There are plenty of health insurance plans available in India to help you in times of medical emergencies. You should specifically focus on coverage, premiums, returns and a bunch of other stuff to make the right pick.
Here are the 6 health insurance policies readily available in the Indian insurance policy market:

* Individual Health Insurance Plan

This covers the health expenses of a working individual or family member with cashless hospitalization. However, if you do spend money on medical expenses, the amount can be reimbursed by submitting your bills to the insurance company.

Although the coverage for such a plan is extensive, the waiting period is about 30 days which must be renewed annually.

* Family Floater Health Insurance Plan

A Family Floater Plan covers more than one family member for a fixed amount of money. This amount insured is collectively shared by all the family members. For example, if an amount of INR 10 lakhs is insured, all members of the family can claim this amount till it’s exhausted or your policy expires.

A family floater health insurance plan comes with relatively cheaper premiums than individual policies and offers higher claim amounts. This happens because the policy also depends on family members who are young and carry a lower health risk.

ICICI Lombard’s family floater health insurance provides coverage for you and your family, and also let’s you choose the policy, premium and plan that fits your budget and requirements.

One disadvantage of floater plans is that if there are more than one claims per year, the rest of the family members get a lower share of the annual claim.
The tenure of these policies is another downside, as it only runs till the proposer reaches the maximum age for renewability. Even the proposer’s children are only covered till they reach a certain age, after which they have to buy separate policies for themselves.

The number of family members to cover can also be a disadvantage as a few agencies permit you to nominate only a few of your immediate family members.

* Surgery and Critical Illness Policy

A surgery and critical illness insurance policy provides cover in the wake of a serious illness that requires expensive treatment methods, or surgeries. The cost of bearing treatment to combat such ailments affecting yourself, or any family member can be hard on your savings. The surgery and critical illness insurance plan outranks other health insurance policies by providing the funds required for treatment, and compensation for your daily affairs.

You don’t have to be hospitalized to avail the funds under this scheme. A simple diagnosis of the illness is enough to claim the assured sum. If you do not have savings or an employee benefit package, acquiring such an insurance policy is quite beneficial.

* Pre-Existing Disease Cover

Almost all health insurance agencies offer protective cover for any pre-existing diseases up till a certain waiting period which can vary between 1-4 years. During the waiting period, any expenses related to the pre-existing disease are not covered. Once the waiting period ends, the insurer can get a protection cover.

Very few health insurance policies cover pre-existing diseases, as the premium charges are quite high. However, with some research you may find plans with a short waiting period.

* Senior Citizen Health Plan

Irrespective of the association you have with your employers, they rarely provide any coverage or insurance plans to protect your parents’ health. Since they don’t have a steady income, senior citizens need an insurance policy to cover their medical expenses more than anyone else. With the ever-rising medical costs, and multiple health complications, it’s ideal to insure your parents whether they’re dependent on you or not.

* Preventive Healthcare

A preventive health care plan incorporates regular health check-ups for you or any family member to avoid illness. These include timely doctor visits, health scans and diagnostics. By doing this, you get a chance to nip any illness in the bud. Besides, the insurance plan also covers the expenses of multiple doctor concessions and waivers on impeccable diagnostic tests.

Choosing the Best Family Floater Insurance Plan

There are plenty of insurance corporations in the market today offering floater family insurance plans. However, their terms and conditions might bewilder an interested individual.

Here’s what you should consider before picking the best floater insurance plan for your family according to Economic Times:

* The Premium

The basic premium will depend on the age of the oldest family member and the geographical area of hospitalization. Consider allocating maximum coverage for yourself and your spouse and assign the remainder to your children. Depending on which zone (Zone I – Mumbai, Zone II Delhi and Bangalore, and Zone III rest of India) you fall under, the premium for your insurance policy changes accordingly.

* Hospitalization Expenses

This refers to expenses incurred on tests, consultations, and diagnostics, a few days before and after the hospitalization.* No Claim Bonus

These are perks provided by the insurance agency as a bonus or a discount in case of a claim-free year.

* Domiciliary/Private Expenses

These are the expenses incurred if the patient is being treated at home due to unavailability of beds in the hospital, or if the patient is not in a condition to be transferred to a hospital.

* Pre-existing Diseases

These are the ailments/injuries a person is already suffering from at the time of taking insurance. The time limits to cover these problems differ from company-to-company.

* Rent Charges

These are the limits defined by insurance agencies with regard to room rent and ICU charges which should be kept in mind while procuring insurance.

* Free Health Checkups

This feature is desired by insurance seekers to constantly monitor their health status and is provided by many insurance agencies, under varying stipulations.

* Day-care Procedures

Different companies have separate lists of day-care procedures approved for admission of a claim.

* Organ Donor Expenses

In case of an organ transplant, the cost of hospitalization of the donor excluding the cost of the organ, is provided by the insurance policy.

* Maternity Benefit

It covers expenses incurred for childbirth or lawful abortion during the policy interval. Such expenses are permitted only twice after the specified waiting period is covered.

* Maximum Renewable Age

This determines the maximum age for renewing the policy.

* Claim Loading

This is an indication that a few insurers might hike the premium at the time of renewal if there’s been a claim in the previous year.

* Co-payment

This determines the cut of hospitalization expenses you might have to pay at the time of treatment. The remaining amount is paid by the insurer.
There are plenty of health insurance plans to choose from that provide maximum coverage for the ones you love. So don’t keep waiting for better policies to come up. Buy a family health insurance policy now and keep your loved ones safe and insured.

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About Keerthika Singaravel
Engineer,Investor,Businessperson

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