“Care shouldn’t start in the emergency room” — James Douglas.
Health risks and uncertainties can befall you when you least expect them. From respiratory problems to immunity disorders, the 21st century had already seen a plethora of diseases, and then a bat sent the world into the largest health crisis of the millennium; the corona pandemic. The successive waves of the disease washed away so many lives that it led to worldwide panic. Consequently, we also witnessed a surge in demand for financial support to afford better healthcare. This is where health insurance takes centre stage.
An insurance policy acts as a financial buffer between your health and your wealth; it functions as a cushion by covering a myriad of expenses such as hospitalisation costs, medical bills, doctor’s fees, etc. For health insurance coverage to be available at our fingertips 24/7, we pay a certain fee, known as an insurance premium. These premiums can sometimes be expensive. But what if we told you that you could reduce your health insurance premium? If you play your cards right, you can enjoy substantial health insurance without burning a hole in your pocket. Go through our list of key factors and make your decision accordingly.
All advisories on healthy practices always advocate for starting early, so why should insurance be any different? Insurance companies tend to offer better coverage for younger customers, as several health troubles crop up as the passing years take a toll on your body. Ailments like heart conditions, breathing problems, pressure fluctuations, diabetes, all become more common as you get older. Hence to get a better policy with a lower fee, make it a thumb rule to purchase it early in life. This way, you won’t have to pay more for health issues when you are past your prime.
Like most policies, health insurance also begins with tenures of one year but goes up to cover for 2 to 3 years or even more. You should always opt for longer term plans as they have considerably lesser premium rates than annual ones. Moreover, these plans also allow you to save money since you don’t have to renew your policy every year; instead, you just need to pay the premiums as per the plan, which costs lesser than renewing your insurance. As a bonus, this practice also secures you against wider financial changes such as a rise in insurance premiums, higher medical costs, inflation, etc. Hence, always check plans of various tenures before choosing your policy.
In simpler terms, opt for a top-up plan. A top-up health policy provides you with additional coverage on top of your existing health plan. This can be highly beneficial in a medical emergency where you may find your hospital bill to be going over the covered amount. Look at it this way – you rack up a hospital bill of ₹7 Lakh and need to use your health insurance. Now, if your plan has a cover of ₹5 Lakh, then you will need to pay the remaining ₹2 Lakh from your own pocket. However, if you make the smart call of purchasing the same plan but with a top-up that offers an additional benefit of ₹2 Lakh, then your complete hospital bill can be paid for by your insurer. So, with a top-up plan, you pay a lower premium but stay covered for a higher sum!
A good health insurance policy should protect not only you but also your loved ones. But of course, buying individual plans for each family member is an expensive ordeal. This is where family floater plans come in handy. A floater plan acts as a wider financial cover for your entire family’s health expenses and can also be used to bear the costs of a single person if required. This way, you don’t have to pay the premium of numerous individual plans for each house member, and yet you can enjoy better financial coverage.
Do you know that your company or employer may also provide you with health insurance if you are a salaried individual? Commonly known as GMC or Group Medical Cover, this plan secures you and your allotted beneficiaries against certain medical expenses at no extra cost or salary deduction. Hence, you should first take that into consideration before purchasing a fresh individual or family plan. For example, if you want to secure a health policy of ₹8 Lakhs, and your company provides you with a plan of ₹3 Lakh, then you just need to buy and pay the premium for a health insurance policy of ₹5 Lakh.
The amount that you can get covered by a health insurance plan by paying a certain fee will not be the same everywhere. Suppose you live in Chennai and have to pay ₹500 per month for a cover of ₹5 Lakhs; you might get less or more for the same premium if you live in, say, Delhi! This is because the cost of medical treatment is not the same in every city. Indian cities are divided into four tiers based on their development, population, living costs, etc. Hence, you should be aware of the kind of city you live in and know about the range of healthcare expenses there before you choose a health insurance plan.
In today’s world, a post-pandemic paranoia has set in, influencing us to opt for policies with a higher sum assured. However, the smarter move is to assess your medical risks and your health along with the health of your loved ones and then choose appropriate coverage accordingly. Also, don’t you get annoyed with that friend who rushes to the hospital for every paper cut? Similarly, do not use your insurance for every minor medical cost. Save it for larger medical troubles; this ensures that you get higher coverage at your chosen premium.
Did your friend come up to you saying that he has bought “the best health insurance ever”? Or did your relative refer you to the company he has taken his plan from? Don’t depend on hearsay and rumours. Dive into the financial world yourself, read every detail on every policy out there, and make your own judgement. Compare several plans, tenures, and premiums, and find the best financial security to keep you both healthy and wealthy.
We hope these tips will help you get a budget friendly health insurance. But hold on! Before you go. “Okay Google,” why don’t you read about the affordable plans here? If you’re looking for affordable health insurance, look no further than Bajaj Markets. We have all kinds of plans, coverages, and tenures to cater to your needs. Check them out now!