Medical inflation can cause a simple visit to the doctor to burn a hole in your pocket. Thus, it is wise to have adequate health insurance coverage. When medical emergencies or sudden illnesses strike, you won’t end up exhausting all your savings in hospitalization, diagnostic and medical bills. However, data shows that people in India are still paying for their medical bills and expenses out-of-pocket, and the proportion is staggering.
High premium rates compel people to steer away from health insurance policies. Here’s a tip: lower premium does not always have to mean lower coverage. If you are prudent about it, you can trim down your premium, and still get optimum coverage.
Here are some tips that can help you lower your premium:
Buy a policy when you are young:
Age is one of the primary factors that determine the premium rate of a health insurance policy, and as you inch closer to a higher age group, the premiums shoot up. Apart from cheaper premiums, buying an insurance at a young age also means
- You will be covered early, and any diseases diagnosed later will be covered automatically.
- You would have served the requisite waiting periods required for certain surgeries, treatments, etc, and be able to claim full health insurance benefits.
Using top-up plans:
In the light of high premium amounts discouraging people from buying health insurance, insurers have come up with top-up plans. Top-up plans are plans for use after the basic threshold limit of sum insured opted by you is exhausted. So you don’t necessarily have to remain bound to a plan with higher premiums just to have a higher coverage. Extra Care Plus, available for purchase on Finserv MARKETS is a health insurance top-up plan that is designed to take care of medical expenses, should you deplete your basic health policy amount for as little as Rs. 2500 per annum, for your entire family.
Choose a medical insurance policy that doesn’t consider previous claims:
Various insurance schemes calculate premium rates after accounting for any previous claims made. To the insurer, prior claims mean you are susceptible to medical conditions, and thus are more likely to incur medical expenses and file a claim. So try to go for a policy where the burden of previous claims does not exponentially shoot up your premium rates.
Get benefits of a no claim bonus (NCB):
On the other hand, make sure the insurer offers a no claim bonus. If you made no claims in the previous year, you can get add on benefits without paying any additional premium.
Choose a high deductible:
This is more of a trade-off. Deductible refers to the amount up to which the insured is not covered under the policy. This means that the policyholder pays expenses up to that amount, and the insurer fills in for the rest, over and above that amount. The insured can opt for a higher voluntary deductible to lower the premium rates. But then you’d be paying for expenses up to a certain amount yourself.
Use the benefit of co-payments:
Co-payment, a feature whereby the insurer and the insured together bear the claim in an agreed ratio, is also a trade-off between the premium amount and the claim amount. A higher co-payment will lower your health insurance premium payable. Before deciding, it is worth taking into account your medical history. If you are likely to need medical care and resources, then you are better off without a co-pay arrangement.
Buy medical insurance online:
Online health policies are cheaper than their offline counterparts. Buying online at Finserv MARKETS will reduce your policy premium since there are lower administrative and overhead costs involved. This trickles down as low premiums for the policyholders.
Get healthy and fit:
Insurance companies reward you if you are a non-smoker, have a normal BMI, and don’t consume tobacco in any form. The logic is simple: unhealthy habits make you more prone to developing ailments, even life-threatening and/or chronic ones like cancer.
Use technology to your advantage:
Based on your health, activity and fitness data, the insurer can offer lower premiums. The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDA) is pondering over using your fitness trackers’ data to provide discounts or incentive plans under your health insurance schemes.
Buying floater policies:
If you are looking to buy health insurance plans for the entire family, it is advisable to go for a family floater policy instead. The premium is lower than the sum of what each member would have had to pay for individual policies.
Your health insurance premium doesn’t have to break your budget. Do your research well and look for policies that are tailored to your requirements, can be bought online, and have provisions for no claim bonus, top-ups etc. Read between the lines, and make use of the tips and hacks we have just discussed!
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