There are over 20 general insurance companies in India which offer health insurance policies. Each of these companies offers more than one type of health insurance policies in India. In other words, there are many types of health insurance policies available in the market – family health insurance, individual health insurance, critical illness insurance, group health insurance, etc.
Under a family health insurance plan, while most of the general insurance companies cover only couple and their two dependent children; you will also find some companies who provide complete family cover – wherein dependent parents are also included in the policy. This means that in a single policy you can cover your spouse, two dependent children and your parents.
On the other hand, an individual health insurance policy, as the name suggests, covers only an individual. In family health insurance, same insured amount covers all the family members, whereas, the sum insured in an individual health insurance will cover only one individual – the insured.
However, one can buy an individual health insurance policy for each family member, with separate sum insured amount assigned to every individual. In case, you have a family member who needs extra health coverage and chances that his/her medical expenses may exceed, it is always advisable to buy an individual health insurance policy for him/her. Doing so will prove to be more beneficial from both the perspective - monetary and health.
Benefits of individual health insurance:
There are many advantages of having individual health insurance policy. Take a look at some of the major benefits listed below:
Cashless Claim Service: In a unforeseen event of medical emergency, or situation where you are supposed to be hospitalized, you can avail the cashless benefit provided in your policy. Cashless hospitalization facility offered by health insurance companies, under an individual health policy, allows an individual to avail medical treatment without paying for the same to the hospital. However, this facility is available only in the hospitals empanelled with the insurance companies. Under cashless hospitalization, the insurance company settles claim directly to the hospital / nursing home.
Hospitalization Daily Allowance: Some insurance companies pay a specific allowance to the insured for each day he/she spends in the hospital. This, however, is applicable only after the insured has already spent some days in hospital. The number of days spent in hospital is always pre-decided in the policy and may vary from one company to other. If you are the primary earning member in your family, such an allowance proves to be very beneficial at the time of emergency.
Tax Benefits: The premium paid on a health insurance policy is eligible for deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. The amount of deduction available is up to Rs 15,000 for individuals or Rs 20,000 for senior citizens (aged above 65 years). Additionally an amount of Rs 20,000 is also available for exemption towards premium paid for dependant parents.
Get best individual health insurance at less premium?
Often it has been noted that the cost of health insurance premium increases with rise in age. The reason behind this is simple – the common belief that health risks increase with the age of an individual. Thus, if you buy a individual health insurance at a younger age, the chances you will be charged less premium is more.
While, the age factor is not a matter of choice to lessen your health insurance premium amount, one thing which you can control is a co-payment. By opting for co-payment, you will for sure reduce the premium amount you pay towards your health insurance policy. Co-payment is a pre-decided sum of money, which you (the customer) promises to pay from his/her pocketat the time of claim. The higher co-payment amount you choose to pay at the time of claim, the lower will be you premium. However, in the process ensure that your co-payment amount is within your budget and can be easily borne by you at the time of a claim.
In addition, if you have not filed any claim during the tenure of your health insurance policy, then at the time of renewal, you can avail discounts on premium in the form of No-Claim Bonus. No Claim Bonus (NCB) is the discount in premium enjoyed by you for not having made a claim in the previous year(s). This discount can be accumulated on a yearly basis starting.
Things to watch out for:
While it is well accepted that I today’s fast and stressful life, each individual should have a health insurance, yet it is very important to note that before you buy any such policy, do your homework properly. Do not buy any health insurance policy without knowing or understanding the intricacies of the same. If it is important to know what does your health insurance policy covers you for, it is equally important to understand what it does not covers you for. At the same time, before picking your health insurance policy, read well through the terms & conditions mentioned in its policy wording. Do not hesitate to ask your insurance provider about any doubt you have in your mind with relation to you health insurance coverages.
Things like 'pre-existing condition' are often not covered in health insurance policies. The companies which do cover such conditions do so after a specific number of years of buying the policy. Thereby, read between the lines of the product details.
Shop around for best quotes and benefits available in the market. Never go by what comes first, rather make your own choice, because with the easy access to internet almost everywhere, buying an individual health insurance policy is not only easy on pocket but has also become convenient.