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How to Compare Health Insurance

Are you financially sound to manage a complex medical emergency? Going ahead, with the growing number of members in your family as well as your age, are you ready to pay for the planned/unplanned medical expenses for all? A medical emergency and growing need of family healthcare is nothing out of the world. However, without proper planning, managing finances can get difficult. Therefore, so that you can handle such bearings efficiently, get a health insurance​ plan for you and your family.
A medical insurance is meant to deal with health related emergencies situations in life. And a right health insurance policy is designed in a way to offer you the best possible medical care without affecting your savings account.  

Health insurance can be bought as an individual health insurance policy or a family floater plan. It offers risk coverage towards charges on your room, medical and diagnostic facilities, doctors, medicines, etc. If your insurance provider has its network of hospitals, then you can avail the benefit of cashless treatment in one of those hospitals.

It's easier said than done. Thus, buying a health insurance plan as per your specific needs in itself is a difficult task. Before buying a health insurance plan, one definitely needs to look into the details of a policy. However, with a wide range of health insurance plans available in the market, picking the best deal can get crucial. One of the ways of picking a medical insurance policy is to compare health insurance plans.​

Benefits of comparing health insurance:

The ​constant rise in medical rates is directly proportional to health related risks. Through an easy availability of online media, now you can get access to comparative health insurance quotes. This comparative study will assist you in choosing the best health insurance policy in easy steps.
There are many websites which offer you quotes to compare health insurance plans. To get these quotes for different health insurance plans, all you need to do is share some of your personal details like age, gender, health requirements, etc. After you have given these details, the website will provide you with all the health insurance policies of different companies, as per your need and affordability. With the access of these quotes, you can compare different policies on the grounds of benefits covered, policy amount and premium rate. During the process of comparison, as a thumb rule, do make a note of things not covered in the policies.
One of the biggest advantages of the online means of comparing health insurance policies is that it provides you with multiple choices instantly and your decision may not be due to the influence of any agent. However, in this process there is a glitch. Around 21 insurance companies are offering health policies with various parameters. While some insurance plans seem to be good in one category, in other they fail to impress. So the question arises here is - how to compare health insurance plans?

How to compare health insurance plans?

To start with, speak to a health insurance broker because with his/her knowledge and expertise about the industry and its products, he/she may provide you with the most unbiased advice. Thus, help you in picking a health insurance policy as per your needs. Things like background and claim history of companies only a broker can offer you. For instance, which company increases their premiums in what rate, which company has settled most of the claims, etc.

An insurance agent or financial advisor being a representative of the company might give you a biased decision, but a broker is your voice. Therefore, his/her advice will be based on your interest.

What are the prime area of focus while comparing health insurance policies?

Insurance Co-payment: This may be one of the important differentiating factor in various health insurance plan. Co-payment of ‘Co pay’ indicates the insured (you) will have to pay a fixed 'allowable' expenses at the time of claim. For instance, if the policy reads a 10% 'co pay' on all claims, then your insurer will pay 90% of the claim amount while the remaining 10% of the expenses will be beared by you. 'Co pay' is more commonly found in health plans for senior citizen and floater plans. It is wise to check if the product you choose has a co-payment condition.
Limits on specific medical treatments: Some insurance companies put a cap on expenses incurred on specific medical treatments. The idea behind putting such caps is that the company aims to reduce its spending in case of overcharging by hospitals. Therefore, it is very important to check the policy details if it has any such limit, if so then which are the diseases capped?
Waiting period for Specific diseases: Risk coverage on health problems like hernia, knee replacement surgery etc., are offered  after 2 years of purchasing a policy, and continuing to maintaining that health insurance plan with the same insurance company, without any break. Read your policy document to check any such waiting period. Policy wordings of health insurance plans of all insurance companies might be available on th3e websites of dedicated health insurance brokers.
Pre-existing diseases: Risk coverage on pre-existing diseases is generally offered after a waiting period of 1-4 years. In case you have any disease or health related issue before buying health policy, look for the health insurance plan with least waiting period to ensure you get your claim when more required.
Rent of hospital room: In many cases there is only a fixed percent of the insured amount that goes into payments of hospital room rent. For instance, with 1% limit for hospital room rent on a policy of Rs 1 lakh, you can claim room rent for maximum Rs 1,000 per day. These expenses gets even more capped in case you are residing in a metro city.
Policy renewal charges: Every time you file a claim, your insurer will charge you an additional sum (loading) at the time of renewal. This additional amount is based on the percentage of the insured sum you claimed in the following year. This hike in your premium may reflect a rise from 5-200%, depending on the loading rates of your policy. Therefore, before you buy a health insurance policy, check for any claims loading.
Maximum Renewable age: Health insurance plans in India generally allow renewal of policies till certain age. The upper age limit for most of the health insurance policies in India is 65 or 70. Once you have crossed this age limit, renewing your health insurance might not be possible. Thus, pick up a policy that either offers a lifetime renewal option or a maximum renewable age.
Discounts, Bonuses: In case an insurer does not files any claim during a particular year, insurance companies often offer discounts and/or bonus at the time of renewal of the policy. Also, in case you haven't filed for any claims for 4 consecutive years, you become eligible for free health checkups. With the help of health insurance policy with such features, you will gain by reducing your premium or rise in cover amount or a free health check up.
Other important features: Certain small yet important aspects of a health insurance policy is coverage offered for pre hospitalisation (i.e. generally 30 days) and post hospitalisation (i.e. generally 60 days) charges.
If while buying a health insurance policy, the fact that you have to look into so many parameters bothers or confuses you, hook on to a health insurance broker’s website. The service offered there is free with most unbiased advise. Also, buying the policy through them is not mandatory.​