We all must have heard ‘Health is Wealth’ but why not modify it a bit and let’s agree that ‘Health is more than Wealth’. However, if one fell sick, one needs to have strong financial support to pay the bills, doctor fees, etc., which trust me is no less than buying a luxurious car or a precious gem.
So, before you actually bear the wrath of the unwanted illness, be prepared and buy the best health insurance plan available in the market.
Health Insurance Market in India
Before we go on and on about health insurance, why not learn a bit about the healthcare market in India? Insurance is one of the fastest-growing sectors in India and when it comes to investment and expenditure in healthcare, India is definitely at the rising streak. As per the report of Aranca Research, the health department is expected to rise at 17% in the coming years (most probably it will reach $ 280 billion by 2020).
As you can see in the above graph, the healthcare sector in India was worth 68 US $ in 2011, 81 US $ in 2014 and is estimated to reach 160 US $ and 280 US$ in 2017 and 2020 respectively. This shows the constant growth of the healthcare sector in India.
Graph 2 depicts the per-capita income people spent on healthcare in India. In the year 2010, Indians spent 52 US $, then in 2011 62 US $ were spent, however, in 2012 there was 1% dip but again in 2014, it rises to 74 US $ which is estimated to become 89 US $ by the end of this year.
The above two graphs show that with each passing year, the healthcare market is expanding and so our expenditure. So, here lets us talk about some of the best health insurance policies and its feature and benefits.
What to look for in Health Insurance?
To get the maximum benefit out of health insurance, you need to buy insurance keeping in mind certain points-
- Your needs- Why you require health insurance? What are your needs? If you are getting old better don’t deny your need for an insurance policy that will support you at times of need because with the passing year the premium for policy increases and you don’t want to spend more than required because you didn’t buy a plan at the earliest.
- Type of policy- Always match up your requirements with the policy type. Suppose, you are 30 years old family man and needs to cover your entire family then instead of buying individual health plan for each member better go for a family floater, it will save you lot of money.
- Look for long-term- Always remember that you are buying a policy for the future so you need to have a long-term vision. Nation will always progress, so it is obvious the cost of hospital bills say 20-30 years from now will be way more than present. So, if one can afford, one should go for lump-sum payment rather than regular down payment as the premium for a lump sum is far less than the premium for the down payment. So, you can enjoy the benefits of health insurance in less money.
- Check for Hospital Network- It is very important for one to check which hospitals are mapped out in their health insurance policy? Are they accessible to the insurer? What kind of services they provide? Do they have a good reputation or not? So, better read out your policy terms carefully.
- Check out for any co-payment clause- If insurance companies are smart then you need to be smarter. In some of the policies, there are terms and conditions such as company is responsible for paying only 20% of sum assured in say the rent of room or a particular illness. So, instead of crying later, it is good to go through the contract beforehand.
- Nod Your Head for Super-Top-up-If you need a maximum sum assured amount in minimum amount then instead of buying a single 40 lakh health policy, why not do something wise? Buy the super-top-up rider along with your existing policy and save up to 30-35% of the premium.
Example- Instead of buying a single health policy worth 40 lac by annually paying a premium of Rs. 34,000 (approx), invest in a basic health plan worth 5 lac by paying Rs. 15000(approx ) premium along with the super- top-up worth 35 lac by paying approx Rs.8000. These both options will give you 40 lac sum assured but in option 2 you will save at least Rs. 7000.
Few Health Policies in India
Max Bupa Family First Insurance
- Best Features- This health Insurance plan was introduced keeping in mind the joint Indian family as it covers around 13-14 family members. Moreover, it has no age limit, thus, best for both children and senior citizens. Moreover, it gives maternity benefit in case 2 male members are covered in the same plan and also offer n number of surgeries without any additional premium charges.
- Drawbacks- It is quite expensive, plus has a co-payment clause of 20% for the elderly.
Apollo Munich Optimum Restore
- Best Features- Suppose, a particular member of family utilized the covered amount in a specific year and suddenly another member of your family, covered under the same policy needs money for his/her ailment? So, instead of panic, buy this policy as it automatically restores the exhausted amount and provides money for the other ill member of your family. However, the same person who utilized the whole cover cannot use the restored amount. Besides this, it let you renew the plan anytime in your life and most important if there is no claim settlement in a particular year by the insurer, the sum assured is doubled.
- Drawbacks- The biggest drawback of this policy is that the sum assured is decreased by 50% if the insurer claims the amount in a specific year. Moreover, the premiums for above 45 is quite high.
ICICI Complete Health Plan
- Best Features- If you need to assure high amount then go for this policy as it let you assure up to Rs. 50 lac. Moreover, offers you a 10% bonus at the time of renewal if the insurer doesn’t claim the amount in the specified period. Besides this, also provide free health checkups, renewal of policy anytime in life and serious illness riders.
- Drawback- The biggest drawback of this health coverage policy is that the insurer needs to wait for 2 years before he/she can treat the pre-existing illness if the amount assured is more than 3 lac and for 4 years if it is less than 3 lac.