Health insurance has become an essential aspect of their financial plan for everyone in today's time. The main reason is the rise in healthcare expenditures, which can be difficult to manage with your savings. While health insurance is a set of multiple benefits and advantages; it also offers some of the great features that are quite helpful for the policyholders in ensuring their continuous protection and one such feature is Grace Period.
Let’s discuss its working and the other important points.
Grace period in health insurance refers to the time or number of days during which an insured has to pay the premium for its health insurance policy at the time of renewal. Even if the due date has passed. Usually, Health Insurance Companies provide a 15-day grace period beyond the premium due date for the insured to pay the renewal payment. However, some insurance providers offer a 30-day grace period for the same. If the policyholder is unable to pay the premium within the grace period, the insurance company has the authority to reject the health insurance renewal application, even if the insured wants to pay the premium after the grace period. Moreover, during the grace period the insured person doesn’t get any coverage benefits. Also, the grace period will start over for some specified illnesses listed in the policy document, therefore it is important to pay your health insurance premium on time.
It is important to pay all your outstanding premiums during the grace period for the continuity of your health coverage. The insurance company offers a grace period so you don't miss the premium payment even if you forget the due date. For a better understanding of the grace period in health insurance, read the below-mentioned example:Suraj has a health insurance plan that expires on 10 Feb 2022, and he missed the due date to pay the premium of its health insurance plan. Then, the insurance company provides a 15 days grace period to pay the premium. So, the extended due date for Suraj to pay the health insurance premium will be 25 Feb 2022.
Note: If the premium is not paid during the grace period then any claims filed within the grace period will be rejected by the insurer. Also, once the policy lapse, all NCB and waiting periods for pre-existing diseases will become invalid.
Policyholders have a grace period for the renewal of health insurance in which policyholders need to pay the premium along with some interest and penalties within the stipulated time. You can do it via i.e. online and offline. Following are the steps to renew your health insurance plan:
And if you want to revive your lapsed health insurance policy, there are two ways to do it i.e. online and offline. Below-mentioned are the steps to revive the lapsed/expired health insurance policy:
There are several disadvantages of not paying the health insurance premiums on time. Here is the list of some disadvantages that can explain to you the importance of a grace period in Health Insurance:
Some insurance companies may charge you a late fee if you miss your premium payment due date and decide to pay it during the grace period. If you consistently miss your health insurance premium due dates, insurance companies may charge you a higher premium at the time of renewal of the policy.
Health insurance companies provide policyholders a grace period for the premium payment to ensure that coverage remains intact even if the premium is not paid on time. Policyholders can still file a claim if they have a medical emergency during this time. However, if the renewal date is missed, the insurer may refuse to cover you because of the non-payment of your premiums. Even if you pay the premium on the very next day, you will not be eligible for any coverage benefits.
The grace period and waiting period in health insurance are a little different from each other. To understand the difference, refer to the table below:
|Grace Period||Waiting Period|
|Applicable to all health insurance coverage||Applicable only in specific conditions like critical illness, maternity, pre-existing illnesses, etc.|
|A short period of 24 hours to 30 days||A longer period for up to 3 to 4 years. It varies from one insurance company to another.|
|Late fee or penalty may be applicable||There is no penalty or a late fee applied|
|The insurance company might reject the claims for all types of treatment||Claims are approved for treatment other than the specific conditions like maternity, pre-existing conditions, etc.|
Not renewing your health policy or late payment of your health insurance premium can cause you inconvenience at the time of medical emergencies. If you have any pre-existing condition, it will be very difficult to get a new health plan, and you will have to start the waiting period all over again.
So, you must pay your health insurance policy premium on time to avail continuous coverage benefits. Even if there is a grace period, do not delay the payment unless there is an emergency.