Health Insurance Checklist – Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Health Insurance Policy

Every other day, we hear news about some or the other famous personality suffering from a disease which was once thought to be rare. We hear news about newly emerging diseases that claim hundreds of lives. A sudden change in the air give rise to a new disease and hundreds of people are hospitalized. However, there is only one thing that works as your saviour in these testing times; your health insurance policy. Your health insurance policy offers you coverage worth lakhs of rupees. But there are a few things you must consider before purchasing it.

Understand your needs: Most people purchase policies based on how low the premium is. This is a wrong practice. While your premium amount plays an important role, you should understand that policies with lower premiums do not offer much coverage. You need to be aware of the policy you purchase. If you have a family history of certain medical conditions (cancer, for instance) then you should also purchase a critical health care policy in addition to your regular one.

Don’t wait to fall ill or get old: A common mistake most people make is that they do not purchase health insurance until they get sick or old. While you do not become eligible for instant coverage in either circumstance, the costs of the premium also increase. Remember that your age, health issues, premium costs and coverage are inter-linked. You will end up paying a higher premium and the coverage offered will also be lesser if you purchase a policy after falling sick or getting old.

All policies are not the same: Reading your policy documents before purchasing them is important as all health insurance policies are not the same. Some plans may cover accidents, others may not. You need to check if your policy covers critical or terminal illnesses like cardiovascular diseases, cancers, tumours etc., because many policies generally exclude such illnesses. As such, you must ensure that you carefully read the fine print and the terms and conditions before purchasing a policy.

Consider the settlement ratio: Your health insurance policy does not clearly mention the settlement ratio, which refers to the amount paid by the insurer against the claims made by you. Your policy will typically mention the percentage of the settlement ratio but it is better to ask your insurer to explain it. Remember that your claim settlement time is also affected by the settlement ratio and a high settlement ratio means your claim will get settled faster.

Consider the co-pay ratio: Most health insurance policies come with a mandate that states that the policy holder much bear a pre-defined percentage of the claim, while the insurer bears the remaining costs. This means that you must pay a small percentage of the costs, in addition to the premium you are paying. When you begin comparing policies, ensure you choose one which has the least co-pay ratio.


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