9 Questions you Must Ask Before Buying a Health Insurance
With so many options for health insurance, choosing a plan can be a tough task. Moreover, a lack of awareness can sometimes make you choose a health insurance plan that might not be the right one for you. The majority of us have a tendency to buy insurance that looks affordable, irrespective of whether it is well rounded or not. Also, people have a strange habit of following the herd, like if our neighbor has bought a policy we tend to find it good and end up buying it without giving it a second thought. One must not get overwhelmed by offers or acquaintances; instead, deeper and insightful research is what we should ideally do before buying health insurance.
To help you settle for the right health insurance policy, here's a list of ten questions you must ask your insurer:
What Type of a Health Plan is it?
The first thing that you must analyze is the type of insurance plan that is best for you. There are two types of health insurance plans on offer – individual and family. Go thoroughly through the benefits of each plan and then choose the one that best caters to your requirement.
What Does the Policy Cover?
Policy coverage or inclusions is the set of conditions that are covered under a health insurance policy. The coverage of a health insurance policy may include hospitalization charges, pre and post hospitalization charges, ambulance services, laboratory tests, prescription drugs, organ transplant charges, and others.
What the Policy Does Not Cover?
Policy exclusions are the conditions that the policy will not cover. Some insurance policies do not cover the treatment of certain diseases in the first year; that only happens after a pre-specified waiting period. The exclusions in the policy may differ from one insurer to another, therefore being aware of these exclusions is equally important as that will help you decide which policy to buy.
How Much Does the Plan Cost?
The cost of the plan is the monthly or the annual premium you pay to your insurer to keep your health cover active. Depending on the type of plan you choose and the amount of coverage you require, the cost can vary.
How is the Policy Premium Determined?
When it comes to determining the premium you pay for your health plan, age is a major factor. The older you are, the more prone you are to diseases and so the premium cost will be higher. Previous medical history and critical diseases also play a role in deciding your health premium. If you are healthy with a favorable medical history, your premium tends to be lower.
How Much Money will you have to Pay for Availing Medical Care?
Health insurance comes with certain out-of-pocket costs like deductible and co-pay. This amount is what you will have to pay out of your own pocket when you receive medical care. Check with your insurance provider for these charges. Also, find out the cost percentage that your health plan will cover once you have paid the deductible.
Will you be able to Avail Treatment from Your Preferred Doctor?
If you have a preferred doctor or hospital, check the list of network hospitals to ensure that you can avail their services or not since an out of network provider can turn out to be very expensive.
What is the Process for Filing a Claim?
It is always better to have an idea about the process of claim initiation because emergencies can occur at any time. You must understand the claim process and the documents you will require for claim initiation. Insurers also offer cashless facilities, in which you can avail of medical services without paying for it!
What is the Maximum Number of Claims you can make in a Year?
In general, there is no limit to the number of claims in a year, provided it does not exceed the sum insured of your policy. You must ask your insurer about your claim limit beforehand.
Create a check-list of these questions, and analyze all the available policy options on the basis of this. Another very critical thing to remember is that whichever plan you decide to opt for, go through the policy wordings carefully and completely before you sign the policy documents.
**To understand exactly about the policy coverage, exclusions, etc. read the Policy Wordings carefully.**