Network Hospitals in Health Insurance – What To Look For
What is it all about?
Network hospitals as listed by an insurance company are available for policyholders who wish to avail cashless hospitalization, depending on the terms of their policy. The cashless facility allows the insured to receive the required medical assistance without having to pay upfront at the time of admission. This is a very useful option especially for medical emergencies as it reduces the financial burden placed on the individual. So, it is rather important at the time of purchasing a health insurance policy, to consider the list of network hospitals that an insurance company offers. The number of hospitals in the network hospital list is important, and the number of hospitals within that list which are in your vicinity, even more so.
What all you should consider
However, medical insurance works on different parameters and is very much dissimilar to other policies like car insurance where only network garage expenses are reimbursed. The most common mistake that people make while buying health insurance is that they do not go through the list of network hospitals. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind:
Check whether your family doctor or some well-known doctor comes in the network list. It is a very common practice that people first consult with the family doctor for signs of any medical conditions. So if your doctor is already on the list, you will be covered from day one.
Simply checking for nearby hospitals is not enough. You also need to know about the hospital in question. Check about the quality of their services, the doctors on call there, the ratings that the hospital has received, what specialties and treatments they offer, do they have a 24-hour emergency service, and so on. This aspect should play a key role in your decision of choosing a particular medical insurance policy. We at IFFCO Tokio extensively vet hospitals on these criterions, ensuring that only the most reliable and well-equipped hospitals are added to the list.
After you have bought your insurance policy, make sure that you collect the cashless card from the company as soon as possible. Plus, always remember to keep it accessible, ideally in your wallet or handbag. Keep it handy for you never know when you might need it.
As beneficial as it might be to have a few network hospitals around your work and home, it is not the overriding factor when buying health insurance. It is equally important to understand the depth of the coverage offered (including the facilities and the services that are offered), the exclusions, etc. Your health insurance policy should be bought taking all the factors into consideration so that you get a policy that suits your needs the best, instead of paying undue weight to a single factor.
**To understand exactly about the policy coverage, exclusions, etc. read the Policy Wordings carefully.**