Questions to Ask When Buying or Renewing Health Insurance
Health insurance has become an indispensable aspect of the lives of people these days, considering the risks they are exposed to and the spiraling cost of medical treatment. But the million-dollar question is: how do you draw a line between policies of various insurance providers, so as to choose the one that fits into your scheme of things? There are various insurance companies offering several health insurance plans, which can be accessed online. To add to the confusion, insurers use certain complex terminologies to woo the customers. But, always choose a policy that is completely in sync with your needs. There are several questions for which you should find answers before buying a policy. These are:
What your Healthcare Needs will be in the Future?
Are there going to be any planned medical expenses or issues? For example, any chronic illnesses of yours or your family members. Now you need to think about the surgery-related costs of that particular medical condition. So, the time is appropriate to prepare a list of your known medical expenses so as to select a plan accordingly.
Is the Claim Process Swift and Simple?
It is important that you get a claim without having to break into a sweat. The quick settlement of a claim is an important factor and for this, you need to check your company’s track record. To get accurate details about the company’s claim record, you can talk to some existing customers. The simplicity of the claim process is also very crucial. The simpler the claims process, the better it is for the insured. There should not be any cumbersome procedures involved in filing the claim. Hence, these two assume significance when it comes to choosing a health insurance policy online.
What about Network Hospitals?
This is also an important aspect. You need to check the network of hospitals the insurance company has tied up with for the purpose of cashless treatment. In the event of a medical emergency, the hospitals in the network offer the treatment without making you pay the cash, as the insurer settles the medical bills directly with the hospital. It would be better if some of the network hospitals fall in the area you reside so that you don’t have to travel too much during a medical emergency.
What is the Insured Amount and Premium Payable?
While choosing a health insurance policy online, you need to select the amount with care as it covers the medical expenses for a year. Also, analyze whether the premium you pay towards the policy is affordable for you or not.
Now, let us delve into another important element of health insurance i.e. renewal. Everything carries an expiry date, and the same applies to health insurance as well. It is not only important to buy the health insurance policy, but also to renew the same before its expiry. Most of the insurance companies send reminders about the expiry date, but the onus is on the customers to renew the insurance. There are several questions that pop up in your mind while renewing a policy. They are:
Why Avoid Renewal During Grace Period?
The insurance companies have a fixed grace period for the policyholders if they fail to renew the same before the policies lapse. But, it is always better to renew before the date of expiry as during the grace period the insurers don’t provide any coverage. So, do not ignore or miss the date of expiry for any reason.
Are there any changes to family requirements?
You need to factor in new developments that may have taken place in your family since the time you purchased the policy until its renewal. After considering the same, you should analyze whether you require any add-ons as per new requirements during the renewal process.
Are there Better Policies Around?
A lot of things change in a year i.e. when an insurance policy is due for renewal. So, you should look for new policies that provide better protection than the existing plan. If you happen to find a policy with good coverage for a premium that is not too high, then you should think of opting for a new policy. It makes absolute sense to make a switch towards a new policy with additional benefits.
Are you Getting Bonus?
If you don’t make a claim during a policy year, you become eligible for Cumulative Bonus during the time of renewal. So, if you haven’t filed a claim, then check whether the Cumulative Bonus is reflective in your new policy premium or not. In order to avail of this benefit, the policy must be renewed within 30 days of the due date for renewal.
So, merely buying an insurance policy doesn’t suffice; its prompt renewal is also equally important. Consider these aspects before buying and renewing insurance to avoid any inconvenience, and extract the best out of your health insurance policy.
**To understand exactly about the policy coverage, exclusions etc read the Policy Wordings carefully.**