The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the importance of having health insurance like never before.
With the sudden surge in cases, healthcare costs skyrocketed, leaving many uninsured struggling. This highlights the crucial role that health insurance plays in protecting people from the financial stress of unexpected medical expenses.
From covering hospitalization expenses to offering tax benefits, the advantages of health insurance are countless. This article delves into the various aspects of health insurance in India and why it’s a must-have for everyone.
Get ready to discover the peace of mind that comes with being insured.
10 Best Health Insurance Benefits in India
The following are the key benefits of taking health insurance.
1. Coverage for in-patient treatment and hospitalization
The ultimate goal of having medical insurance is to access top-notch medical treatment without financial stress. Health insurance provides a shield against high healthcare expenses associated with in-patient care. In-patient care refers to hospital stays of over 24 hours. It covers expenses like ICU, medicine, doctor fees, room rent, etc.
2. Pre and post-hospitalization expenses
This refers to the medical costs incurred before and after a hospitalization. Health insurance typically covers these expenses as part of the policy’s coverage.
3. Coverage for alternate treatments
Several health insurance providers offer coverage for alternative therapy like ayurveda and homeopathy. This allows you to easily choose alternative medicine under your plan apart from modern medicine.
4. Coverage for critical illnesses
Policies with critical illness coverage provide financial protection if the policyholders are diagnosed with a pre-defined critical illness. It includes cancer, heart attack, and other acute conditions. This coverage may consist of a lump sum or a series of payments to cope with medical expenses.
5. Offers cashless claim benefit
This feature enables policyholders to receive medical treatment without paying upfront. Instead, the insurance company pays the hospital. This means the policyholder can have a stress-free and convenient way to access medical care.
6. Ambulance charges
Health insurance policies often cover the cost of ambulance services. The coverage and extent of the charges will depend on the policy guidelines. Some policies may have a deductible or co-pay, while others may cover the total cost. Thus, reviewing your policy details to determine the level of ambulance coverage is critical.
7. No claim bonus
A ‘No Claim Bonus’ (NCB) is a benefit offered by insurance providers to policyholders who do not make any claims during a policy year. This reward is meant to acknowledge those who maintain good health. The NCB is usually expressed as a discount on the premium while renewing the policy or as an increase in the total sum insured. The exact terms and conditions of NCBs can vary among insurance providers. But, they generally incentivize policyholders to take care of their health.
8. Additional cover above employer health insurance
This refers to supplementary health insurance coverage purchased by an individual. It complements the basic health insurance coverage provided by their employer. It’s designed to fill gaps in the employer-sponsored plan and provide additional financial protection during emergencies. The additional cover includes outpatient treatments, critical illnesses, personal accidents, and so on.
9. Tax benefits under section 80D
Section 80D of the Indian IT Act provides tax benefits for individuals who have purchased medical insurance. This section allows individuals to claim tax deductions in multiple ways, as mentioned below.
- In the case of the individual, the limit is INR 25,000 for himself and his family.
- If an individual or spouse is 60 years or older, the available limit is INR 50,000.
- An additional deduction for parents’ insurance is available to the extent of INR 25,000 if they are less than 60 years old; INR 50,000 if they are 60 years old or older.
10. Dental treatment
Many insurance companies provide coverage for dental procedures performed periodically. Given that the cost of dental treatment can be substantial, this coverage can be advantageous.
Why Should You Get Health Insurance?
Recently, the significance of having health insurance has grown even more pressing. There’s been a rise in health problems caused by lifestyle choices. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial, but securing your finances through insurance should also be a priority.
Below are the top reasons to get health insurance.
1. Safeguard your family
Health insurance can be a valuable asset for individuals with financial dependents. While medical emergencies can’t always be avoided, you can still be ready for them. Providing quality healthcare for your loved ones in times of need is the most crucial advantage of health insurance.
2. Protect your savings
Saving for the future is a priority for all of us, but medical costs can quickly deplete those savings. Health insurance can alleviate that burden and allow you to allocate your savings to other essential expenses.
3. Peace of mind
Peace of mind is invaluable. Being secure and content makes life’s challenges seem more manageable. Health insurance offers that peace of mind and lets you live without worries. Investing in health insurance can positively impact the present and future.
How Do You Pick the Best Health Insurance Plan?
Choosing the right health insurance plan in India can be overwhelming, with numerous options available. To pick the best plan, consider the following factors.
Ensure the plan covers all your healthcare needs, including pre-existing conditions, hospitalization, and critical illnesses.
Compare the premium amounts charged by different insurance providers and choose a plan that fits your budget.
3. Network hospitals
Check if the insurance plan provides coverage at the hospitals you prefer.
4. Claims process
Look for insurance providers with a smooth and efficient claims process. Also, look at their Claim-Settlement Ratio to see if they often pay out claims or reject them. A settlement ratio between 95-99% is considered good.
5. Policy exclusions
Read the policy document carefully to understand any exclusions and limitations of the coverage.
6. Customer service
Consider the insurance provider’s reputation for customer service and responsiveness to claims and inquiries.
Considering these factors, you can select the best health insurance plan that meets your needs and budget.
Health insurance is a wise investment that provides a cushion during medical emergencies. The advantages of having health insurance are numerous, from covering hospitalization costs to tax benefits.
With the COVID-19 pandemic emphasizing the importance of being insured, it’s never been more crucial to have a health insurance policy. So, take control of your health and well-being by securing an insurance policy today. With the right coverage, you’ll have the confidence to face any medical challenge that comes your way.
1. Can I get health insurance coverage for my family members?
It is possible to obtain health insurance coverage for your family members.
Most health insurance providers in India offer family health insurance plans that provide coverage to the policyholder and their dependents. These plans typically include coverage for the policyholder, spouse, children, and parents.
2. Can I have multiple health insurance policies?
Yes, it is possible to have multiple health insurance policies. This is known as having ‘dual coverage’ or ‘double insurance.’
But, it’s essential to consider if there will be any overlap or duplicated coverage and to review the terms of each policy to ensure a complete understanding of the benefits and coverage provided.
Additionally, some insurance companies may limit the amount they will pay if you have multiple policies, so it is necessary to check with each company.
3. What is a health insurance policy’s waiting period?
A waiting period is when you must wait before using the health insurance policy which you purchased.
You typically won’t receive benefits for a specified medical condition or procedure during this time. The waiting period can range from a few days to several months. It’s in place to discourage individuals from purchasing policies only when they need medical treatment.
4. Will I still receive health insurance benefits if I’m not hospitalized?
Health insurance benefits can be received even if you are not hospitalized. Some medical procedures that do not require hospitalization, called ‘Day care treatments,’ might be covered under the policy.
Understanding the details of your policy and what it covers is essential to know the benefits you may be eligible for.