If the coronavirus pandemic has reinforced something solid, it is the need for health insurance. While health insurance has always been extremely helpful, the need has turned out to be more apparent post-pandemic. People are now realizing its importance and the demand for an individual or family health insurance plan has surged. Even the pandemic impact is eliminated from our minds; health insurance is a must for your financial planning.
Below is an estimated cost for a health emergency in any Tier 1 City in India.
|Costs for per day hospitalization in a government hospital||INR 4,452|
|Costs for per day hospitalization in a private hospital||INR 31,845|
|Charges for hospitalization in intensive care unit in a private hospital||INR 30,000|
|Open heart surgery done in a private hospital||INR 2.8 lakh|
|Hospitalization for a disease like cancer||INR 93,305/day|
Given the costs of medical expenses, health insurance is the need of the day. But, choosing the perfect family health insurance during coronavirus is very challenging. You can’t physically visit the insurer office to study a lot of things before you decide on one. Logically, questions range from benefits to how much you have to pay. These questions are also basically about the percentage of costs covered and what benefits you will get. Now the money factor involving how much you can pay for the monthly premium, the deductibles and the co-insurance costs.
Family Health Insurance
Health insurance plans are known as family floater health insurance plans. These plans cover multiple family members under a single sum insured amount. A family plan can cover:
- Your spouse
- Dependent children
- Dependent parents
In addition, there are certain policies that extend coverage to parents-in-law, siblings, and other extended members of your family. Hence, if you need a cover for your entire family during the COVID-19 pandemic, opt for a family floater health insurance plan.
How Do I Choose A Family Health Insurance Plan During Pandemic?
Here is a defined guideline for choosing the right plan for your family.
1.Individual health plans – This plan provides coverage for a single individual under a single sum insured. Claim under this policy is paid for the expenses incurred on the hospitalization. An Individual Plan is ideal if you want to buy a plan for yourself or a single member of the family.
2.Family floater plans– This health plan covers all family members under a single sum insured. It provides umbrella coverage. Each person can claim up to the entire sum insured. It is more affordable than individual policy for every member. It is the perfect plan during coronavirus pandemic for a young family.
3.Senior citizen plans – This plan is ideal for your parents who are aged 60 years or above. The plan covers all necessary benefits that senior citizens require such as OPD cover, pre-existing disease cover, etc.
So, preferably, you can choose one family floater policy covering yourself, your spouse and your dependent children. For dependent parents, opt for a separate senior citizen policy.
Opt for an Adequate Sum Insured
When searching for a family health insurance plan, check the total members of the family to be covered. Choose a sum insured that is sufficient to cover expected medical costs for all members. For an adequate cover, the premium will be high. So, it is advisable to supplement the coverage with a super top-up policy.
Choose Comprehensive Coverage Benefits
Make sure the plan you want to buy has all the required coverage benefits. Comprehensive coverage is important to cover all possible medical expenses.Say, for instance, a newly married couple must choose a health plan with maternity benefit. This will ensure that when you have a child, the related costs of childbirth would be covered.
Similarly, if you incur OPD expenses quite often, opt for a plan that covers these expenses.
Check Limits and Sub-Limits
Some family health insurance plans come with sub-limits on the room rent. Likewise, some coverage benefits have limits and sub-limits in:
- OPD expenses
- AYUSH treatments (ayurvedic, naturopathy-related, Unani, Siddha, and homoeopathy)
- Domiciliary treatments
- Organ donor expenses
- Maternity coverage
When buying a family floater plan, check the sub-limits and limits apply. Try selecting a plan with no sub-limits.
Check the Hospital Network
You would never want to be dragged from pillar to post to get your claim. It is, therefore, important to check the list of networked hospitals before buying health insurance. Check whether the local hospital which you prefer is tied up with the insurance company or not. Moreover, check the pan-India network strength.
Pre-Existing Waiting Period
If you or any one in your family has a pre-existing condition, search for a policy that has a low waiting period. With a plan having a low waiting period, you’ll avail coverage for your disease at the earliest.
In case of no illness, and you are purchasing a plan at a younger age, choose a policy with a longer waiting period.
When buying health insurance, always choose to compare different plans online, mainly on two bases: the premium that they charge and the coverage that they offer. It is advisable not to compare independently as the coverage benefits impact the premium costs.
A plan may come with low premiums because it is not comprehensive in terms of coverage. So, compare the premium against the coverage benefits and then select a policy that offers a comprehensive scope of coverage at the best premium rates.
Check the Exclusion List
Despite you have chosen comprehensive family health insurance, in cases, coverage is not allowed. Such instances are called exclusions and every policy comes with a list of exclusions. When choosing a plan, check the exclusions of the policy.
Look for Value-Added Benefits
When you compare health insurance plans online, check the value-added benefits of different plans. Value-added benefits are generally extra benefits offered along with the policy coverage features. Common benefits are –
- Free health check-ups
- Sum insured restoration
- Medical second opinion
- Free doctor’s consultations
- Telemedicine facilities
- Assessment of your health
- Loyalty programs at partnered wellness outlets
Finally, when choosing a family health insurance plan, it’s crucial to take some precautions. Always shop around to find the best value for your family’s coverage. Take time to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. If you have questions, ask them. Try to find a reliable online insurance aggregator that can help you select the most appropriate plans at affordable premium rates. They will let you know what you need, and what’s available. This will definitely help to lower premium costs and increase the coverage.