A step-by-step guide to choosing the right health insurance plan

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After the outbreak of the coronavirus, people in India started taking health insurance more seriously than ever and today, the impact of the pandemic is making people realize that insurance is no longer a priority but a need. Again, among the various health insurance plans, the demand for family health insurance plans has increased in India. Choosing the best health insurance plan for you and your family can take a lot of time, but you need to invest the time in it. Rushing to buy and choosing the wrong health insurance plan can cost you dearly in the long run.

To ensure current health needs as well as those you will likely need at different stages of your life. Here’s a 5-step step-by-step guide to help you choose the right health insurance plan for you and your family:

1. Make a list of health insurance plans that interest you

There are many health insurance companies in India. And most companies offer excellent health insurance plans. So, first, decide on the type of health insurance plan you want to purchase and the adequate sum insured you need to cover yourself and your family’s health needs. Now, make a list of all the excellent family health insurance plans from different Indian companies that interest you.

So, once you have a list of the best health insurance plans available in India, figure out which carrier you prefer to purchase the health plan from. You can either buy them online or offline. Most health insurers offer online health insurance. You can even buy health insurance offline with the help of health insurance agents, which is still a great option.

2. Compare different types of health insurance plans

Now, if you’re not buying health insurance from third-party insurance aggregators that allow you to compare multiple health insurance plans, you need to compare health insurance plans from elsewhere. You need to know the specific differences between health insurance plans to make an informed decision. Many websites allow you to compare different health insurance plans. Alternatively, you can use pen and paper to write down only the features that interest you.

One of the most important factors based on which you will purchase a particular health insurance plan is the cost of the plan. So compare that too. Also compare things like hospitals in the plan’s network, add-ons that can be added on top, etc.

3. Compare the hospitals in the network between different mutuals

Hospitalization costs may be lower when you go to a hospital in your insurance company’s network of hospitals. When you go to hospitals outside of your insurer network, you have to give up things like cashless hospitalization, etc.

So if you have a favorite hospital in mind that you know and think will treat you best, make sure it is part of your insurer’s hospital network. You can even ask the officials at your favorite hospital directly if they fall under a particular health insurance plan.

If you don’t have a preferred hospital, opt for a plan with a wide network of hospitals present in India and abroad so that you have more choices. A larger network is more important to cover modern and advanced treatments, and if you live in Tier 2 or Tier 3 cities in India, you don’t have more options to choose a particular hospital there.

So make sure that the health insurance plan you buy has a good network of hospitals and compare your plan with other plans for this benefit as well.

4. Compare payouts between different plans

Disbursements are expenses incurred for medical care that are not covered by your health insurance plan. Reimbursable expenses include coinsurance, copayments, deductibles, and any expenses incurred for services not covered by your plan. Disbursements are as important a factor as the network of hospitals.

The interest of taking out health insurance is that you do not pay any amount at the time of hospitalization or medical requirement. Many plans exclude many insurance costs. So you need to know exactly what everything is covered and what you have to pay out of pocket while in hospital. The summary of benefits for each plan should clearly indicate the amount you would have to pay for medical services. For example, it becomes even more important for ordinary salaried class workers to have comprehensive protection for themselves and their family members to avoid financial hardship and depletion of savings assets or of investment. Therefore, we recommend that you narrow down your choices based on the personal expenses of this step.

5. Compare the benefits you would get from different plans

By now you should have narrowed your options down to a few. To further narrow down your choices, go to the benefits summary and see which plan covers a wider range of services. Check if your preferred plan covers things like physiotherapy, mental health care, loyalty bonus, premium waiver, unlimited restoration for unrelated illnesses, cumulative bonus reminder, rewards for a mode healthy living, among others. Make sure your health insurance plan and its benefits are right for you and your family.

Conclusion

Finally, go through all the comparison table you have made and check the summary of all the plans side by side. Eliminate plans that are overall no better than other plans. Make sure the health insurance plan you choose covers all necessary medical needs and gives you and your family access to quality healthcare worldwide.

Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalists are involved in the creation of this content.

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