Listen to Top 12 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Health Insurance Plan
In today's fast-paced world, the number of unpredictable medical conditions and illnesses has significantly increased, making it necessary for people to buy a health insurance policy. While buying a health insurance policy is essential, it is equally important to understand the different types of policies available and the benefits they offer. Unfortunately, most people settle for any type of health insurance policy without fully understanding the policy features, benefits, exclusions, terms & conditions, and how the plan actually works. This can lead to a situation where individuals end up buying a policy that does not cater to their specific needs. This article enumerates the top 12 tips to make the most out of your health insurance plan.
1. Buy the Best-suited Plan:
To make the most out of your health insurance policy, you should ensure that the plan you buy or renew is the right type of plan for you. Rushing into a decision without fully understanding your own requirements and plan features can result in paying more than necessary for healthcare. To avoid this, conducting thorough research and choosing a plan that best suits your needs is essential. For instance, if you are a small family of two adults and one or two children, a family floater health insurance plan may be more appropriate than an individual plan. Moreover, buying a separate senior citizen health insurance policy or an individual policy for your parents and/or parents-in-law can offer more benefits and help save a significant amount on premiums. By selecting the right type of plan, you can ensure that you are receiving the coverage you need at a reasonable cost.
2. Ensure You Have Adequate Coverage:
Many consumers decide their insurance coverage solely based on the premium instead of evaluating their individual needs. This can result in insufficient coverage in case a medical emergency arises, leaving you responsible for paying additional medical expenses out of your own pocket. While considering the annual premium of a policy is important, it should not be the only factor taken into account. It is advisable to consider family size, medical history, and potential future medical expenses to ensure that you have sufficient coverage that will protect you and your family from unexpected out-of-pocket costs.
3. Customise Your Plan with Add-ons:
If you do not have a budget to opt for the premium plan, you can customise your basic health insurance plan with suitable add-ons to maximise your coverage. Some examples of add-ons include maternity benefits, critical illness coverage, and personal accident coverage. By customising your plan with add-ons, you can ensure that you have comprehensive coverage for your unique health needs. However, be aware that add-ons come with an additional cost, so carefully evaluate the benefits versus the cost before adding them to your policy.
4. Use Preventive Care:
Regular check-ups and vaccinations are part of preventive care and can help maintain good health as well as identify health issues early on, making them easier and less costly to treat. Many health insurance plans provide coverage for preventive care services, so you should ensure you make use of these benefits to stay healthy and prevent potential health problems. Keep in mind that coverage for preventive care services may vary depending on the policy terms.
5. Read Your Policy Document Every Year:
To take advantage of the benefits offered by a health insurance policy, you first need to read and understand the details of your plan. Unfortunately, many policyholders are unaware of the benefits available to them and end up paying out-of-pocket for expenses that could have been covered under the policy. If you face any difficulty in understanding certain terms, you can check the policy coverage explained in simple language on the company's official website or call the customer care number. It is advisable to review the policy document at the beginning of each year, even if you have had the same plan for a while, as insurance companies may make changes to benefits at renewal. Furthermore, if your health has recently changed, certain aspects of your plan may become more relevant and necessary to comprehend.
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6. Consider Porting Your Health Insurance Policies:
When it comes to renewing a health insurance policy, most people don't think about switching insurers unless they have had a dissatisfactory experience. However, it's worth considering that other insurance companies may offer the same or better benefits at a lower premium. Hence, it makes sense to compare policies from other insurers during the renewal process. Even though switching to a new insurer may seem like a hassle, the amount you save on premiums could be worth it. Additionally, any benefits you have accumulated with your current insurer can be easily transferred to your new insurer.
7. Consider Multi-year Health Insurance Policies:
Nowadays, most insurers are offering multi-year health insurance policies that come with a discount on the premium on online purchase of the policy. This not only helps you save on the premium amount but also ensures that you are covered with health insurance for a longer period. You can get up to 5% to 10% discount on such policies of 2 to 3 years policy period. However, before buying a multi-year policy, ensure the policy you choose meets your health and financial requirements for the entire duration of the policy.
8. Tax Benefit:
Apart from providing medical coverage, a health insurance plan can also prove to be a useful tax-saving tool. Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, policyholders can claim a tax deduction of Rs 15,000 (Rs 20,000 for senior citizens) against the premium paid towards health insurance.
9. Take Advantage of the Wellness Programs:
Several health insurance plans provide wellness programs, which include condition management or weight loss programs, to promote healthy habits and prevent potential health problems. Participating in these programs can help you sustain good health and possibly reduce your healthcare expenses in the future.
10. Use Telemedicine Services:
Using telemedicine services is a convenient and affordable option for medical treatment. Most plans come with coverage for telemedicine, which allows you to receive medical care from the comfort of your own home.
11. Choose a Healthcare Provider from the List of Network Hospitals:
Choosing an insurer that includes your preferred healthcare providers within its network can help you save a considerable amount. This is because different health insurers have different provider networks. To make the most of your health insurance benefits, it is advisable to choose in-network healthcare providers.
12. Look for Unique Plan Benefits:
As discussed, each insurer and each plan has its unique features and benefits. It is advisable to check for suitable features and benefits when buying/renewing your health insurance policy. For instance, some insurers may offer discounts on the first premium when you buy the health insurance policy online, or some insurers may offer unlimited restoration of the sum insured.
Having health insurance is a crucial part of financial planning that can assist individuals and families in managing the expenses of medical care. To make the most out of your health insurance policy, it is advisable to implement the aforementioned tips. By doing so, you can rest assured that you and your loved ones are safeguarded against the economic strain of medical bills.
KETKI JADHAV is a Content Writer at PersonalFN since August 2021. She is an MBA (Finance) and has over seven years of experience in Retail Banking. Ketki specialises in covering articles around banking, insurance, personal finance, and mutual funds and has been doing it for over three years now.
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