55 million Indians are pushed into poverty because they have to pay for their own healthcare.

This incident made me realize how important health insurance is because accidents can happen at any time. I am not an 'agent'.

You will know exactly what you need to do to buy the best health insurance policy for yourself or your spouse, your children, or your parents because we are going to see. 

What is health insurance and what are the parameters you need to check before you buy one? 

A step-by-step procedure to pick the best health insurance policy.

Let's begin. Suppose you get hospitalized because of some illness or accident, then the expenditure is going to be in lakhs for the surgery, hospital room, medicines, tests, etc... 

But if you have a health insurance policy then they will take care of all of these expenses for you and in return, they'll charge you a small premium every year.

So obviously, health insurance is a smart thing to have because it saves your health and it saves your bank balance.

But not every health insurance provider is good. So, let's quickly see

What are the 6 parameters that you need to check before you buy health insurance?

Don't worry, I'll also tell you where you need to check these parameters.

1. Claim Settlement Ratio. 

It is the ratio of the number of claims settled by the insurance company divided by the number of claims it has received

So obviously, the higher this ratio, the more are the chances that your claim will also be settled by this company without any issues. Above 90% is a good number.

2. Network Hospital Covered

Now, there is something called a 'cashless facility' wherein, if that insurance provider has a tie-up with the hospital that you are admitted to then the hospital will directly send the bills to the insurance provider.

You don't have to pay anything. But if there is no tie-up, then you have to pay the hospital bills first and then get them reimbursed from the insurance company.

It is too much of a hassle if you are recovering or have a patient to take care of. 

So make sure that your insurance provider has a tie-up with a large network of hospitals and that your favorite hospitals are covered in that network, especially the ones that are closer to your home.

3. Hospital room eligibility. 

Before I arrived, my family admitted my mom to some hospital in a shared room and that other family was turning on the TV at high volume, had too many guests walking in. It makes the patient uncomfortable, who is already in distress. So make sure that your insurance covers at least the cheapest private room available. 

4. Waiting period. 

Health insurance policies cover pre-existing illnesses after a certain wait period. For example: Suppose you have diabetes, then after 2-4 years of wait-period can you claim any hospitalization due to diabetes. So if you have any pre-existing illness, check that the waiting period of that insurance is as less as possible.

 5. Family Floater Health Insurance Policy

Now, instead of buying separate policies, parents along with 2 minor children can be combined in one plan. 

In that plan, depending on the insurance provider each insured member will be given a separate coverage amount or all the members will share a combined sum.

For example, suppose its a policy of 10 lakhs for 5 members, so each of these 5 members can either have 2, 2 lakhs coverage each

OR they can share 10 lakhs together no matter who claims. In my case, my mom's bill was around 3.5 lakhs and because we shared the combined sum, the insurance provider had to pay the entire amount instead of just 2 lakhs. 

The premium of such insurances is slightly higher but they are a money saver because you don't have to spend on multiple policies.

On a side note, if your employer is giving you a health insurance policy then check if you can also include your parents in the same because, in my opinion, your company will be able to negotiate with the insurance provider better than you more so if you do it as a group. 

6. Miscellaneous charges  

Along with the major surgical expenses a good policy also covers ambulance charges, pre, and post-hospitalization charges, and some even throw in a few health checkups here and there.

Apart from these 6 generic parameters, the other parameters that vary from person to person that you need to check are these. 

If you are planning a baby and want maternity expenses covered. 

If your family has a history of cancer and you want to be covered for chemotherapy, radiation, or any other specific critical illnesses. 

If you want day-care procedures like cataract surgery or even dental included. 

Our requirements are different. So, the best health insurance policy for me will be different than the best health insurance policy for you

But don't worry, I'll give you a step-by-step procedure of how to find the best health insurance policy for you. 

This was about health insurance. Now, there is something called a 'Life Insurance' wherein the company pays a lump sum to the beneficiaries in case of the insured person's death.

Here is a 4 step procedure to find your best health insurance policy. 

Step 1:-  For Health Isurance Policy

Write down what your requirements are.. what hospitals you'd like, whether you want your parents included in your policy, do you want maternity expenses covered, what illnesses you want to be covered, etc. 

Step 2:-  For Best Health Insurance Policy

Now go to these health insurance comparison websites like PolicyBazaar, Coverfox, etc... 

They will show you the list of insurances that will be best for you, according to your age and other details. 

Here you will find policies as low as Rs. 9000/- per year which is less than Rs. 25/- per day. But more than premium, check their features and features not covered. 

While you are at it, also google, '5 Best Health Insurance Policies of India' just to get an idea of what policies people are talking about and to read their reviews. 

Step 3 :- For Best Health Insurance Policy

Directly to the website of that insurance policy provider, call their executives, and tell them what your requirements are.

Talk to 3-4 executives (of different insurance providers) before you make a decision. 

They'll only come to your office/home to give you the papers. Now, an important point. Sometimes these executives are in a hurry to just sell you the policy.

So it's your job to read it carefully and fill in if you have any pre-existing illnesses because if you miss writing an illness and if because of this, your claim gets rejected tomorrow then these executives cannot be held accountable because their job was only to sell you that insurance

So don't be in a hurry, read carefully and mention everything truthfully. And 

Step 4 For Best Health Insurance Policy

Do not forget to reap the tax benefits of paying your medical insurance premium under Section 80D.

And that's about it. Now, where are you going to invest the money that you are saving from the taxes?

See, health insurance is an investment for life.


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