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Health assurance through awareness


A sick person in a family will have a large financial burden. With growing medical bills, health insurance is mandatory nowadays. There are increasing people interested in taking health policies now. There are still some doubts though here and policy taken without proper awareness is causing mental stress when needed. So to avoid such situations, let us know the myths and realities.

A heart surgery used to cost 1,300,00 about 2 years back and now costs 2 lakhs. Not only this, all other treatments are becoming expensing each day and there are many who pay from their pockets for hospital expenses. IRDA survey revealed that only 17% have insurance and only 2% take it on their own. The remaining are part of group insurance from public and private companies. There is very high scope of improvement of health insurance in India if data is observed. So, the companies are trying to attract more customers, which makes it even more important for us to be vigilant while taking a policy.

It is the responsibility of the policy taker to know completely about the policy but it is true that most of us don’t read the policy document in detail and sign on policy papers based on the info given by agents, advisors and banks. This has to change and sign on policy documents after completely understanding the proposal. This is the first thing to remember while taking a policy.

No secrets please…
Some don’t like disclosing their complete health history while taking a policy and tend to hide some of the details and especially the feeling that policy cannot be taken if you have hypertension or diabetes is the main reason. But important to remember here is that any hidden fact about your health is considered as fraud by the insurance company and may reject your claim when you apply for it. So, never hide any of your health issues. Though this may result in increased premium, you will be hassle free later.

Group insurance enough…
Most employees have group health insurance and we tend to think what the need of another policy as we already have one but if you resign the job, the insurance will also cease. So, it is always prudent to have an individual health policy.

Will premium lessen?
The premium paid for health insurance is no fixed deposit or mutual fund program. The premium is not paid after the tenure and so many people try to find out ways to lessen the premium while taking a policy, especially choosing copay option, which means paying some part of the treatment expenses and another one is sublimitation, which puts a cap on modes like hospital rent, ICU, surgery, etc. The main aim of health policy is to avoid financial problems when illness strikes but not saving some hundred rupees while paying the premium. It is not at all advisable to take policy from a company with a bad settlement history for less premium or having copay and sub limitations.

For small treatments…
Health insurance is like an ATM card. Any illness can be treated without spending a rupee. Some advisers tend to sell their policies with this propaganda and may fall into the trap and add in high valued policies, 2 or 3 policies at a time and unnecessary riders to the existing policies. Health insurance doesn’t pay your everyday expenses and only aids when struck by a critical illness and get hospitalized. If you use for smaller needs, you will end up losing on the no-claim bonus for the next year, which at times can be up to 50% and some plans increase the policy amount. So, policy should be taken with long-term view in mind.

Does it cover all diseases?
This is the fact that most agents don’t want to elaborate. Always know the diseases covered before taking a policy. It is not correct to feel that it works for every problem of health. The application you filled will have the details. Some diseases are not compensated at all while some are covered after a period of time. nothing except accident is covered until 30 days are lapsed. These are just some of the conditions and it is our duty to know each and everything before taking a policy and if you have any doubts look for the company’s website or contact customer care. Always go for authorized pamphlets of the company for examples.

Points to note…
Not stopping at just taking the policy, check if the policy is the one you have applied for, policy amount, premium details, whether family member details match, whether photos are clear on the cards, etc. There are occasions when policy is given on the name of nominee and there is every chance of discrepancies in promises made while taking policy and the facts. So, always check thoroughly after you get the documents. Take a policy that has premium within your capacity.

Don’t forget to pay premium in time. don’t consider for copay and sub limitations for saving a few bucks. Never submit fraud bills as the company may reject your claim and all your efforts are poured water upon.