Is health insurance absolutely necessary

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Let us know about health insurance that saves our finances in case of health problems. The necessity of health insurance is increasing by the day with the medical expenses getting costlier each day.  A survey found out that on average a family in India spends about 10% of their income on health.  Chronic disease expenses are apparently high. If you continue to use this much money for health, the family is bound to get affect at one time or the other.  A health insurance policy controls the situation to some extent at least.  Insurance companies collect some amount as premium and aid when a medical situation arises.

There are several types of health insurance polices, can be taken individually or for the whole family.  Stand alone policies for particular health problems are also available.  Separate policies for acute problems, surgeries and hospitalization are also available.

While some policies only pay the pl expenses, some policies just pay the desired amount.

Items covered by health insurance policy:

Insurance companies bear some expenses for the policy holders.  The allotment for different problems is based upon the insured amount.  They are:

·         Expenses for room in hospital.

·         Nursing expenses.

·         Surgery, anesthesia, physician, consultant, and other experts.

·         Anesthesia, blood, oxygen expenses.

·         Operative room rent, medical apparatus, medicines, x-ray, dialysis, chemotherapy, radiculopathy, pacemaker, artificial organs, etc.

Items not covered:

·         Preexisting diseases.

·         Cosmetic treatments.

·         Eye glasses, lenses, and hearing equipment.

·         Dental problems (problems from an accident are covered).

·         Pregnancy and delivery related.

The non-covered items keep changing with policy, so always ask before buying one.

Health insurance policy purchase:

Health policy can be bought directly online or can contact insurance agent.  There is provision to buy directly from the insurance company.

Insurance amount

While choosing the amount, you can have it per your requirement.  Financial status, location, expected medical expenses, premium payable etc are to be considered before zeroing on the policy amount.

Premium

Premium depends upon age, present health condition, family health history, and habits.

Medical tests

You will have to undergo medical tests before taking a policy.

Key features of health policy:

Hospital charges

The insurance company will the policy holder covered inpatient room rent, nursing charges, medications within the limits of insurance amount.  For outpatients, hospitalized less than 24 hours called day care, surgeries, other treatments, and medicines are paid.

Before and after hospitalization:

For some surgeries, you may have to follow some medical precautions beforehand and sometimes medical attention is needed after discharge from the hospital and money is needed here as well.  These types of expenses are born by the insurance company.  Diseases like cancer need money after discharge as well, health insurance comes in very handy here.

Cashless facility:

Some companies provide cashless treatment facility wherein the policy holder need not pay anything from his pocket.  Insurance companies will have agreement with some hospitals through third party agent and provide cashless treatment.  These hospitals are called network hospitals.  a special card is issued for the policy holder to get treatment in these hospitals and can avail cashless treatment benefits using this card.

Check whether there are enough network hospitals in your area.

Cumulative bonus:

If no claim is made before the renewal time, insurance company will pay bonus.  This is called cumulative bonus or no-claim bonus.  This bonus can be 10 to 50% of the insurance amount.

Example:  A person holding 1-lakh policy did not claim even once before renewal and if he gets bonus of 10%, the insured amount will increase by 10000, which makes it 1.1 lakh in total.  The bonus may be removed if he customer claims in the following year.

It is better to use money from your pocket for smaller problems rather than going for claim.  Remember the no-claim bonus rule.

Ambulance expenses:

Health insurance policies bear some part of the ambulance expenses during emergency treatment.  This depends on the policy taken, insurance company, policy limit.