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  • Writer's pictureSahastha

Health Insurance – how to buy

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

In rural areas, 80% households depended on savings to fund medical expenditure. Millions of households spending an expenses for health exceeded the annual per capita consumption of those households. Health issues like heart disease and diabetes are common now a days, which means medical emergencies are common, especially in old age.

In today’s situation, medical treatments are costly, whether they live in a metro city like Bangalore or a small town. A health insurance cover provides great relief at least to the pocket with their facilities such as very low premiums, high coverage and the option of cashless treatments. Before one start investing towards one’s goals, getting an adequate health insurance cover for self and family is important thing. Here, we look at the various important features and factors of a health insurance policy.

Types of Health Insurance Plans

To meet the different requirements of people, health insurance companies under the guidance of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) provide different types of health insurance plans in India such as Individual Health Insurance Plans, Family Health Insurance Plans, Senior Citizen Health Insurance Plans, Critical Illness Insurance Plans, Disease-Specific Health Insurance Plans, Personal Accident Policy, Health Insurance Policies for kids, etc. Besides, insurers also offer health insurance plans specially designed for cancer, diabetes, heart, dengue, and other diseases.

How to Choose the Best Health Insurance Plan 

A good understanding of the features of the medical insurance plan will help you to select the best insurance plan for yourself and your family. Let us have a look at few important points of a health insurance policy.

  1. You need to look at List of network hospitals, Cashless Treatment facilities that a health insurance plans offer. The cashless benefit offered by the insurer. You can walk into a network hospital, avail the treatment, and the insurer will settle the bill directly with the hospital.

  2. If an insured person not makes any claim for the entire year, then he is awarded with NCB (No claim bonus) by insurer. It is provided at the time of the policy renewal with discount on premium or increase in the sum assured for the same premium paid.

  3. Health plans offer you restoration benefit rider. If insured has exhausted with their base insured amount, restoration benefit offers an amount equal to the base sum assured as an additional amount for a subsequent claim against any unrelated and different illness.

  4. All health insurances have a waiting period with minimum of 30days to 4years maximum. It differs from policy to policy. The waiting period is basically the time you have to wait for before you claim insurance on a particular disease. These diseases are listed under the policy document.

  5. The importance of getting good pre and post hospitalization coverage is important factor considering the number of health insurance policies available on the market today. You need to have a look at the limits that are offered such that you can make an informed decision.

  6. Premiums paid for health insurance policies are subject to tax deductions under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

  7. Pre existing diseases go a long way in deciding the premium amount that you would be paying at the decided tenure. If you have diseases that are not chronic or terminal, it is possible that you would be paying a higher premium amount

  8. Due to the popularity of alternative treatments, various insurance providers offer such treatments like homeopathy, Ayurveda, Yoga, etc. However, only the treatments which take place either in any government hospital or any government recognized institutes are covered by the insurance companies.

Some insurers provide free health check-ups, assessment of medical reports, health coaching and monetary rewards. Gym memberships, weight-loss clinics, weight-loss surgery, massage therapy, stress management programs, and tobacco cessation programs are just a few of the wellness benefits included in some insurance plans. Some health insurance plans even offer a discount, if you attend the wellness programs regarding health fitness.

Claim settlement :

  1. Knowing the claim settlement ratio helps you understand how well a particular insurance company manages claims so that you do not face any hassle at the time of claim settlement. It is necessary that you understand and do a background research about the claim settlement process. Claim settlement process was two types, those are TPA and in house claim department. Among the TPA’s, Health Insurance TPA of India is the one that caters solely to claims relating to PSU policies. Mostly the premium pricing of a policy taken from a PSU health insurer is slightly lesser than the policy taken from a private insurer. But private companies claim process was slightly fast. As of now, there are 28 general insurance companies in India. The list comprises public sector general insurers and private sector general insurers. Let’s have a look at claim settlement ratio of different companies.

Also, we need to compare the premium and benefits of the plan. The best health insurance company in India would be the one which prices its plans affordably without compromising on the scope of coverage offered.

Here, we look at few health plans with premium comparison. if an individual who is 28years old, looking for basic plan with 5lakhs coverage.

Star-Young Star Silver offering premium of ₹5300 p.a., Edelweiss Health Insurance Silver – ₹4500 p.a., Chola MS flexi health insurance – ₹5400 p.a., Care with smart select – ₹6298 p.a.

HDFC Ergo my health suraksha silver smart,  Bajaj Allianz health guard gold plan and Manipal Cigna pro health accumulate plans are providing ₹5 lakhs coverage with premium of ₹8044 p.a., ₹10500 p.a. and ₹12391 p.a. respectively.

Well, I want to share few examples with you:

Care Health Insurance launched Care Shield with triple benefits. This product takes into account rising inflation, coverage of certain medical expenses as well as safeguarding the No Claim Bonus (NCB) benefit from lapsing in case of moderate claims of up to 25 per cent of the sum insured.

Maxbupa Corona kavach plan offering coverage up to 5lakhs for expenses against covid-19. The policy offers you a sum insured range between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 5 lakh. One of the highlights of the policy is that it comes without any sub-limit on room rent.

HDFC ERGO Optima restore health plan is one of recommended plans with three incredible benefits – restore, multiplier, stay active. It available in two variants (individual and family floater). Restore adds 100% of the sum insured if you use the policy sum insured fully or partially. Multiplier benefit lets you enjoy a 100% increase in the Sum Insured in 2 claim free years. Stay Active benefit rewards you in case you live an active lifestyle.


The number of deceases are increasing day by day. It gives you a peace of mind if you are covered in case of any eventuality. Compare various health insurance policies online to make sure that you purchase a health plan that meets all your requirements. Also, you can get quotes for various different plans online by providing the necessary details to get an estimated premium of different policies. you can make a right decision to protect your family and loved ones from financial crisis.

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