With the ever-increasing medical and treatment costs, buying a health insurance policy has become more important than ever. Whether you’re in your early 20s or 40s, you will need health insurance to act as a pillow against the high expenses that occur due to any minor or major healthcare treatment options.
If you’re a woman, you would know how expensive maternity healthcare costs are in today’s time. Moreover, it is just “one” part of the total healthcare expenses that you would have to incur throughout your lifetime.
Luckily, getting oneself insured under a decent health policy is enough to cover the significant healthcare treatment expenses. While finding the best health insurance can be difficult for many women, we’re here to ease that problem. To help women find apt health insurance, we’ve curated a list of the factors you can use to separate the ideal policy from the rest. So let’s head quickly to the factors shared below.
Factors to Consider while Purchasing Health Insurance
1. Assess & Pick the Right, Apt Coverage
As a woman, you should look for health insurance plans that secure you against many medical problems. Check if your shortlisted policy offers coverage related to pre and post-hospitalization, ambulance expenses, lab test costs, medicine costs, doctor consultation expenses, ICU charges, etc.
Better the coverage, the better the policy. If you have some pre-existing medical conditions, you should check if the policy covers the specific illnesses or diseases. Checking the waiting period for the said diseases or illnesses is also a must. All this should be on your checklist to get a health insurance policy with the best coverage.
2. Keep the Premiums Affordable
While it is essential to get a policy that offers maximum coverage and benefits, keeping the policy’s premium well within your budget is also important. You should first list your requirements and budget before looking out for health insurance plans.
Because even if a single premium payment is missed for any reason, you may lose out on your option to be eligible for no claim bonus. The non-payment of premium can also come in your way if you later decide to port your health insurance plan. Hence, to avoid any hassle at a future date, it is advised to stick to plans whose premiums are affordable and well within your budget.
3. Look for a Good Network of Partner Hospitals
Every reputable health insurance company has a network of partner hospitals. An insured can reach out to any of these hospitals, as mentioned in the insurer’s network hospital list, to avail of cashless treatment benefits. Since you can claim expenses only if you get treated in one of these hospitals, you have to ensure the insurer you’re proceeding with has partnered with good hospitals. Check if the list has at least two multi-specialty hospitals included. The location and reputation of the mentioned hospitals also matter a lot. So do your due research and proceed only if you’re satisfied with the network and list of partner hospitals.
4. Coverage of Maternity Benefits
Be it C-section delivery or newborn baby vaccinations, the expenses related to maternity treatment are sky-high. If you don’t prepare a fund for these expenses well in advance, you might end up in trouble at the last moment. Hence, look for maternity health insurance that covers all costs related to maternity and infertility, like child delivery, medically necessary terminations, vaccination of newborn babies, C-sections, etc. Since most maternity insurance plans have a long waiting period, it is advised to purchase the plan at least two years before when you plan to have a baby.
5. Check What’s Covered in the Coverage
Coverage is probably the most crucial part of any health insurance plan. When buying one for yourself, always check the coverage in detail regarding accidental hospitalization, pre & post hospitalization, illness-related hospitalization, daily hospital cash cover, maternity-related expenses, critical illness benefit, annual health checkup, psychiatric benefit, etc.
If you’re someone who believes in alternative treatment methods like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, or Homeopathy, you should also check if AYUSH coverage is included in the policy or not. Reviewing the coverage section in the policy papers should be of topmost priority if you don’t want to encounter any unpleasant experience later.
6. Double-Check the Exclusions
Similar to inclusions, knowing about the exclusions of a health policy is also essential. Clear knowledge of exclusions helps people set clear expectations from the policy from day one. Though the exclusions may vary from one insurer to another, there is a single common exclusion across all health insurance policies, i.e., hospitalization without doctor’s recommendation. You can refer to the policy’s documents to know more about the applicable exclusions.
7. Hassle-free Claim Settlement Process
The sole purpose of getting health insurance is to receive timely claims and assistance when in need. If the insurer you selected is known for releasing delayed reimbursements, or worse, no reimbursement at all citing claim rejection, you’ll be in real trouble. To avoid any such scenario, you should look for health insurance plans from a reputed insurance company that holds a good claim settlement ratio.
You can check the claim settlement ratio of the past five years to get an idea of whether you should proceed or not. While conducting the research, ensure that the policy you’re shortlisting comes with a hassle-free claim settlement process.
8. Enquire about the Insurer’s Reputation
The Indian insurance market is very competitive, so finding a good insurance company won’t be challenging. But it’s hard to ignore that there are bad fishes in the pond too. There have been many instances in the past where people came out highlighting the poor customer support and delayed claim settlement they were subjected to by their respective insurance companies.
If you don’t want to be at the receiving end of poor customer support or delayed claim settlement, it is crucial to conduct a reputation check of the insurer. A quick look at online forums, communities, and groups on Indian insurance will give you enough data you need to make an informed call.
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9. Read the Co-payment Clause
A co-payment clause highlights the amount or percentage of claim amount the insured has to pay during claim settlement. For example, if your health insurance policy has a co-payment clause of 5%, you’ll have to pay 5% of the claim amount, and the insurer will pay the remaining 95%.
If you don’t want to take the burden of substantial out-of-pocket expenses during medical emergencies, you should opt for health insurance policies with low co-payment terms. A policy with low co-payment will have a high premium and vice-versa. So pick accordingly.
10. Look for Waiting Period
When you buy a health insurance plan, you cannot claim its benefit from day one, especially when you have a pre-existing illness. Every health insurance policy always comes with a waiting period that the insured must fulfil to be eligible to claim the policy benefits. The waiting period is ideally not the same for all policies and insurers, so it is best to check the policy documents to know the exact waiting period. Knowing it will help you prepare for any medical emergency accordingly.
Investing in health insurance can be your best investment yet. It will safeguard you against sudden medical expenses and ensure you get timely treatment without having to worry about funds. As picking the right health insurance can be strenuous, we’ve listed above all the factors you can consider to get the best health plan for yourself. If you’re a woman who loves to plan for important things in advance, you should certainly consider the points mentioned in this article while buying a health insurance plan for women.
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