As healthcare costs continue to rise at an alarming rate, every person needs a financial safeguard to protect themselves from unexpected medical expenses. A health insurance plan provides the necessary financial cushioning to save you from the burden of medical expenses incurred due to unforeseen circumstances such as injuries due to accidents, illnesses, and medical conditions.
Knowing and choosing an appropriate health insurance plan that best fits your requirements is not an easy task. The recent pandemic underlined the importance of an active, efficient and adequate health insurance to tide over unforeseen medical circumstances. However, often people tend to choose a plan which costs the least. This tendency can often leave you with inadequate cover, thereby rendering the policy insufficient to pay off the medical costs.
To avoid such a scenario, we have listed five common mistakes, which you, as a health insurance buyer, should avoid:
1. Buying Health Insurance Only for Tax Saving
Under the Section 80D of the Income Tax Act of India, deductions done up to ₹25,000 towards health insurance premium are known to qualify for tax benefits. Additionally, senior citizens enjoy a tax benefit up to ₹50,000. While tax benefits are attractive, individuals should not buy a health insurance policy for that reason only. Before buying the plan, you should take a look at the policy covers and benefits. While tax benefits are an attractive advantage of buying health insurance, tax-saving shouldn’t be your primary concern. The top priority should be getting an all-round coverage against a range of medical expenses.
2. Not Shopping Around
Buyers often stick to the health insurance plan recommended by their friends, colleagues, or family, without taking the efforts to compare the different policies. Comparison of policies helps in selecting the right plan at a lower price. It is important to assess your specific requirements and compare different policies through a third-party aggregator website. Once you finalise a plan, go to the official website of the provider and read the terms and conditions in-depth to understand the exact coverage. Adequate research and effective comparison are necessary to find an efficient yet cost-effective health insurance policy.
3. Comparing only the Premiums
While the premium is the basic factor for comparing different health insurance policies, it should not be the only evaluating factor. Buyers should compare additional covers, benefits, exclusions, and sub-limits before narrowing down on a policy. The aim should not be the pocket-friendly policy but to find the most cost-effective policy. You should compare and find the policy that offers the most value for your money. Cheap policies can lead to huge expenses in the long run in case they fail to cover necessary expenses or reject valid claims.
But that does not mean all affordable plans are ineffective; it depends upon the provider. For instance, we at Royal Sundaram offer an affordable health cover, along with all-round coverage, with the Arogya Sanjeevani Policy.
4. Opting only for a basic cover
Basic covers fail in times of a pandemic, where comprehensive health insurance plans offered COVID-19 cover by default. Comprehensive health insurance plans such as Royal Sundaram Lifeline health insurance and Arogya Sanjeevani Policy provide several benefits apart from the basic hospitalisation cover. For a small amount, you can avail additional benefits such as cashless hospitalisation, ambulance cover, and day-care cover. So why stick to basic protection when a complete plan is available by shelling a few extra pennies?
5.Not Reading the Fine Print
Most of the insurance buyers often avoid dwelling into the fine print of the policy. Knowing the coverages, exclusions, limit for each cover, and benefits are important because you are aware of the extent of protection you have availed. You do not want to pay premiums for a health cover over the years, and then realise at the time of coverage that an important condition is not covered by the policy. So, once you finalise a provider or a policy, ensure that you read the policy guidelines, terms and conditions, inclusions and exclusions in-depth before purchasing the cover.
The aftermaths of the pandemic have reiterated the need to buy a comprehensive health insurance cover that offers adequate and cost-effective health cover. Therefore, ensure that you research well, compare the plans efficiently, buy an all-round coverage and read the fine print before you buy health insurance.