I was recently discussing the need for health insurance with a dear friend and it dawned on me how this was a topic people actually know so little about beyond a basic concept.

As someone who has been a part of the Indian healthcare system for this entire century and has been a keen observer of its merits and flaws, it is a no-brainer to me that everyone really needs to have health insurance in today's India. With the health sector being the way it is, the choice of whether to go to the private or public sector may not always be in one's hands, based on the availability of specialist facilities and staff and sheer number of patients in certain sections. At the same time, it is understandable that the private sector will be more expensive which may make some a tad reluctant to choose it as an option.

And that, for me, is exactly where a good health insurance comes into place, more so, one that offers multiple benefits.
While talking to my friend, I gathered that her understanding of health insurance was that you pay a certain amount of money every year and that allows you ‘any’ health coverage up to a certain financial limit.

That is not entirely accurate though, is it? There is so much more to it than that.


Points to note when choosing a health insurance policy

Some things you need to focus on when you choose your insurance plan.


  • Look for a scheme that covers both pre and post hospitalization expenses, including ambulance charges.
  • Does it facilitate cashless payment in hospitals around you?
  • Is there an age limit? Look for schemes that don't have restrictions on maximum entry age.
  • Tax benefits for the amount you paid under Section 80 (D) are a must.
  • Do you get a cumulative bonus for every year you have not used a claim?
  • If the total sum is exhausted within a year, can you get a 100% re-load?
  • Is the process of registering and payment cumbersome or can you get your Health Insurance Online in under 10 minutes? 
  • Is AYUSH treatment covered in your policy? What treatments will not be paid for?
  • Is there an upper limit to how much your hospital room rent should be?
  • If you have a pre-existing disease, how long must you wait before you can avail insurance to treat it? The numbers differ for different policies. 


These are all things that come into play when choosing a health insurance policy and yet people don't think that far. Based on your needs, you should focus on policies that are tailor-made for you.


What about Family Insurance Policies?

Have you got a large joint family with members of different age groups, perhaps some pregnant, some elderly and some small children too? Did you know you have Family Health Insurance Plans that allow you to combine individual sums for each member while also having a floating sum insured which can be used by any of the members of the family in case of a major illness or emergency? This way, the young women can enjoy maternity benefits including vaccination for the new born while the elderly can even avail second opinions for diagnosis and management of certain critical illness, all within the same policy.

There is so much that needs to be considered when you choose your health insurance. But choose it you must because having a health insurance policy allows one to breathe a sigh of relief during bad times on at least the financial aspect and focus on what matters - the health of the one you love.

10 things to look out for when choosing a health insurance policy


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