From everyday fundamentals to long-term financial instruments, we all look for value for money in every purchase. This is true even for health insurance plans that aim to meet hospitalization expenses for you and your family and lifelong healthcare requirements.
The ever-increasing cost of medical treatment in hospitals can drastically reduce personal finances over time if one remains inadequately insured, as has also been seen during the pandemic.
Fortunately, with so many options available in the market today, an individual can customize their health insurance policy to maximize the benefits from paying a nominal premium.
Here are 6 ways to boost your health insurance coverage:
(a) Existing policy holders: If you already have a health insurance plan, you can:
1) Increase your current insurance amount:
One of the primary ways to increase health insurance coverage is to review your current insurance amount. Having a low coverage amount with the intent of saving a small amount against the premium is certainly not desirable, as it will leave you under coverage when a medical misfortune strikes.
On top of that, many plans offer free additional benefits when you choose a larger insured amount (eg no limit on room charges), which ultimately translates to “a big bang for the buck.” Insurance companies allow policyholders to choose a higher coverage amount at the time of policy renewal for a slightly higher premium, subject to underwriting. If the total premium amount appears to exceed your annual budget, you can consider equal monthly premium options to reduce the stress placed on your finances.
2) Personalize your coverage with add-ons: Insurance companies offer optional passengers or add-ons to a basic health insurance policy that can be selected at the time of renewal to make the general plan more personalized and comprehensive.
The basic plan may offer coverages for hospitalization and daycare procedures; However, other additional features such as daily hospital cash, health coach, personal accident/critical illness coverage etc. can be extended. Choosing these features according to future personal needs will help improve health insurance coverage.
3) Buying Super Recharge Cards: This is an economical option to improve the sum insured. A variety of super affordable add ons are available in the market which covers hospitalization costs once the minimum or deductible amount is exceeded.
4) Transferring your plan: You can explore converting your active health insurance policy to an alternative insurance company or plan that offers better benefits and a higher insurance amount for similar premiums. Portability and its process have been simplified to make it more convenient for policyholders to change their plan to a different insurance company. Of course, the transfer is subject to the underwriting guidelines set forth by the new insurance company and the revised premium can also be affected by your previous claim history. However, this is another option for policyholders to evaluate the best coverage.
(b) New Buyers: If you are looking to get the best value for money when you first purchase a Basic Health Insurance and/or Supplemental Health Insurance or when you transfer your policy, in addition to the points above i.e. choosing an insured amount at the Best Benefits value in a higher slab and customizing your plan with covers Additional suitable, you can:
5) Find the No Claim Bonus: Valuable Product Feature, No Claim Bonus basically means that the insurance company will offer you a bonus or bonus for no claim during the policy year. The No Claim Bonus is offered as an increase in the sum insured (in the form of a specified percentage of the base policy coverage amount), which ultimately means enhanced health insurance coverage that will support more expensive claims treatments in the future.
6) Look for the restore feature: The take back or reimbursement feature is another attractive component of a health insurance policy. This feature is activated either when the first (or second) medical claim is submitted in the policy year, or when the sum insured has been exhausted, and the depleted sum insured is returned. Having this benefit ensures that you remain covered even after the total sum insured has been consumed. In addition, getting a recovery benefit to cover “same illness” would be ideal for people who have recurrent or chronic illnesses that require regular treatment.
Health insurance is a complex product that carries many non-standard nuances across plans and insurance companies. You are advised to review your policy periodically against the above six suggestions for enhancing your health insurance coverage.
The author, Nayan Ananda Goswami, is the Group Head of Business, Sales and Services at SANA Insurance Brokers Private Limited (SANAInsure). The opinions expressed are personal