How to choose the best healthcare plan in India?

In the recent times, when the healthcare costs have risen drastically and there has been an unprecedented surge in the prices of surgeries and services, one can only hope for a marvel to happen in times of such medical emergencies. What follows such circumstances is an upheaval in the life of patients and their families. The trauma that the patients and their kids face as a consequence of the illness is just one part of the story. The agony that follows because of the heavy expenses incurred leaves the family in financial ruins. Therefore, one should very carefully plan their expenses in advance. One way of doing that is to choose a healthcare policy that takes care of all your financial burdens when a medical catastrophe strikes. Given the wide range of the health insurance plans in the market to choose from, one needs to be judicious in their approach to finding one. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best healthcare plan in India-:


1.) Maximum Cover-: You should choose a plan that offers the maximum medical cover for hospitalization as well as other overhead expenses. A simple surgery, these days, can cost you around 5-10 lacs. Depending on your requirements, you should consider taking high-risk coverage plans.

2.) Family floater plans-: Family floater plans that cover the entire family are usually lower in premiums and give a high return on investment.

3.) Low waiting period-: A lot of insurance plans give 2-4 years of the waiting period for diseases that prevail even before buying the plan.

4.) Maximum age renewal-: One may not need insurance at a young age but as one gets older, the need for a medical cover is felt. Thus, one should be able to renew their policy up to the age of 70-75 years.

5.) High Claim Settlement ratio-: The claim settlement ratio is the ratio of claims that are settled to the total number of claims received. An insurance company that has a high number of settlement ratio has a better chance of providing reimbursements than one that has a better track record of providing reimbursements.

6.) Network Hospital Coverage-: Most of the insurance policies have a good hospital network coverage when it comes to the metro cities but if you are taking a family insurance cover then it is better to choose one which has a high network penetration in cities as well as the rural areas.

7.) Compare insurance premiums-: You should always compare the prices of premiums before buying the policy. There’s no point in taking a plan that has the features but has high premium prices.

8.) Research-: Always do your research before you buy the plan. Reading the reviews about the policy gives a fair idea of the pros and cons and helps you to make the decision.

9.) Exclusions-: One of the most important but a rather ignored aspect is exclusion. Many insurance companies exclude several diseases and procedures like Cataract, Hernia, Joint Replacement etc. in the initial phases. You should consider this and go for plans that have a few exclusions.

Many people, even in this day and age are oblivious to the risks that they are exposed to if they don’t take adequate health insurance coverage. Though there has been a rise in demand for health insurance products, India continues to have the lowest levels of awareness & penetration in the world, with only 0.16% of the total population insured for health. Little wonder then that 70% of healthcare expenses are met from one’s pocket. The good news is that more and more people are coming to know about this. Most of the respondents in a recent survey said they realized the need for health insurance. Insurers, however, feel that some myths need to be shattered first.

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