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6 Important Benefits Of Having A Health Insurance Card

Team AckoMay 13, 2024

Health insurance has become an important product as it protects you from the exorbitant medical costs incurred if you or your family face a medical emergency. Given the medical inflation which is rising unchecked, having health insurance policies with an optimal sum insured has become very important. When you buy a health plan you look carefully at the coverage features that the plan offers and the premium which you have to pay. When the policy is issued, you get a health card which looks just like a regular debit or credit card. However, most of you don’t pay any attention to the card and keep it away with your policy document. Is it a wise move?

No, it is not. Health insurance cards prove very useful at the time of claims. Read on to know about the benefits of a health insurance card.




The Role of Health Insurance in Preventive Care

Health insurance makes preventive healthcare easily accessible and affordable for Indian families. Many insurance plans now cover basic preventive care like annual health checkups, cancer screenings, vaccinations, dialysis, health packages for women, eye tests, dental checkups, and more, as mandated by IRDAI guidelines. These can help detect illnesses early for timely treatment. Blood sugar, BP, lipid profile, stress test, mammograms, pap smears, etc., are fully/partially paid if arranged through the insurer's network. 

This promotes the habit of getting regular health screenings. Some policies also offer wellness rewards or incentives for completing recommended tests. As out-of-pocket costs can be a constraint for many households, the inclusive preventive coverage under health plans makes it convenient to stay up-to-date on checkups and catch issues before they escalate.

The Impact of Health Insurance on Family Financial Planning 

Rising medical costs and inflation on hospital expenses can easily drain an Indian middle-class family's savings in case of a health crisis. From hospital beds and doctor consultations to medicines, treatments, and diagnostics - healthcare is becoming prohibitively expensive. Having adequate health insurance protects against out-of-pocket expenses in case of hospitalization due to illness/surgery or diagnosis of critical illness. It prevents savings from being exhausted by hefty medical bills. 

Families must account for insurance premiums as a priority spend when planning finances and monthly budgets. Projecting potential medical costs expected in the coming year also helps determine the ideal insurance coverage based on family members' age and health profiles. This ensures savings remain intact for other goals like children's education, retirement, etc. Reviewing policies yearly and enhancing coverage helps buffer against exponentially rising healthcare costs.

Benefits of Health Insurance Card

#1 You can avail cashless hospitalization

Health insurance cards work only if you get hospitalized in a network hospital of the insurance company to provide you with cashless treatments. When you get hospitalized at a network hospital, you would have to present your health card. If you have the card handy and you present it upon hospitalization, you can initiate the cashless claim process and get your claim settled easily and quickly.

You may also have accident insurance coverage in your existing health plan for all accidental claims.

Also, read: Family health insurance plans

#2 You can contact the insurance company easily

Your insurance company may have a toll-free helpline number which you can use in case of claims or any queries that you have. How many of you remember this number or any other emergency number provided by the insurance company? Not many do and here is where a health card proves beneficial. The card contains the emergency helpline number of the insurance company. You can, therefore, check the number available on the card and contact the insurer for intimating your health insurance claim. Informing the insurance company of the claim is the first step in claim settlement and the health card, by providing the contact details, lets you do just that.

#3 You get the policy details at your fingertips

While filling in the claim form or informing the insurance company of your claim, you need to mention your customer identification number or policy number so that your details can be checked. For all you know, your insurance policy may also have critical illness insurance coverage. You need to be completely aware of all its features and benefits.

In case of emergencies, searching for the policy document to find out the policy number and details is difficult. The health card contains the unique identification number which you can use to get the policy details at your fingertips. Doesn’t this ease up the claim process?

#4 The card serves as an identity card for cashless treatments

Your health card doubles up as your identity card when you avail cashless hospitalization. The hospital is assured of your identity and allows you cashless treatments by using the details available on the card and matching it with your ID proof

#5 Specifies the validity date

Just like your debit and credit cards contain their validity date, your health card also contains the date up to which your health insurance policies would be valid. After the validity expires and when you renew your health plan, a new card is issued. Thus, using the card you can also find out whether your medical insurance cover is active or not.

Also, read: Create ABHA Health ID

#6 Clarifies the eligibility of the claim

The last benefit of the card is that it validates your claim. When the card is presented for cashless treatments, the hospital can cross-check the policy records, your identity and the validity of your health insurance policies. Upon finding everything in order, the hospital can validate your claim and allow cashless treatments. This is also true for any critical illness insurance claims when the need arises.

Given these benefits of the card, you should always carry the card with you at all times. You never know when an emergency might strike and you get hospitalized. When you have the card on your person you can present it to the hospital to avoid delay in cashless treatments. So, keep the card in your wallet just like you do with your credit and debit cards so that it can be used at any time. Also, remember to inform your family about accident insurance coverage features so that it can be used in an emergency when you are not in a stage to act upon it.

Understanding Co-pays and Deductibles

Co-pay refers to a fixed amount or percentage of the claim amount the policyholder pays from their pocket when claiming insurance. For example, if the co-pay clause is 10%, you pay 10% of your bill amount while the insurer pays the remaining 90%. Deductibles are the threshold limit until the insured person bears the expenses, after which the insurance company pays as per policy terms. 

For instance, if your deductible is ₹10,000, you pay the initial ₹10,000 of your hospital bill, and your insurer pays the balance amount up to the overall limit fixed per illness/year. Knowing such out-of-pocket costs before purchasing the policy helps make informed choices and financially plan for them if required.

Tips for Efficient Use of Your Health Insurance Card

  • Always carry your valid health insurance card and e-cards on your phone for emergency hospitalisation.

  • Thoroughly read policy documents to know pre/post hospitalization expenses covered, illnesses included/excluded, claim settlement process & ratio of the insurer.

  • Opt for the insurer's network of empanelled hospitals as far as possible to lower out-of-pocket expenditure. 

  • Carefully check medical bills for accuracy before submission for reimbursements to avoid later disputes. 

  • File claims with all documents within the stipulated time for faster processing and claim settlement.

  • Periodically review claim statements and follow up for delays in settlement through grievance redressal mechanisms.

  • Evaluate existing health plans yearly, enhance coverage if necessary, and port if moving jobs.  

  • Don't let the policy lapse - renew before the due date or with a grace period to enjoy continuity benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions about Health Insurance Card.


Q1. How does cashless hospitalization work with my health insurance card?

Show your card at a network hospital, and they'll bill the insurer directly, so you don't pay upfront.

Q2. Can I find my insurer's contact info on my health insurance card?

Yes, the card has the insurer's toll-free number for easy access during emergencies or for claims.

Q3. How does the health insurance card help in emergencies?

It quickly provides your policy details, speeding up the claim process or access to services.

Q4. Why carry my health insurance card to the hospital?

It verifies your identity and coverage for cashless treatment.

Q5. What does the validity date on my health insurance card mean?

It shows when your coverage ends, so you know when to renew.

Q6. Does the health insurance card confirm claim eligibility?

Yes, hospitals use it to verify your policy and treatment eligibility.

Q7. What are co-pays and deductibles?

Co-pays are fixed amounts you pay per service; deductibles are what you pay before insurance covers the rest.

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