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Should you compare health insurance before buying it? Definitely! While doing so, you need to keep a few points in mind. For instance, compare the entire package and not just one component of the policy. Ideally, compare plans based on premium, coverage, services, inclusions and exclusions, and claim settlement. Seems like a lot to comprehend? Here, we will guide you on how to go about comparing medical insurance plans in India.
You should compare health insurance plans online because it saves time, money, and effort. Here’s why comparing health insurance/mediclaim plans online is the way to go.
You don’t have to pay money to know the health insurance premium for a particular policy. Free quotes are available on the insurer’s website (for example, on www.acko.com or the ACKO app). All you have to do is share basic information (for example, your age, gender, location) and select the preferred health insurance plan to know an approximate quote.
Nowadays, you can check out the features and quotes of a health insurance policy via your mobile, laptop, or other similar smart devices. You don’t have to visit an agent’s office to buy or select a health plan. Just browse online, select a preferred plan, and buy as per your convenience — even on a Sunday!
As the necessary information is available online, you can go through different policies’ inclusions and exclusions, compare, and find the best match. A similar comparison can be made for the premium charged, services offered and the claim settlement process.
Here’s what you stand to gain by spending some time researching online and comparing health plans before buying them.
You know your health risks better than anyone. Therefore, you are in the right position to understand your health insurance needs. This way, you buy what you want rather than being sold what the agent wants to sell.
Value for money is not about buying the least expensive health insurance plan. It is about finding the right balance between your requirements and the policy’s offerings. Comparing plans helps you achieve this balance in terms of finding out a policy that not only meets your health insurance requirements but is also budget friendly.
Comparing health insurance policies online involves browsing through different plans, going through the conditions such as room rent, waiting period, claims process, etc. This way, you know for sure that the final decision you make is based on concrete analysis keeping your requirements in mind.
There are two ways to compare health insurance policy plans. You can either opt for the tedious, offline process of visiting the insurers offices/meeting agents for comparing policies or follow the modern, online process. If you are wondering how to compare health insurance policies with minimal effort, then the best comparison mode is online. Steps to compare health plans online
Step 1: Visit the health insurer’s website. For example, www.acko.com.
Step 2: Click on ‘Buy Insurance’ or another equivalent button to begin the process.
Step 3: Share basic details about the person/people you want to insure.
Step 4: Select the sum insured
Step 5: Include additional covers (add-ons) if required.
Step 6: Note down the health insurance quote charged for the insurance coverage and services. Also, note the online reviews and the claim process.
Step 7: Follow this process across potential insurers.
Step 8: In the end, you will have consolidated data to make an informed decision.
When comparing health insurance providers, it's essential to consider several factors to ensure you choose the best policy for your needs. Here are some steps to follow.
Determine your requirements: Before comparing insurance providers, evaluate your health requirements, including the coverage needed for pre-existing conditions, room rent limits, deductibles, and copays.
Look for insurers: Find reputable insurers in India that provide health insurance policies. You can research online, ask friends and family, or seek advice from a licensed insurance agent.
Compare policies: Once you have identified several insurers, compare their health insurance policies. Review the benefits, policy limits, premiums, exclusions, and waiting periods.
Check the network hospitals: Verify that the insurance provider has a network of hospitals near your location. Check the list of network hospitals on their website to ensure that the hospitals you prefer are included.
Read reviews: Look for reviews from current and past policyholders to get an idea of their experiences with the insurer. You can read online reviews or ask people who have used the same insurance policy.
Check claim settlement record: Check the claim settlement record of the insurer. It will give you an idea of their reputation and promptness in settling claims.
Compare premiums: Compare the premiums of the policies from different insurance providers. Be sure to compare similar policies to get a fair comparison.
Choose the best policy: After evaluating all the factors, choose the policy that meets your requirements, offers comprehensive coverage, and fits your budget.
The following factors play a key role in determining the overall value of a health insurance plan. Make sure to keep an eye on these factors while comparing different health insurance policies in India.
This is the maximum amount that the insurer will cover you for. Health insurance premium and the sum insured (SI) are directly related. Thus, a policy with a low premium might offer lower SI. Make sure you have adequate SI to ensure substantial financial assistance in the time of need.
Coverage goes beyond the sum insured. Its scope is much wider. It pertains to the inclusions and exclusions of the policy. Check if the policy offers pre- and post-hospitalisation coverage, COVID-19 coverage, day-care treatment, etc. as well.
Pick an insurer that has a long list of network hospitals, including prominent medical facilities. These are hospitals with whom the insurer has a tie-up to facilitate cashless claims (direct claim settlement between the insurer and the hospital for the amount covered). Do a quick check to ensure top hospitals in your vicinity are a part of the insurer’s network.
Insurance policies don’t cover you against all illnesses from day one. In some cases, you need to wait a particular period (days/months/years) to be eligible to raise a claim against an illness. This period is known as the waiting period. Usually, this period is applicable for diseases that you are already diagnosed with before buying health insurance (pre-existing diseases). Check the waiting period of the policy to avoid claim rejection.
The policy might have sub-limits on certain coverages. Simply put, if a policy has a 50% sub-limit on Ayurvedic procedures, then irrespective of your claim amount being under the sum insured limit, the settlement amount will be for 50% of the cost of the ayurvedic procedure. For example, if the procedure with a 50% sub-limit costs Rs. 1,00,000, the claim will be settled for Rs. 50,000. Look out for policies with no/manageable sub-limits.
If a policy has a co-pay clause, it means that you have to contribute towards claim settlement. For example, if the claim settlement amount is Rs. 5,00,000 and the co-pay clause is for 20%, then you need to pay Rs. 1,00,000 (20% of 5,00,000). Note that the example does not consider deductibles and other charges for simplification of the concept. A co-pay clause reduces the policy premium as the burden of claim settlement is shared between you and the insurer.
This is a critical point of comparison that has an effect on the premium charged, coverage offered, and the claim settlement amount. The room rent limit is a cap on the amount spent on the hospital room. This limit can either be mentioned as an amount (for example, Rs. 10,000 per day) or as a percentage of the sum insured (for example, 1% of Rs. 10,00,000). Note that the proportionate deduction clause is applicable in the case of room rent.
Sometimes, insurers might package add-ons as a part of the Comprehensive Health Insurance Policy. This can increase the premium. On the other hand, keeping the Comprehensive Plan to a bare minimum will reduce the premium comparatively. Also, all insurers might not offer all add-ons. Some might even have different names for add-ons that serve the same purpose.
Considering health insurance needs to be renewed periodically, it would save you time, money (lower premium) and effort if you buy a policy that covers you for more than a year. Check if insurers offer long-term coverage or provide lifetime renewability options for the policy chosen by you.
Choosing an insurer with a digital setup is the need of the hour. Digital insurers make life easy for policyholders while buying, renewing, and claiming health insurance. Insurance-related processes are streamlined thanks to a responsive website and most likely a handy mobile application.
Here’s a list of queries related to health insurance and health insurance comparison in India.
It is difficult to determine the best health insurance policy in India as there are different types of policies that cater to different requirements. You should analyse their health risks and seek a plan that covers these risks. Such a plan would be the best for that individual. For instance, there are individual plans and policies for senior citizens as well. You can compare different plans also. For example, you can compare family health insurance plans as well as individual plans.
Nowadays, insurers (For example, ACKO) have their own mobile app. You can visit these apps to calculate the premium charged for your desired policy and then compare the end results.
Yes, it is possible to save money by comparing health insurance plans online as you can get the desired coverage at the economical rate. Besides saving on the premium, buying a plan after comparing several options results in value for money in the long run.
Yes, you can avail of the applicable tax benefits as per The Income Tax Act if you pay the health insurance premium for your parents. Note that these tax benefits are subject to changes. Usually, the tax brackets change on an annual basis. Therefore, it is crucial to note the tax benefits applicable for the year to get the right picture.
No, all health insurance providers in India might not offer all types of health insurance plans. For example, you can check out the list of available health plans by visiting www.acko.com.
In most cases, the health insurance calculator is available for use free of cost. Therefore, you don’t have to pay a fee in such a scenario.
Disclaimer: *Except for exclusions like maternity benefits, undisclosed diseases, etc. Please check policy wordings for more details.