Looking at the current health scenario it has become a necessity to get a health insurance plan. With a pandemic situation, lifestyle changes a lot has changed lately. Fact is even without a coronavirus pandemic, even the healthiest individual can fall sick without any sign of warning. In such conditions to avoid any kind of financial strain and stress, purchase health insurance that will provide coverage from all out-of-the-pocket expenses.

Since a long time, health insurance has provided financial aid to a lot of families and saving them from falling in debt. Know about the best health insurance plans and the features that can help you to tackle the expenses of medical treatment and other medical-related things.

What are health insurance plans?

Health insurance plans provide financial assistance to the policyholder for their medical expenses which may include hospitalization, ambulance fee, surgeries and treatments. In other words, it is an agreement between the insurer and the insured where the former agrees to guarantee compensation for medical cost in case the insured faces a medical emergency.

Most of the health insurance

The need for health insurance plans

If you are thinking, “I am young and fit. I don’t need health insurance”; it might not work. Thanks to the ever-increasing pollution and stressful lifestyle which brings us to the scenario that age has no longer any relevance to good health.

The good news is overall there has been a rise in the awareness level among the public. The question is how much coverage do you need for yourself or your family? For most of India, a policy of Rs 5 lakhs can be quite sufficient while for people who live in the metro the medical treatment expenses may subsequently arise.

A private hospitalization expense in a metro city for 2 to 3 days can scale up to Rs 60,000 to 70,000 while critical illness may cost more. Health insurance plans offer critical illness policies that cover the expenses but certain policies provide coverage against only specific ailments; therefore, make sure you go through the policy and understand if it suits your requirement or not.

Medical treatments and the rising cost of it

DISEASE

TREATMENT METHODS

TREATMENT COST

Cancer

Head and neck cancer surgery

Rs 2 lakhs

Heart Disease

By Pass

Rs 1.9 to 6 lakhs

Cancer

IMRT (Cancer stage 2)

Rs 2.2 to 3.8 lakhs

Organ Transplant

Liver Transplant

Rs 25.4 to 35 lakhs

Heart Disease

Angioplasty

Rs1.9 to 4.1 lakhs

Organ Transplant

Lung Transplant

Rs13.9 to 15.8 lakhs

Cancer

Chemotherapy

Rs1.9 lakhs

Organ Transplant

Kidney Transplant

Rs3.1 to 13.9 lakhs

Heart Disease

Heart Transplant

Rs14.6 to 25.4 lakhs

Cancer

Average cost of cancer treatment

Rs10 lakhs

Heart Disease

Valve replacement

Rs4.9 to 5.2 lakhs

Apart from all such treatment cost, some of the other medical expenses include-food poisoning(1-2days) Rs40,000 to 60,000, Pneumonia (6 to 7 days) Rs80,000 to 1.5 lakhs, Fractured bones due to any kind of mishap Rs 4 to 5 lakhs, Dengue Rs 50,000 to 1.5 lakhs.

List of Top Health Insurance Plans in India

A common misunderstanding that people most of the time come up with is that hospitalization is mandatory to make any claim through insurance. Many policymakers offer coverage for dental care, dialysis, eye surgery, etc. There are various kinds of health insurance plans and some of them are listed below-

  • Family plans - It is a single coverage model where all family members can be included and a fixed amount is assured by the insurance company.
    • Personal accident insurance
    • In case of any kind of accident, this particular health insurance plan provides coverage for medical expenses.
  • Maternity plans - This plan provides both pre and post-pregnancy medical care coverage, along with delivery expenditure. Some insurance plans also cover the medical cost related to new-born for the initial days along with ambulance cost
  • Senior citizen plans - For people who are above the age of 60 years, senior citizen plan is for them. This plan includes most of the medical cost coverage that’s needed for a senior citizen.
  • Individual plans - Individual plans are one of the most basic plans provided by a health insurance company that covers hospitalization expenses of a policyholder
  • Unit-linked health insurance plans - A health insurance plan that helps to build savings for certain things which the policy doesn’t cover is known as unit-linked health insurance plan. Such plans help a policyholder to accumulate corpus.
  • Critical illness insurance plans - Critical illness such as heart attacks, cancer, kidney ailments is covered under this plan. Other insurance such as cancer insurance plan is also included in this plan category.

What are the benefits of health insurance plans?

A few years ago, maximum health insurance providers didn’t include coverage for pre and post pregnancy cost but the health insurance scenario is changing drastically. Currently, many policies provide both pre and post-pregnancy cost coverage (waiting period included). Know about several other benefits of health insurance such as-

  • Cashless facility - The Cashless facility can be of great help. This kind of benefit enables you to avail a hassle-free cashless treatment at any network hospital of your insurance plan.
  • Room rent coverage - Room rent coverage is entirely dependent on the premium paid by the policyholder. The price of the premium may vary from one policy to another.
  • No-claim bonuses - If an insured person has not made any claims against any medical treatment or other medical expenses, he/she earns a no-claim bonus for a particular year.
  • Medical check-ups - Coverage for periodic health check-ups is provided by the health insurance company. Some policies also provide free medical check-ups based on previous no-claim bonuses.
  • Tax benefits - Avail tax benefits from health insurance plan up to Rs 25,000 (under Section 80D of the Income-tax Act) and the maximum deduction limit is Rs 50,000 for senior citizens as set by the policymakers.
    • Coverage for pre and post hospitalization cost
    • Most insurance policy companies nowadays provide coverage for both pre and post hospitalization cost up to specific limit or duration
    • Transport and ambulance coverage
    • Health insurance providers cover ambulance cost and other transportation expenses.

What to look for in a health insurance plan?

Many a time you might get second thoughts or doubts before purchasing an insurance plan. Is this plan suitable enough to benefit and fulfil your needs? To get answers to all such questions and much more try to think based on these things

  • Carries high ratings from industrial experts. If you want to dig deep (which is a good practice) you can look for customer reviews.
  • Go through the health plan terms and condition, understand if they offer wellness programs
  • Check whether the plan has any co-payments or sub-limits so that you receive complete coverage
  • Delivers to you instant settlement and quick claim authorization.

List of Top Health Insurance Companies in India are-

  • Star Family Health Insurance Plan - All daycare procedures, air ambulance (specified limit), domiciliary hospitalisation expenses (home treatment) and pre/post-hospitalization expenses for up to 60 to 90 days respectively. These are some of the coverage provided by the Star Family Health Insurance Plan. This plan can be regarded as a super saver that offers to cover the entire family at a nominal premium.
  • Apollo Munich Optima Restore Plan - Any person whose age ranges between 65 days to 91 days can be covered under this plan. Apollo Munich Optima Restore Plan is one of the most popular health insurance plans that provide some of the incredible benefits and the sum assured ranges between Rs 3 to 50 lakhs. Get lifetime renewability, cover for daycare procedures, in-patient hospital coverage, road ambulance cover and 100% increase in the sum assured for 2 claim-free years from Apollo Munich Optima Restore Plan
  • Max Bupa Health Companion Individual Plan - If you want a high coverage with minimum premium than Max Bupa Health Companion Individual plan is the ideal health insurance for you. This plan also offers a 12.5% discount on premium in the second year. Get coverage for in-patient hospitalization treatment, 30 to 60 days of pre/post-hospitalization cost, lifetime renewability option and 15 days free look period.
  • HDFC Ergo Health Suraksha Plan - One of the unique things about HDFC Ergo Health Suraksha Plan is that there is no maximum age limit and the plan offers several variants like-silver, gold, and platinum which comes with different features, benefits, and assured sum under them. Did you know? HDFC Ergo Health Suraksha Plan covers organ donor expenses, day-care procedures, and coverage for in-patient hospitalisation cost without any restriction on room rent and disease coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

The things that one needs to look upon while purchasing a policy are claim process, pay-out mechanism, adequate cover, waiting-period and pre/post-hospitalization benefit.

The documents which are required to buy a health insurance plan include-age proof, identity proof, address proof, medical check-up reports(optional) and passport size photo.

Yes you can do so without waiting to get one through your employer. Online mode is the best way to purchase health insurance. When you buy insurance online you can understand the various policies, sitting at the comforts of your home, rather than moving around with agents (extra expense)

Depending on the medical history and age of the applicant many insurance policies might not issue the policy without asking for am medical test. In case, you are above the minimum age(varies from policy to policy) then the medical test will be required.

The sooner the better. As in the later stage of your life, you may get deprived of immediate coverage (waiting period) and the premium cost might rise as well.