Health insurance is a safety net that protects against financial losses caused by medical emergencies. In the current times, when medical inflation has made hospitalization a very expensive affair, a proper health insurance cover has assumed greater importance.
Even though people purchase health insurance plans, there are numerous mistakes in buying health insurance that many people often commit. Such mistakes prevent the insured person from getting the full benefits of health insurance. As a result, the premium paid each year for the policy becomes a bad investment.
It is imperative to select the right insurance plan. The needs may differ from one person to another, but there are some basic mistakes in buying health insurance that should be avoided to get the best policy. Some of them have been discussed here.
Mistakes in Buying Health Insurance
Not Making Comparisons
People often purchase health insurance policies in a hurry on the recommendation of friends or agents. Refraining from conducting thorough research about the various kinds of health insurance plans by different insurers and comparing them is one of the major mistakes in buying health insurance.
View the coverage benefits given your current medical requirements and the kind of medical expenditure expected in the future. Look for coverage benefits of multiple health insurance plans and their respective premium amounts. You also need to consider the size of your family and the number of dependents such as children, spouse, or aged parents. The premium amount should also be within your budget and must be worth the coverage benefits you seek.
It is very easy to view the various health insurance plans on the internet and make a complete comparison in the current digital era.
Opting for Insufficient Coverage
Selecting a plan providing insufficient coverage to save money is one of the common mistakes in buying health insurance. While the premium amount is an important consideration, it is not the only one. A health insurance plan with insufficient coverage may save some money on premiums. Still, in the event of hospitalization, it is likely to fall short of your medical expenses, thereby forcing you to spend your resources.
The coverage should be enough to meet your medical requirements in the present and future. Your health condition and that of your family members in case of a family policy must be considered.
Buying a Standard Policy
Opting for basic coverage provided by a standard health insurance policy is a mistake. A standard health insurance policy does not provide a plethora of coverage benefits that are provided by a comprehensive health insurance policy. Many people purchase a health insurance policy to avail of tax benefits only. As a result, in the event of hospitalization, you can require any benefit not provided by your policy.
Instead of a standard policy, purchase a comprehensive health insurance policy. A number of benefits such as pre and post-hospitalization expenses, ambulance charges, critical illness cover, domiciliary hospitalization, annual health check-ups, and more are provided by such a policy.
Concealing Medical History or Lifestyle
Concealing medical history or lifestyle from the health insurance provider also comes among the common mistakes in buying health insurance. People often conceal their medical histories due to existing diseases that increase the premium amounts or even lead to rejections. Lifestyle habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol are also concealed often by people.
The insurer is well within its rights to reject a claim for medical treatment of a condition concealed by the insured when purchasing the policy. Similarly, any lifestyle disease arising out of a habit not disclosed to the insurer will not be covered.
Thus, it is better to truthfully disclose your complete medical history and answer lifestyle-related questions.
Not Looking at Add-Ons
Add-ons are extra benefits that can be added to a health insurance policy on paying an extra premium amount. Ignoring the add-ons due to reluctance to pay more premium is also one of the main mistakes in buying health insurance.
Add-ons such as maternity cover, personal accident cover, critical illness, and more useful. Opting for any add-on as per your requirements is recommended.
Not Checking the Exclusions
Exclusions are certain treatments and conditions not covered by a health insurance policy. Not going through the exclusions is one of the major mistakes in buying health insurance. This is because people often make claims which are excluded by their policies, resulting in claim rejection.
Exclusions vary from insurer to insurer. It is necessary to have complete knowledge of the exclusions of your policy.
Overlooking the Sub-Limits
Sub-limits are price cappings on certain coverage benefits such as daily room rent, post-hospitalization expenses, treatment of certain diseases, and more. The policy pays the claim amount till the limit specified by the sub-limit clause while the insured person pays the balance. People often overlook the sub-limits and are surprised at the time of raising a claim.
It is imperative to go through the sub-limits in your policy. Opting for a health insurance policy with higher sub-limits or no sub-limits is recommended.
Not Checking Co-Payments
Ignoring the co-payment clause is one of the common mistakes in buying health insurance. Co-payment means the insured must pay a certain percentage of the claim amount while the insurer pays the balance amount. Co-payment reduces the premium amount, but such a policy does not cover the entire claim amount.
You should look at the co-payment percentage specified in the clause. In addition, it is necessary to check whether the co-payment is mandatory or voluntary. Consider your medical and financial state to decide whether to opt for voluntary co-payment or not. Whether you want a policy with mandatory co-payment or not, a decision is to be made.
Not Reading the Policy Document
People tend to skip reading the fine print of the health insurance policy document. Consequently, they are ignorant about the terms and conditions, inclusions, exclusions, network hospitals, and other features of their policies. It often causes problems at the time of raising claims. Thus, not reading the policy document is also one of the major mistakes in buying health insurance.
Read the policy document thoroughly to get complete knowledge about it before deciding to purchase it or not.
Waiting until You Get Older
Postponing health insurance coverage until an advanced age creates many problems such as higher premiums, longer waiting periods, and more.
Purchasing a health insurance policy at a young age has many benefits such as lower premiums, tiding over the waiting period while you are healthy, and cumulative bonuses accumulated over no-claim years.
There is an abundance of choices of health insurance plans. Avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes in buying health insurance helps get the best health insurance cover as per your requirements.