No matter how long your health insurance coverage extends, there is bound to be a fixed waiting period.
This is applicable at the start of the policy tenure. The standard waiting period in health insurance is anywhere between 30-60 days but nowadays you can even buy a plan with no waiting period, albeit at a higher price.
What is a waiting period in health insurance?
The waiting period in health insurance refers to the period of time you must wait before you can file a claim. It also refers to the amount of time you must wait from the start of your health insurance coverage to use its benefits.
The waiting period is when you are unable to collect any or all health insurance advantages from your insurance provider, i.e., you must wait a certain amount of time before filing a claim. The length of the waiting time and its terms and conditions differ from one company to the next. You will not receive any reimbursement or coverage from the health insurance policy during the waiting time unless it is for an accident.
Types of Waiting Period in Health Insurance
Initial Waiting Period
An initial waiting period also referred to as a cooling period in health insurance, represents the time you must wait from the issue date to begin actively using and profiting from the health insurance policy. All health insurance policies feature a waiting period of 1 month as a norm in the industry.
Pre-Existing Diseases Waiting Period (PED)
Typically, while purchasing health insurance, you would be questioned about any pre-existing conditions and required to undergo a series of medical tests that may reveal the same.
Diabetes, thyroid illness, hypertension, and other pre-existing conditions are examples of pre-existing disorders. As a result, when you have a pre-existing condition, you must wait the specified waiting period before claiming for any hospitalization or treatment linked to the condition.
Pre-existing disease waiting periods range from one to four years, based on the health insurer and the kind of health insurance policy plan you choose.
Waiting Period for Particular Diseases
The title may be self-explanatory, i.e., waiting periods for certain diseases suggest that you must wait the specified amount of time before claiming for treatment and hospitalization for a set of specific disorders. On average, it takes two to four years to get something done.
Maternity Benefit & Newborn Baby Cover Waiting Period
For those expecting a family soon, there seems to be an opportunity to incorporate a Maternity Benefit and Newborn Baby add-on in most health insurance policies for people and families. Aside from only planning for the baby, this is also essential to plan financially for the costs during and after labor. Many health insurance policies have a waiting period that runs from one to four years.
Waiting Period for Bariatric Surgery
Today, several health insurance policies support bariatric surgery. This procedure involves surgery on the stomach and intestines to assist someone who is suffering from severe obesity.
Accidental Hospitalization Waiting Period
Accidents can result in the most unanticipated injuries and medical issues. As a result of accidents, none of the health insurers accounts for any waiting period for unintentional hospitalization.
Complimentary Yearly Health Checkup Waiting Period
You might well have observed that certain health insurance policies provide yearly health checkups as part of the package.
Waiting Period for Coronavirus Insurance
With the number of cases continuing to rise in India, most individuals are now purchasing health insurance policies online to ensure they are covered if the disease strikes them or their families.
Why Does a Health Policy Have a Waiting Period?
Insurance firms created the notion of a Waiting Period to prevent policyholders from abusing their health insurance policies by manipulating claims for certain ailments. It aids in the control of policyholders’ unethical behavior.
Is It Possible to Reduce or Remove the Waiting Period?
Several insurance firms provide health insurance plans that permit covered people to shorten the waiting period. However, the insured must pay an additional premium to receive this benefit.
In most health insurance plans offered by employers to their employees, there is no waiting time. Even if it does exist, the waiting period is usually shorter than that of a standard individual health insurance coverage. However, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) permits employees who are covered by group health insurance policies to switch their coverage to an individual policy when they leave their workplace.
Individuals will be given the policy without a waiting period in this situation, as they have already waited for coverage through their employer’s group health insurance plan.
The waiting period in health insurance is sometimes referred to as the cooling period, which is when the insured must wait to get specific coverage advantages below a specific policy. Several things determine the length of the waiting period. The kind of health insurance policy (family floater health insurance policy, individual health insurance policy, or group health insurance policy), the policy buyer’s medical history, and their age are just a few of them.
To make an educated decision, study the policy materials thoroughly and choose a health insurance coverage with a short waiting time. Nevertheless, while purchasing health insurance online, the waiting period should not be the only issue to consider. Other points to be considered are premium, kind of health insurance policy, members to be covered, etc.
It’s also a good idea to get a health insurance policy as soon as possible. This is because your health is at its best when you are young. This means you can finish the waiting time without having to file a claim. As a result, in later years of life, you would be allowed to file a claim even for conditions with a waiting period, as this is when you may need those benefits. As a result, when you have not already done so, it is suggested that you get health insurance coverage now to be eligible for those advantages.