From getting insufficient coverage to failing to disclose all relevant information; here are some common mistakes we all have to avoid while purchasing our health insurance policy
Health insurance has become an integral part of our family finances. Rising medical costs and increased instances of lifestyle diseases has made health insurance a much-needed investment for all families.
But not many of us give enough thought to the nitty-gritty. Health insurance shopping happens mostly online and it could become exhaustive to compare 100s of health insurance policies available online. This results in us getting an unsuitable policy for our requirements or failing to include all necessary features that would work best for us and our family.
Health insurance is not a matter of individual needs; most of us would be buying a family floater policy, for it is more economical, and so you need to take every family member’s needs into consideration. This helps us in getting the right sum insured and additional riders that could enhance the benefits of the policy. The current Corona pandemic has also given us the much-needed motivation to secure our family’s health.
There are so many things that one has to consider while buying a health insurance policy; honestly, the list is quite long. So, instead of listing out what to do, we thought of listing the most important ‘what not to do’s. This article aims at eliciting the top 5 mistakes you should avoid while buying a health insurance policy. So, let’s begin!
Additional Read: 15 Must-Know Features And Benefits Of Health Insurance Plans
5 Mistakes to Avoid while Buying a Health Insurance Policy
1. Insufficient coverage
This is one of the most common mistakes we all make. We do not think through and get a health policy with low sum insured. Healthcare costs are constantly rising and we should consider future costs for treatment for any ailments. If you are going for a family floater policy, then you need to consider the age group of all the family members and ensure that the sum insured can cover multiple treatments and hospital expenditures if the need arises.
You may have to pay higher premiums to get a higher sum assured, but that will prove to be beneficial when you need it. There are health insurance policies that automatically increase your sum insured for every claim-free year. Shop around for such policies so that you can get a higher sum assured for the same premium.
2. Ignoring waiting period and exclusions
The waiting period is an important feature of health insurance policies. Most policies have a waiting period of 2 years for pre-existing conditions. Check the list of illnesses that have this waiting period. It would also be wise to shop around for policies that have lenient waiting periods so that you can get timely treatment.
Another aspect is the exclusions. There is no point in getting health insurance if it excludes the most common ailments and treatments. Read the policy document carefully to understand what is included and what is excluded from your coverage. If you are aware of a pre-existing condition and it is excluded from the policy, it would be better to find a policy that covers it or at least part thereof.
Additional Read: 7 Tips To Help You Buy The Best Health Insurance Plan
3. Not paying attention to the co-pay clause or the deductibles
Every health insurance policy has a co-pay clause where you need to bear a certain percentage of the total cost. This percentage would vary from 10-50%. You need to check this percentage so that you don’t end up bearing a huge part of the cost.
There is also the deductibles clause where some items on your final bill will not be paid by the insurer. So it is good to check out what the deductibles would be. If you don’t check these two aspects, you may end up bearing a lot of the cost instead of the insurer paying for them.
4. Ignoring the fine print
While most people make sure they understand what is covered by their policy, many do not pay attention to the exclusions listed in a medical health insurance plan. Comprehending the policy's coverages is critical, but so is understanding the policy's exclusions.
There's a chance you didn't read the fine print on your health insurance policy when you bought it. Even in this scenario, you are entitled to a free look time. Almost every health insurance policy has a 15-day free look period. If you find any clause to be problematic during this time, you can cancel the plan and the company will refund your money according to its terms and conditions. Make use of this time to figure out what you've purchased.
5. Not disclosing your previous medical history in its entirety to the insurer
When purchasing a health plan, some of us may try to conceal present medical conditions or previous medical history, afraid that the proposal will be denied or that the premiums will be higher. This is a common blunder because if the insurer discovers during a claim that you purposely misrepresented your medical history when purchasing the plan and the claim is for an existing condition, the claim will be denied.
Insurance contracts are legally binding agreements that are based on the information you submit. As a result, always tell the truth when purchasing a health plan. Although a bad medical history may increase your premium, your claims will be honoured because the insurance company will be able to account for the increased risk when issuing the policy.
Insurance needs a lot of thinking and consideration before you get one. There are so many health insurance products out there that it is easy to get confused and go for the wrong one. Keep the above points in mind and make sure to check all the information before you purchase the policy.
- What factors decide the premium on my health insurance policy?
Health insurance policy premiums are determined based on the number of people being insured, their age, occupation, existing illnesses and other lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking.
- Should I get additional riders on my health insurance policy?
There are many riders available in the market today; accidental death benefit, disability benefit, critical illness rider and so on. Go through the riders and choose the ones you think will be really beneficial for you. They are not mandatory but can be really helpful at times.
- Do all health insurance policies have a co-pay clause?
Yes, all health insurance policies have a co-pay clause.
- What are the types of deductibles in health insurance?
The most common types of deductibles are voluntary deductibles and involuntary deductibles.
- What could happen if I missed disclosing any important information on my health insurance?
If the insurer discovers during a claim that you purposely misrepresented your medical history when purchasing the plan and the claim is for an existing condition, the claim will be denied.