We all need some kind of medical attention at some point in our life. Serious illness can knock on the door anytime. Whether it is a rich person or poor, young or old if one is diagnosed with an illness which requires hospitalization or surgery the hospital bills easily reach 5-6 digit numbers. For an average middle class person it would mean a serious financial strain on the savings accumulated over a period of time.
In fact the medical costs have grown exponentially in the recent past. A heart surgery can cost you around Rs 3 Lakhs. Cancer treatment expenses can go beyond Rs 10 lakhs. It is a daunting task to arrange for such a big amount at the eleventh hour when someone’s life is at risk. At this point one would want to concentrate on getting the correct treatment done than bother about gathering resources to pay for the hospital bills.
It is the best health insurance plan that comes as your savior during these times. The process is simple. You choose a plan that suits your individual needs and agree to pay a premium each month. In return, the insurance company covers the cost of medical, surgical and hospitalization expenses of the insured person. The premium depends on several factors including the sum assured value, age, health condition and medical history of the person being insured. In general a higher sum assured value leads to a higher premium.
There are two ways in which the claims can be settled.
First is the cashless facility. Under this the policy holder can get the treatment done from hospitals which come under the policy network without paying anything to them. The insurer makes the payment directly to the care provider. However expenses that are beyond the limit or that are not covered under the policy have to be settled by the policy holder directly at the hospital.
Second is the reimbursement option where the insured avails for the treatment and settles the bills of the hospital and then submits them to the insurer for reimbursement.
There are certain things that you should look for when you select a plan for yourself. A good plan is the one that covers a large number of critical illnesses. The company should have a big hospital network so that you have easy access to the treatment. The policy should not permit an increase in premium if the health condition changes during the policy term. The policy should be for a long term so that your old age is covered.
There are different types of insurance policies
1. Individual Mediclaim policy- This policy covers the medial expenses for up to the sum assured value. If you take an individual cover of Rs 2 lakhs for 3 of your family members separately then in case of hospitalization all members are covered for a sum of Rs 2 lakhs.
2.Family floater policy- Rather than taking a separate insurance policy for each member a single family health insurance floater policy covers all the members and the sum assured value floats among the family members. So if you take a 6 lakh policy covering 3 family members then the claim can be made for any of the family member’s medical expenses for upto 6 lakh. The cover goes down by that much amount during that particular year. The premium of such a policy is usually less than if you take a separate individual policy for each member. Moreover members get covered for a bigger amount as probability of everyone needing the claim in a particular year is less.
3. Unit linked health plan- These plans combine health insurance with investments. You are promised a certain amount at the end of the policy term. The rate of return depends on the market performance.
Lifestyle changes have made all of us vulnerable to a lot of diseases. Things like heart problems, cancer and diabetes have become so common. Taking a health insurance plan serves as a protection in times when such illnesses strike us. Then we can focus on treating the illness without worrying about the costs involved.
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