Given the disastrous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people have started to understand the importance of having a good health insurance plan. With virus or no virus, the rising cost of healthcare services, access to quality medical facilities and hospitalisation costs can be financially challenging.

Health emergencies come without prior notice and can be quite financially testing. At times, these might even put people in debt, and affect their future earning ability. Many of us mistake Health Insurance in India as a Tax-Saving Tool. The primary purpose of health insurance is to financially safeguard you against unforeseen medical emergencies. Apart from saving taxes, a health Insurance Policy is what will be your Saviour in case of a Medical Crisis.

There are some basic points that one needs to consider while selecting a health insurance policy or a health insurance provider.

Type of Health Insurance

There are various types of health plans available in the market -Individual Health Plans, Family Floater, Critical Illness, Senior Citizen Plans etc. However, the two broad categories of Health Plans include Individual and Family Floater Plans. Under an individual health insurance plan, only one person can be covered in each plan. On the other hand, in a family floater plan, entire family is covered under one insurance policy. This means, the sum insured, premium and benefits must be shared amongst all the members involved. Thus, one should keep in mind their needs and requirements and invest in a plan accordingly.

Selecting the Right Insurance Amount

Depending upon the age, personal level of savings and liquidity, the right amount of cover can be selected. The cover may also depend upon the individual health conditions, lifestyle, and the extent the person is ready to take risks related to health. Individual approach may be different in this case. Premium that depends upon the selected insurance amount also should be affordable.

Claim Process/ Claim Settlement Ratio

Nowadays lot of information is available in public domain. This information can be used to select the right insurance provider. High claim settlement ratio indicates the company’s reputation and ability to handle and settle the claims. This can at least increase the probability of the claim getting settled when one really need it. Transparency in claims process helps smooth settlement of claim and less hassles.

Co-payment/ Sub-Limit

Co-payment is the percentage of claim amount, which the policyholder will have to pay from his own pocket at the point of claim. Sub-limit will be the predefined maximum limit on the claim that the company will offer. Both these arrangements will reduce the premiums as it reduces the company’s liability. But from the buyer’s point of view the cover may be more important at the time of an emergency which is a true purpose of buying a health policy. These clauses should be properly understood before buying a policy.

Network hospitals

Network hospitals are the ones that provide the benefits of cashless transactions. This part needs to be studied properly to make a better-informed decision.

It is important that you do not just purchase a health insurance plan for the sake of it. Instead, buy the one that fits your major needs perfectly.