Health insurance has received significant attention in recent times due to the pandemic. A good health insurance policy is on the priority list for many as in 2020, COVID-19 has drastically changed the perception people had of health insurance. Many people are now buying health insurance and some people are already covered under some form of health insurance or the other. Lifestyle changes and choices lead to multiple medical conditions requiring treatment. In such a case, having a comprehensive health insurance policy helps greatly in protecting your savings and managing medical inflation.
Importance of comprehensive health insurance
A basic or standard health insurance plan available in the market will usually cover expenses on treatments, but not necessarily other expenses like medical tests, home hospitalisation, etc.
Comprehensive health insurance plans ensure that health treatment is not compromised by covering not only hospitalization but other ancillary expenses too. Insurers now offer comprehensive individual and family floater plans with multiple add-ons and covers. For example, an average joint family in India includes elderly parents and school going kids. A nuclear family will mostly have one or two kids, which means that the need for different health insurance products will depend on the requirements. Comprehensive coverage becomes convenient in such situations, so that you are prepared for unexpected medical costs and medical inflation.
Advantages of a comprehensive health insurance
- Covers pandemics like COVID-19under the same health insurance policy: This is convenient as people do not have to take a separate insurance add-on for COVID-19. The good news is that even the regulator has made it mandatory to cover COVID hospitalization in a regular health insurance cover.
- Is customisable: The insurance can be customised based on the individual and family preferences depending on the need. Various factors like age, medical history, gender, etc. influence the insurance premium and sum insured.
- Has no room rent restriction: Different categories of rooms are charged different rents in the hospital. However, some insurers provide customers with the benefit of no room rent cap, as long as it is below the sum insured. Hence, people can choose any hospital room of their preference and convenience. Whenever there is a room rent restriction, there is a proportional deduction applicable on the expenses other than pharmacy. This creates a huge impact on the settlement amount. Hence, a no room rent capping policy is a great relief to insureds
- No age based co-payment clauses: A lot of plans have a co-payment clause where the insured has to bear a part of the claim during settlement. However, many insurers offering a comprehensive health insurance plan now offer a no co-payment clause or low co-payment options, so the insured doesn’t have t pay anything from their pocket.
- Covers road ambulance charges: Even though you are covered for hospitalisation, you might not be covered for the ambulance charges. With a comprehensive cover, you can also be covered for the ambulance charges.
- Has additional covers:
- Maternity benefit: A maternity benefit with a new-born baby cover will be the perfect add-on for a new couple or parents planning to have another child. It usually covers child-delivery, infertility expenses and coverage for the new-born baby.
- AYUSH treatment: It is suitable mostly for older people. This add-on will cover hospitalisation for an alternate treatment such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and/or homoeopathy.
- Zone upgrade:It is one of the most convenient covers available as people these days move due to jobs, studies and family reasons. With a zone upgrade cover, people can upgrade the policy if they wish to take medical treatment from a city that has higher medical expenses than the city in which they were settled during the time of taking insurance. It is also useful if people decide to go for advanced medical treatments from one city to another.
- OPD and Daily hospital cash: These covers help in catering to the petty expenses which cannot be covered under regular hospitalization cover and the miscellaneous expenses that the family has to bear.
Health insurance has become essential in today’s time due to factors like lifestyle diseases and rising medical inflation. This year has been an unprecedented year with COVID-19 and with no vaccine and hardly any treatment available yet, it has become even more difficult to bear the medical expenses due to the uncertainty involved. While the need for health insurance is important, it is advised to choose comprehensive health insurance for you and your family so that you are covered adequately and can be sure from any inhibitions of the expenses during in the case of a medical emergency.
Dr.Sudha Reddy – HEAD – Health and Travel – Digit Insurance