In a country like India with a low human life index, the significance of medical insurance plans cannot be debated. It is only a matter of time before a seemingly small medical issue takes shape of a financial burden by involving expenses for hospitalization, laboratory tests, medication and treatment, surgeries etc.
Given, that around 70% of Indian population still resides in rural areas where public healthcare facilities are not very effective, the need for comprehensive medical insurances comes out strong.
Ambulance fee – An add-on benefit to comprehensive medical insurance packages, companies provide the insured with a fee waiver for transportation.
Cashless medical insurance – This facility allows insured individuals to get hospitalized or receive medical treatment at one of the network hospitals of the medical insurance company, without having to pay the bills from their pockets. By removing the need for arranging documents and claim resolution, it makes the entire procedure very convenient for the insured.
Co-payment – This is a cost-sharing requirement under a medical insurance plan, wherein certain percentage of the total medical cost is borne by the insured, while the insurance company takes care of the rest of it. Even though it has no effect on the assured sum, it may allow the insured to reduce their premiums to some extent.
Group medical insurance – This is a standard medical insurance policy provided by companies to the employees when they are a part of the organization. Such policies are mostly individual health plans, and end the moment an employee leaves the organization.
Free look in period – Usually around 10-15 days, it is a benefit that lets the insured opt out of an insurance policy, given he/she are not satisfied by the terms, along with receiving a full premium refund.
Pre and Post hospitalization – It commonly refers to a coverage wherein the insurance providers bear medical expenses related to a particular sickness, before and after hospitalization, for a specified period of time.
Tax Benefits - Medical insurance policies, whether individual or family floater plans, provide tax benefits under Section 80(D) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The tax exemptions thus received with respect to the policy premium, are subject to age, and include a cap for maximum benefit.
Medical insurance portability – It is a benefit that allows policyholders to switch from one insurance provider to another without losing the advantage of waiting period from their current policy. While a few companies charge a certain fee during portability, free insurance portability is also available.
Sub-limit – It is a cap that a medical insurance provider puts on the medical insurance claim. Generally expressed as a fixed value for certain ailments and treatments, it can also be included as a percentage of the total sum insured.
Waiting period – It refers to the span of time, before a specified list of diseases begin getting covered under a medical insurance plan.
The insurance market today has various types of health insurance plans for individuals and families, increasing the competition amongst the insurance companies manifold. And in a world of strained finances but increased awareness, it is only with lucrative discounts that companies can capture the attention of their customers and get past other insurance providers.
Cumulative discounts on premiums – This sort of discount is generally offered by companies in cases where the customer is ready to pay premium for two years at one go. Where the customers get coverage straight for two years at discounted rates, the insurance providers benefit by receiving a lump sum premium amount at once.
No-claim bonus – This is a benefit that most insurance companies include in their clause. Also known as NCB, it allows the insurance holder to benefit from an increased Sum Assured for the consecutive year, given he has had a claim-free year prior to it.
Family discounts – To encourage more people to buy medical insurance, some companies allow discounts to policyholders on addition of a family member under the policy coverage. It must however be noted that the percentage of discount may not increase with an increase in the number of family members covered.
Rewards for wellness – Another practice to attract more customers that insurance providers take up, is providing a discount to people who maintain a healthy lifestyle. On providing medical reports for a said period, healthy people gain eligibility to a discount on their premiums.
Discounts for women/girl child – To spread awareness among women about medical insurances and to inspire them to opt for it, some medical insurance providers offer plans with discounted premiums to their female customers. A few others also provide discounts depending on the number of females covered under a family floater plan.
Value added services -
Value added services is not essentially a monetary discount, and refers to extra medical benefit provided to the insured by the insurance company. These benefits are commonly available as OPD packages or free health checkups, with a clause that the insured must continue the plan with the company for a specified period to avail these.
With several medical insurance companies in India going online, availing a medical insurance plan has become easier. At Insurance Inbox, you can not only gather information about specifications about the different medical insurances available online with us, but also compare them to buy the best medical insurance for yourself and your family.