You would not buy a house on your friend’s word. Such an investment requires careful thought and extensive research. Similarly, health insurance is an investment for your health. It is your protection against inflation and high medical costs. Before you settle on the first plan that a family member or friend tells you about, conduct proper research. They may have your best interests at heart. But their knowledge may be incomplete. Find out how you can improve your knowledge about health insurance.
How does a health insurance company work?
Think about what happens when you buy a health insurance policy. You join a large group of people who have health coverage through that insurer. The health insurance company collects premiums from all its policyholders. It then uses the premiums to pay off the health insurance claims.
Health insurance offers coverage against expenditure caused by medical emergencies.
Improve your knowledge about health insurance by
General financial websites
Visit financial websites like BankBazaar, PolicyBazaar, and MyInsuranceClub for detailed information on insurance products. Use them to compare the features and costs of different health insurance plans.
Insurance companies’ websites
Browse the websites of different insurance companies. This will give you an idea about their plans, interest rates, and more. You can even read the reviews of existing customers.
There are many reputable financial newspapers in India. Go through at least two of these daily. Keep yourself updated on current events in the health insurance market.
Monthly financial magazines can give you extra financial insight. They often cover stories on companies, products, and so on.
- A CFP or an insurance advisor
You could approach a certified financial planner (CFP) or an insurance agent. Both can give you information on insurance policies. But, you might get more comprehensive advice from the CFP.
What affects your health insurance premium amount?
- Family medical history: A family history of cancer, heart disease and so on puts you at risk. This increases your premium as well.
- Injurious substances: Smoking, chewing tobacco or snuff would bump up your premium.
- Age: As you get older, you are more likely to develop health issues. Thus, the older you are, the more premium you will have to pay.
- Body mass index (BMI): A high BMI leads to diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. That is why a high BMI leads to a higher premium.
- Profession: Do you deal with hazardous substances in your line of work? Then your premium will be higher.
- Gender: There is a difference in the premiums charged to men and women.
Health insurance terms you should know:
- Pre-existing disease: This refers to your health condition before applying for insurance. It is any condition for which you have already received medical advice or treatment.
- Critical illness: A critical illness is a major illness such as cancer. These have high mortality rates and are expensive to treat.
- Waiting period: It is the specified period that must pass before you can make claims.
- No claims bonus: Say, you do not make a claim in one policy year. Insurance companies will give you a no claims bonus. This will be in the form of an increase in the sum assured or a premium discount.
The internet and print media have made financial knowledge accessible to all. Use them to gather the information you need. This will help you make the right choice when choosing a health insurance plan.