You don’t shop for groceries quite like you used to, do you? Not so long ago, weekly grocery shopping meant lugging heavy plastic bags through the market. It also meant haggling with the vendors. But things are so much more hassle-free today. Simply head online and add the grocery items to your virtual cart. Soon after, your doorbell will ring. It’s the delivery boy bringing the groceries to your doorstep.
As with grocery shopping, how we shop for health insurance has changed too. There’s no insurance agent to consider. And you don’t need to do the rounds of different insurers. Visiting some insurance aggregator websites could help as well. These give you an idea about the health insurance plans available currently. You could compare different products based on premium, coverage, add-on riders, and more.
The easiest way to buy health insurance
First, start by assessing your health insurance needs. Consider any pre-existing conditions that you have or any medical risks that run in the family. If you want to insure your family, assess each person’s healthcare needs as well. Once that is done, log on to the internet and browse the websites of different insurance companies.
Go through the different online health insurance plans that are on offer. Compare these based on different parameters. Look at the waiting periods for pre-existing conditions. The shorter these are, the better it is. Also, check up on the room rent caps and sub-limits. A low cap on room rent could hurt you later if you need to be placed in the intensive care unit (ICU), for example. An ICU stay can be a strain on your pocket if you don’t have sufficient insurance coverage. Health insurance plans also come with certain exclusions. For example, some plans do not offer maternity benefits.
Once you have carried out detailed comparisons, prepare a shortlist. Select the plans that meet your needs in the best way.
How to get a quick health insurance quote online
Once you have your shortlist ready, it is time to compare the costs. A health insurance premium calculator could be helpful at this stage.
Most health insurers offer a health insurance premium calculator on their websites. These are quite easy to operate. You would need to enter your age and city of residence. If you need a family floater plan, you must enter the details of each member you wish to insure. Based on this and the sum insured you choose, the calculator will provide the premium amount. You could modify the sum insured to arrive at a premium amount that works for you.
Repeat this exercise to compare the different plans on offer. Finally, choose one that is affordable and that gives you enough risk coverage.
How to apply for health insurance
Have you selected a winner already? If you are ready to buy health insurance online, here’s what you need to do next:
- Step 1: Contact the insurer by phone or visit the nearest branch. You could also visit the insurer’s website and fill in your basic information. A company representative will contact you. They will recommend an insurance plan that is suitable for your needs.
- Step 2: Make sure to read all the terms and conditions. Ask all the right questions at this stage: Are there any exclusions that might hurt you later? What are the waiting periods like? Does the plan have a good network of hospitals? What are the benefits of the policy? Would you need an add-on rider, and how would that affect your overall cost?
- Step 3: Select the amount of coverage you need. Then add in the number of insured members.
- Step 4: Click through to the application form. Make sure to fill in all your details honestly and accurately. An error or a misrepresentation at this stage could lead to claim rejection later on.
- Step 5: Pay the premium online. With this step, you finalise your purchase of the policy.
The advantages of buying health insurance online
- You get all the information at a click. You can choose from among a wide range of policies from different insurers. All the features and specifications are available online. That makes it easier for you to compare different policies.
- Choosing a health plan is a transparent process. You are no longer limited to the options that the insurance agent or insurer’s representative offers you. They may have their own biases and reasons for suggesting one policy over another. Shopping online allows you to choose what is best for you.
- Online health insurance is usually cheaper. That is because there is no agent’s commission to pay. Besides, you could look out for discounted offers online. When you shop offline, you are limited by what the insurance salesperson offers.
- The process is quick. You can do all your insurance shopping from the comfort of your home. There is no need to make repeated trips to the insurer’s office.
The easiest way to buy health insurance today is by going online. It beats the old approach of approaching one insurer at a time. You are no longer dependent on an agent either. And best of all, you can go from uninsured to well-insured in just a few clicks.