Friday, August 9, 2013

Should Cashless Facility Be the Only Criteria for Buying Health Insurance?

Health Insurance/Medical Insurance is one of the most important products in the non-life insurance sector. A health insurance policy covers the risk of incurring medical expenses by an individual. It covers and individual and his family against any financial constraints arising from medical emergency. In case of unforeseen expenditures in the form of sudden hospitalization, illness or accident, medical insurance takes care of the hospitalization expenses, medicines, doctor's fees, nursing charges, oxygen, blood and almost all other costs involved during hospitalization. A hospitalization would mean that the person has to be admitted in the hospital for at least 24 hours. In addition to this health insurance also covers day-care procedures like X-ray, Chemotherapy and other tests, which do not require being admitted in a hospital.

Medical Insurance needs to be purchased only after analyzing the requirements of the individual and/or the family. There are many factors that need to be considered before purchasing a health insurance policy. Details like complete policy benefits, the network of hospitals covered by the insurance company, availability of cashless benefit, provision of accidental cover, critical illness cover, etc. need to be reviewed by the buyer. He/she should discuss the same with family and then chose the right health insurance policy.

Pre-existing diseases - Certain things like pre-existing diseases and maternity coverage are only covered after a certain waiting period of 3 to 4 years and hence should be carefully considered. If a person switches on to some other company then the accumulated benefits cannot be transferred. Therefore staying continuously insured with the same insurance company becomes important as far as medical insurance is concerned so that these benefits can also be availed.

Claim process - Most importantly, the claim payment history and procedure of the insurance company needs to be easy and efficient. No one would prefer to follow up with the insurance company to process claim in tough times of illness / injury or even during recovery phase.

Thus all such factors are important while purchasing medical insurance as it comes handy when your loved ones are at the hospital and you do not wish to fret about the expenses at that time. Rather you would spend your time taking care of yourself and family. Though, cashless facility is an important factor to be considered while purchasing a health insurance policy, it is definitely not the ONLY criterion that needs to be considered.

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