What kinds of Health Insurance plans are available?

May 02, 2018 | 7 months ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

What is a sure-fire way to ensure good health for you and your family? Check if you have enough health insurance coverage. But making your way through the health insurance marketplace can be confusing as there is a huge variety of health insurance plans on the market. Which one should you choose? Which one should you avoid? Before you ink a deal, it helps to know what you are getting into. Here’s a ready reckoner to help you out:

  • Hospitalisation policy: These are available as individual policies as well as family floater plans. The former provides a sum assured for a single policyholder. In the latter, several family members share the sum assured. Hospitalisation plans provide coverage for treatment in hospital and other medical expenses. Some plans may reimburse you for the expenses once you furnish the bills. Others may provide cashless coverage when you seek treatment in a network hospital.
  • Hospital daily cash benefit policy: This type of policy pays a cash allowance for every day the assured is in hospital. The cash allowance is a fixed one. Suppose the cash benefit is Rs 3,000 per day. You will receive this amount even if your daily hospital bills are larger than this. If your daily costs are lower, you will still receive the same amount without a reduction.
  • Critical illness plan: Such a plan provides a lump-sum benefit if you contract a critical illness. This can help you deal with the high costs of treatment for such illnesses. Critical illness plans cater to specific illnesses, like heart attack, stroke, major organ failure, and so on. For instance, Aegon Life offers the iCancer Insurance Plan. This provides financial protection should you need expensive cancer treatment. Check your family’s medical history to assess your critical illness risks. Buy a policy based on this assessment.
  • Senior citizen health plan: Elderly policy-buyers need frequent medical care, which can push up their costs. This is where senior citizen health insurance comes in handy. Many standard policies may end coverage at the age of 65. But senior citizen plans ensure that you have health insurance well into your 80s and beyond. Look for a plan with low co-payment levels and low waiting periods. Also, check that the plan offers coverage for pre-existing and critical illnesses.
  • Micro-insurance policy: Such policies are available to the economically vulnerable classes. Typically, a micro-insurance health plan would have a sum assured of Rs 50,000 or less. A policy-buyer may need to approach micro-finance institutions to buy such coverage. Or, they could go through local self-help groups and non-governmental organisations.
  • Long-term health insurance: These plans come with an extended tenor of two or three years. This frees you from the stress of having to renew your policy once a year. A standard policy comes with one-year renewal. Here, defaulting on a premium payment could leave you unassured. Besides, you may have to give up the no-claims bonus you have built up over the years. With an extended-tenor plan, you can rest assured that you have coverage for a longer period. Besides, since you are locked into the plan, your premium will not increase each year. So, this can be a cheaper option as well.
  • Surgical cash benefit policy: A life-saving surgery can deplete your savings in one swift stroke. Your regular health insurance plan may cover some of the costs. But what if the surgery bills are much higher? A surgical cash benefit policy can be of help here. This health insurance plan pays out a lump sum should you undergo surgery. The payout amount is pre-specified depending on the surgery you undergo. You may have to provide the bills as proof to get the fixed payment.
  • Unit-linked health plans: You may be familiar with investment-linked life insurance plans. These allow you to save and build wealth to tackle future life goals. Unit-linked health plans work in a similar way. They allow you to combine your health insurance with investment. Here, part of your premium goes towards the insurance cover. The other part is invested in the market and earns returns.

Summing up

It is important to know the benefits of each type of health insurance plan. It can help you make an informed choice while buying a health insurance plan. So, start by assessing your medical needs and family medical history. Then based on the options available, figure out which plan would suit you best. Use an insurance premium calculator at this stage. Compare the costs of different products before deciding.

Advt. no.: IA/Apr 2018/3887


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