A large number of people in the country have misconceptions about health insurance. Furthermore, it is perceived as a complicated financial product with several technicalities that are difficult to understand.
Therefore, it is important that you understand more about health insurance before making your decision. Here are the seven common misconceptions about health insurance in India:
- Young adults do not require coverage
Contrary to popular belief, the best time to avail of a health insurance planis when you are young. This is because insurers perceive you as a low-risk individual when you are younger and provide you with coverage for a lesser premium compared to your elder counterparts. Certain illnesses cannot be diagnosed until the symptoms are evident and pre-existing conditions are covered only at the end of the waiting period. Therefore, when you procure coverage at a younger age, the possibility of exhausting this waiting period is completed, thereby ensuring you receive the benefits when needed.
- Coverage is available from the first day
In addition to the waiting period, health insurance policies and plans do not provide the benefits during the first thirty days of purchasing the policy. Furthermore, existing conditions and certain types of surgeries and treatments are not covered during the waiting period. Most insurers cover only accidental hospitalization in this period. It is important you read the inclusions and exclusions during the waiting period and thereafter.
- Employers’ group insurance is adequate
A large number of employers offer group health insurance plans as additional benefits to the employees and their families. However, often this coverage is insufficient and it is important you supplement it with an individual plan. Furthermore, you lose all the benefits under the group plan when you quit or lose your job. In addition, group policies are standard and may not meet your personal requirements.
- Minimum 24-hour hospitalization is mandatory
Another misconception about such policies is that you need to be hospitalized for at least 24 hours to be eligible to file a health insurance claim. Advanced technologies have reduced the time you need to spend in the hospitals for certain procedures and treatments. Several insurance companies offer benefits for day-care processes, such as chemotherapy, eye surgery, dialysis, lithotripsy, and radiotherapy that do not require 24-hour hospitalization. It is, therefore, important that you read the policy document before signing on the dotted line.
- Availing of online insurance is not secure
Contrary to belief, there are certain advantages when you buy health insurance online. All transactions are executed on secure servers that ensure your personal information remains confidential and is not misused. Furthermore, most insurance companies offer a discounted premium on online insurance. This is because middlemen costs like agent fees and overhead expenses are reduced when you avail of the policy online. These cost savings are passed on to customers, which enables them to procure coverage for a lower premium.
- All claims are cashless
Every individual medical insurance plan does not offer cashless claims. Only hospitals and medical facilities that are in the insurer’s network offer such facilities. If you receive treatment from a healthcare facility that is outside your insurer’s network, you will have to pay the money through your personal resources. You may later file for a claim to receive reimbursement of your expenses.
- Tax savings is the only benefit
The Income Tax Act, 1961 offers certain health insurance tax benefits. Several people avail of this policy to take advantage of these benefits and therefore, may settle for a plan with a lower premium. However, you must avoid making this mistake because the benefits available under a cheaper plan may not be sufficient to meet the needs of you and your family.
Do not delay your decision to avail of a health insurance policy because you are young and healthy. Stressful careers and unhealthy living have increased the number of people being affected by lifestyle-related ailments. It is, therefore, advisable that you purchase a health plan that suits your financial situation, lifestyle, and healthcare requirements.