8 Health Insurance Secrets Explained


8 Health Insurance Secrets Explained

The past few years have highlighted the many underestimated benefits of a health insurance plan. The rising medical costs, unforeseen and inevitable medical emergencies, and unending financial commitments in life indicate a strong need for a health insurance policy. Many people are already invested in their preferred health insurance plan, while many are planning to get the best one. However, in order to make the most of a health plan, understanding health insurance is essential.

There are various terms and clauses in a health plan that you may not be well aware of. Knowing about them and understanding the secrets of health insurance will not only help you choose the right coverage but also allow you to get the best benefits. 

Wondering how?

Well, that's exactly what we will be discussing here. Read on to learn the various health insurance mysteries.

Untold Secrets of Health Insurance

The policy document contains all the information about the coverage of health insurance plans, yet there are some health insurance secrets that most policyholders do not have much idea about. Being aware of these lesser-known health insurance facts will help you make the right decisions when it's a time of need.

1. Did you know you can get a whopping ₹1 lakh tax benefit on your health insurance?

Yes, you read that right.

Investing in a health insurance plan is not all about getting financial aid during medical emergencies but also about enjoying tax benefits. In a financial year, one can get a tax deduction of up to ₹1 lakh, depending on the health plan premiums paid.

Section 80D of the Income Tax Act of 1961 allows an Indian citizen and HUFs (Hindu Undivided Families) to avail of a tax deduction of ₹25,000. In case you also have purchased a health plan for your parents above the age of 60 years, you can enjoy a tax deduction of up to ₹50,000. You can claim a tax rebate of up to ₹1 lakh if you, as well as your parents, are over the age of 60. Apart from this, you can also apply for a tax deduction of up to ₹5,000 for preventive health check-up expenses.

Note: The tax deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act of 1961 is over and above the limit of Section 80C.

2. Did you know that a healthy lifestyle could mean a lower health insurance premium?

One of the basic health insurance secrets is to stay fit to enjoy lower premium rates. All those individuals who have a healthy lifestyle, free from intoxicants, smoking, and diseases, are very likely to pay lower premiums as compared to others who are into unhealthy habits. You would not only get better deals when purchasing a policy, but claim-free years can fetch you various benefits, too.

3. Did you know you need not limit your basic coverage, you can get more?

You may come across a health insurance plan that looks all good and affordable, yet you may not be wholly satisfied with the coverage. In case you wish to extend the coverage of the plan, you have the option of customisation. Through various add-ons, you can easily extend the plan's coverage. Here are some of the popular add-ons for health insurance plans:

  • Room Rent Modification: With this add-on cover, you can opt for a comfortable hospital room.
  • Personal Accident: A personal accident add-on is there to cover for your losses of disablement or death due to an accident.
  • OPD Care: Expenses like consultation fees, medicines costs, pathological tests, etc., are covered under OPD care.
  • Air Ambulance Cover: The cost of taking the insured from one hospital to another via air transport is covered under air ambulance cover.
  • Reduction in the PED Waiting Period: The general waiting period for pre-existing diseases (PED) is 48 months. However, with this add-on cover, the waiting period can be reduced to 24 months.
  • International Second Opinion: If you are not satisfied with the first opinion of a doctor in India, you can opt for an international second opinion under this add-on cover.

4. Did you know you have 30 days to return the policy?

IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) has made it mandatory for all insurance companies to offer a free look period for health insurance plans.

A free look period can last between 15-30 days, and the policyholder is given the time for understanding health insurance. In case the insured does not like the policy or finds it suitable, he/she can opt to return the policy and get a refund. This is a great initiative as it gives you enough time to review and analyse the policy. Make sure to confirm the free look details from your insurance company for a clear understanding.

5. Did you know you can get coverage even when your sum insured gets exhausted?

Do you worry that with the growing healthcare expenses, your sum insured may get easily exhausted in a single hospitalisation during a policy year? How will the rest of the bills, if any, be managed? 

For this, you have the option of Top-up and Super Top-up plans.

With top-up and super top-up plans, you can increase the sum insured of your health insurance plan without having to pay a very high premium. With a top-up plan, you can get coverage for a hospitaisation claim when it is above the threshold limit. In case of super top-up, you can enjoy coverage for all hospital bills that are above the policy’s threshold limit. 

Also, with auto-restoration feature, you can get your sum insured recharged to its original value by the moment it gets exhausted during a claim. So, chill!

6. Did you know buying a health insurance plan early in life is more beneficial?

The premium that is paid for a health insurance plan has a lot to do with your health, lifestyle, and existing diseases (if any). Since, with growing age, health issues can often develop, the premium for health insurance will also see an increase. As a young individual, you may not find a need to invest in a health insurance policy. However, medical emergencies sometimes see no age barrier.

It is always advised to purchase a health plan preferably as soon as you start earning. At a young age, the premium charged is low due to a relatively healthy body. Buying a health plan early in life will also help you serve the waiting period well in advance, thus helping you secure more coverage.

>> Also Read: What Are the Non-Medical Expenses in Health Insurance?

7. Did you know health plans also offer no claim bonus?

You might know that an NCB or a no-claim bonus is offered in motor insurance when the policyholder raises no claim in a policy year. Similarly, in a health insurance plan, if you raise no claim in a policy year, you are rewarded for being healthy. You may enjoy a discount on premiums, an increase in the sum insured, or other benefits, depending on the insurance company’s terms and conditions.

8. Did you know AYUSH treatments are now covered in health plans?

AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy. As a number of people still prefer traditional treatments, insurance companies are trying to bring more comprehensive plans so the insured can benefit the most.

To further promote the traditional treatments, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, IRDAI, has issued a guideline from 1st April 2020, saying that all health insurance companies will cover AYUSH treatments up to the sum insured. Make sure to read the policy documents or ask your insurer if you or your family members are more inclined towards AYUSH treatment.

Closing Words!

Understanding health insurance is the first step towards benefitting from it. From reading the fine print of the policy document thoroughly to discussing all your concerns with the insurer, you must not skip any of the quintessential steps. Also, if you haven't invested in a health insurance plan yet, NOW is the right time to do so. Because medical emergencies can be unforeseen, it is better to be prepared to fight against the odds.

Disclaimer: Plan features, benefits, coverage, and underwriting of claims are subject to policy terms and conditions. Please refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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