Do you know that medical inflation has outpaced overall inflation in our country? Thus, accessing medical facilities has become expensive than before. Moreover, sedentary lifestyles, pollution, junk food culture, and a stressful work environment are enough to invite critical illnesses or lifestyle diseases these days. One time hospitalization can derail your money and life. So to reduce the financial implications and for good health, comprehensive health insurance becomes imperative. It gives you maximum benefits with a wide range of coverage against medical emergencies.
However, a health policy includes various conditions to discourage policyholders from filing false claims. These are sub-limits, co-payment, exclusions, and deductibles, and the most important is the waiting period. Every insured person must check the fine print as one of the initial steps before buying a health cover. It will help prevent any surprises, hassles, or claim rejections that might lead you to bear the expenses, thus burning a hole in your pocket.
It is essential to get clarity on what is waiting period in health insurance, and how it impacts you so that you do not face any hassle when making a claim.
Let’s understand the concept of the waiting period in health insurance.
Under health insurance, your coverage does not start immediately after policy issuance. There is a time frame that has to be completed before the coverage of the policy can begin. This specified period is known as the waiting period. You have to wait till its completion to file the claim under your health insurance policy.
The range of waiting period depends on the policy, coverage, and type of diseases. Read below about the types of the waiting period.
Initial Waiting Period- The initial waiting period starts right after you got the policy. Mostly, it is of 30 days from the date of policy issuance. During this tenure, you cannot file any claim for hospitalization due to any disease, except for accidents.
Waiting Period for Pre-Existing Diseases (PED)- Pre-Existing Diseases like diabetes and hypertension have a long waiting period, usually 2 years. During this tenure, you cannot claim for your hospitalization and treatment expenses due to such illness.
Waiting Period for Maternity Cover- The waiting period for maternity cover ranges between 9 to 24 months from the date you buy the policy. Thus, females looking for this cover can plan accordingly and opt for a maternity cover much early.
Health insurance, like other types of insurance, is based on risk-sharing. The insurer covers the risk of individuals in return for the premium they pay to the company. The premium you pay is low compared to the coverage a health policy provides, including coverage for illnesses after the waiting period. Health insurance with no doubts works as a safeguard in case of any medical exigency. However, in past years IRDAI has recorded several fraud claims and even big scams. Therefore, clauses like the waiting period aim to avoid the misuse of a health insurance policy or trivial claims.
This option is offered by leading health insurance companies like us, and it is applicable to pre-existing diseases. You can buy an add-on cover for a reduction in the PED wait period. Under this feature, the waiting period will be reduced from 4 years to 2 years.
Ageing increases the chances of health issues for an individual. Additionally, younger people are getting prone to various illnesses due to the increasingly hectic and unhealthy lifestyle. Given this scenario, investing in a health insurance plan is beneficial. It will take care of your financial security in the event of any emergency hospitalization.
Suppose, a person with a pre-existing illness opts for a health policy. In such a case, he/she cannot get a claim for hospitalization or treatment during the specified waiting period. The insured becomes eligible to file claims for such illness once the waiting period is over. Usually, the waiting period does not apply to emergency hospitalization due to accidents or injuries.
Further, the waiting period will not be applicable in subsequent policy renewals. However, if one fails to pay the premium and renew the policy, it will lapse, and the insured would lose the benefits. One has to opt for a new policy in such cases, and the waiting period will start afresh. Thus, it is necessary to renew the health insurance policy on time and ensure continued coverage without any hassle.
Given the medical inflation, surgeries and treatments would become expensive in the future. So, it is advisable to opt for health insurance at an early age. Besides, younger individuals can get medical insurance much easily without any pre-policy medical check-up. Also, what is noteworthy is that the waiting period in health insurance is one reason to opt for a health cover early in life. It is so because, at this age, people are young and energetic, and also less vulnerable to critical or chronic diseases. Thus, they are much likely to enjoy the advantage of lesser premium, maximum coverage, and reduced waiting period.
So, if you are looking for customized health insurance plans for yourself or your family, check our wide range of health insurance products and live a stress-free life.
*Please read the policy T & C, brochure, and prospectus to know more about our health insurance plans. We will settle the claims, subject to policy terms and conditions.
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