Ten features of a good medical insurance
With so much of iteration on the importance on financial planning, we are all doing our bit to accumulate wealth. We save money for that much deserved holiday, a plush car, dream house etc., but how many of us save for an unforeseen medical emergency? Not many. We usually donÔÇÖt think about a dire medical situation unless we are faced with one, by which time it is too late to save, and we are busy exhausting the money we saved to buy that car weÔÇÖve been driving in our dreams.
Medical emergencies usually come unannounced (thatÔÇÖs why they are called emergencies!), and when they do, they take away our time, energy and money (a lot of it). With the cost of medical treatments skyrocketing, a good medical insurance plan will definitely be a life-saver in such situations. With so many insurance companies offering a plethora of plans, it is very important to choose the right policy.┬á
While one plan doesn't work for all, a good medical insurance policy will surely have all (at least most) of the features below:
- Age of entry/renewal ┬á- The policy has no limit on the age of the insured (person applying for insurance) ┬áeither while buying ┬áa new policy, or while renewing an existing one.
- Maximum coverage ┬á- If the plan provides maximum coverage (reimbursement) and includes even pre-existing illnesses. Some plans may have a ÔÇ£cooling-offÔÇØ time period (3 months to 4 years) within which the pre-existing conditions arenÔÇÖt covered. A good policy will have minimal cooling-off period.
- Cashless Hospitalisation ÔÇô The plan provides cashless services for a stipulated period for critical emergencies and other significant treatments along with regular reimbursement.
- Multi-claim options ÔÇô The policy allows multiple claims during the insurance period allowing one to leverage as much as possible.
- Lump sum benefit ┬á- The policy has an option of providing lump sum monetary benefits along with cashless options. This is very useful especially when the family faces financial loss due to the illness.
- Wide Network of Hospitals ┬á- The policy has an extensive list of hospitals covered for cashless treatment facility.
- Minimal or no co-payment ┬á- The policy doesnÔÇÖt require the insured to share a portion of the expenses to be covered (co-payment).┬á
- Sub-limits ÔÇô These are usually the costs of the room rent and the doctorsÔÇÖ consulting fees that the insurance company covers. It is calculated as a percentage (1% - 5%) of the total amount covered. A good insurance policy should allow a generous percentage of the cover.┬á
- Flexible plan ÔÇô The policy allows the insured to customize the plan and add an extra feature or two, (for e.g. maternity, additional dependents) at a reasonable cost (additional premium).
- Minimal procedure ÔÇô The insurance service provider offers hassle-free paper work either during hospitalisation or during the reimbursement stage.
Choose a policy that is flexible and a service provider that is well established. Weigh your options, understand in detail all the features, and donÔÇÖt miss the fine print! A good insurance cover will relieve you of the monetary stress, and will let you focus on recovering from the illness.