How to Compare Health Insurance Online in India?
The popularity of the internet has created a wide scope and opportunity in every aspect of any business whatsoever. This is applicable in case of insurance also. Starting from searching for new policies to payment of premiums or claim settlement, everything can be done online. The facilities and benefits obtained from insurance plans are now just a fingertip away.
Under the current circumstances, the importance of health insurance plans needs special emphasis. For the past decade, the medical costs have been on an all-time high graph and are still rising further. It is becoming increasingly difficult to cope up with such rising expenses. Therefore, planned health insurance investment has become a necessity.
Importance of Health Insurance
- Increased medical expenses
With the overall advancement of medical researchers and health sciences, the treatment costs have increased at an alarming rate. Moreover, the basic treatment costs have also risen significantly.
- Increased illnesses
The avaricious grasp of several ailments has risen considerably, affecting both the old and young generations.
- Impoverishment and depletion of wealth
With such skyrocketing costs, 3/4 days of hospitalisation is enough to scrape off a considerable amount of wealth. Such unprecedented occurrences affect financial health significantly on a long-term basis. To avoid such situations, the shelter of health insurance coverage is essential so that emergency medical situations do not deplete wealth leading to impoverishment.
When all these factors are combined together, the importance of availing a health insurance plan in India becomes evident. Therefore, it is seen that health insurance investment helps in prudent planning ensuring a healthy financial future.
Types of Health insurance plans in India
- Individual indemnity health insurance plan
The individual health plan covers only one person. The policyholder chooses the coverage and the premium value is dependent on the age of the insured. An indemnity health insurance plan pays for the expenses incurred on hospitalisation.
- Family floater
This covers the entire family under a single policy plan. The structure of the family should be of the holder, the spouse and maximum 2 dependent children. Certain family health insurance policies even provide coverage to dependent parents. The premium of such plans depends on the age of the eldest family member and the insured sum is shared among all the ones included within the plan.
Some plans even have dependent parents-in-law under the same plan as well.
Family floater plans are also indemnity plans which covers 2 or more people under the same plan.
- Senior Citizen plan
This sort of health policy offers insurance coverage of persons between 60 years and above. It covers the hospitalisation costs, daycare expenses, OPD charges, ambulance expenses, pre and post-hospitalisation expenses, etc. among the most popular features of indemnity health insurance plans designed especially for the senior citizen.
Most senior citizens look for coverage for pre-existing diseases. Thus, there are some senior citizen health insurance indemnity plans which offer such coverage as well.
- Maternity plans
It offers coverage of the maternity expenses including pre and post-natal care, delivery costs. Some insurers even provide the vaccination costs of the newborn as well as the transportation costs of the mom-to-be to the nearest network hospital in the maternity health insurance plan.
In India, there is no specific maternity only health-insurance plan, but it is a part of an indemnity health insurance plan.
- Fixed benefit health insurance plan
Some health insurance plans pay out a lump sum amount of money if the insured event occurs. For example, if you have a critical illness plan, and you are diagnosed with any of the listed critical illnesses like heart attack, cancer, stroke, etc. then you will get a lump sum benefit of the sum insured as your claim and the policy will terminate, irrespective of the amount spent on hospitalisation.
Why is comparison important?
Amidst the flooding of mediclaim policies, it is important to consider all the vital factors before settling for one. It is to obtain the necessary benefits at the optimal price. Online comparison is very easy nowadays. With just a click of a button, all the relevant information is revealed in a jiffy. Selection becomes easier after careful comparison and consideration.
Importance of Health Insurance Comparison
- Best coverage
The basic and the most important difference amidst the health insurance policies in the country depends on the coverage benefits. There exist certain common factors but the difference lies in the add-on benefits, perks, offered on top of the exhaustion of the initial cover. The entire picture clarifies itself only when all these factors are compared and a coherent picture is formed.
- Ensuring the best premium deal
The target of any policy buyer is to obtain the maximum necessary benefits at minimum cost. Unless several policies are compared side by side, the clarity of information will not be obtained.
Various types of discounts are offered by different types of plans. Comparison is required to understand which benefits are worth paying for.
- Selection of the best
Although all the insurance companies are controlled by IRDA, yet the claim settlement record reveals a lot regarding the trustworthiness of any individual company. The customer reviews, the claim record, all these testimonials help in choosing the best insurance company.
Considerable factors while comparing
- Premium v/s coverage
Consideration and comparison of both, the premium cost and the coverage are essential to obtain the net value. The ideal plan is which maintains a balance of comprehensive coverage values at affordable premium rates.
In case you wish to increase your sum insured, you can apply for the same at the time of renewal and the same would be considered after medical underwriting.
This sort of additional premium benefits enhances the scope of the coverage benefits to a considerable extent. It is advisable to choose the plan that offers these add ons at the time of requirement.
- Lifetime renewability
Most plans come with lifetime renewability options these days, but it surely is a very important factor while choosing the best health insurance plan for yourself.
- The past record of claim settlement
It is advisable to consider the company's claim settlement record form ensuring a speedy settlement. It will provide the trend of the company and provide a concrete picture regarding claim settlement.
- Waiting period
All the health insurance plans provide the clause of the waiting period for pre-existing illnesses of the insured. This period ranges from 2-4 years in maximum cases. The plan with the minimum waiting period is the best to consider.
- Network hospitals
The list of network hospitals followed by the insurance company is the places where the cashless claim facility can be obtained.
- Tax Benefit
Another attractive feature of investing in health insurance plans is that it receives considerable tax exemption benefits under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, thus reducing the tax liability and taxable income.
The premium paid towards health insurance plans upto INR 25,000 a year is tax-free under section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 for a premium paid towards self, spouse and children. There is an additional benefit of INR 25,000 for health insurance premium paid for parents. If you or your parents are more than 60 years of age, then the limit is INR 50,000 a year.
Tax Benefit for a premium paid for self, spouse and children
Tax Benefit for a premium paid for parents
Total Tax Benefit
|Self, spouse & children <60 years|
|Self, spouse & children <60 years + Parents <60 years|
|Self, spouse & children <60 years + Parents >60 years|
|Self, spouse & children >60 years + Parents >60 years|
Once the limits are known properly, they can be utilised to maximise the tax benefits and thus reduce the overall cost of the insurance policy.
List of some popular health insurance plans in India
|Insurance Companies||Health Insurance Plans||Sum Insured (INR)|
Incurred Claim Ratio
|Aditya Birla Health Insurance||Active Assure Diamond Plan|
Min- 2 lakh
Max- 2 crore
|Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance||Health-Guard Plan|
Min- 1.5 lakh
Max- 50 lakh
|Tata AIG Health Insurance||Tata AIG Medicare Plan|
Min- 2 lakh
Max- 10 lakh
From the above discussion, it is evident that there are plenty of health insurance plans that are currently in circulation in the market. Even though the basic clauses remain the same, yet each plan differs from the other in several other respects. Therefore, careful consideration and comparison are essential to acquire the best benefits at an affordable cost before settling for any particular plan.