Tips for Buying Health Insurance for the First Time

Tips for Buying Health Insurance for the First Time

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Are you planning to invest in your own health insurance plan rather than getting enrolled on your parent’s policy? Pat on your back for making this vital and wise life decision. As a first-time buyer of a health insurance plan, understanding certain terminologies and clauses might initially seem challenging.

However, we are here at your rescue. Here’s a guide on the ways to select the best health insurance policy to suit your unique healthcare needs. Health insurance can be expensive, so don’t delay. This post will help you understand and compare healthcare plans to choose the right coverage.

5 Tips to Pick the Best Health Insurance

Health insurance covers you and your family during hospitalisation, sickness, and major injuries like accidents. Thus, choose an insurance coverage with the most significant benefits and returns. Here are some tips to pick the most suitable healthcare plan.

1. Identify Your Healthcare Needs

Before signing a contract or even starting to shortlist different insurers, understand your and your family’s healthcare needs. Access the health conditions you generally experience throughout the year. If needed, revisit your previous healthcare documents, such as doctor’s prescriptions, medical reports, hospitalisation records, and so on. Moreover, you should also conduct a self-check-up or full-body check-up to examine your current health condition.

Try asking yourself the following questions to get more clarity on your health conditions.

  • How often do you fall ill in a year?
  • How many doctor visits have you made in the past few months?
  • Is your current doctor or medical institute covered under the network of your chosen insurance provider and policy?
  • How much coverage do you need?
  • Is anyone in your family dependent on you? If yes, you should choose a suitable family health insurance; otherwise, go for an individual health insurance policy (we will discuss the benefits of both types hereafter).

When in doubt or facing difficulties examining your specific healthcare needs, consult your doctor. Also, you can ask your preferred medical centre if they will accept a certain health insurance policy.

2. Know the Right Place to Shop

In this era of digital browsing and shopping, we can get the required information in a breeze. There are multiple avenues to shop for a suitable insurance plan. You can try the following options.

  • Browse different plans directly from your chosen insurance company: The best way to search for the best insurance plan is to visit the website of your preferred insurance provider and compare their different plans, premiums, and benefits. Also, choose an insurer who has in-depth knowledge and expertise in offering services specifically in the healthcare industry.
  • Buy plans from online insurers: Leverage the power of online portals to compare different policies and their coverage. To simplify your shortlisting process, many portals offer efficient insurance comparison tools to help you determine which plan would suit your needs the best.
  • Purchase insurance plans via an agent or broker: Agents or brokers know the ins and outs of the industry, and therefore, they can give you the best suggestions on different plans that would address your specific requirements. They will also assess your healthcare needs and budget to guide you thoroughly throughout the selection and enrolment process. While agents usually sell plans on behalf of a specific insurance provider, brokers sell multiple schemes that numerous companies offer.

3.   Understand the Difference Between Individual and Family Health Insurance

While assessing your needs and the number of dependents (if any), do some homework on the different kinds of health insurance plans available. The common types of plans and terminologies you will come across during your research include:

  • Individual Health Insurance: As the name indicates, it caters to a single person, and only the policyholder can get himself/herself insured. The individual gets compensated for all his/her medical expenses incurred for illnesses or hospitalisation costs. The premium for an individual health insurance plan depends on the buyer’s medical history and age. Also, consider the waiting period for claiming the benefits for particular illnesses.
  • Family Health Insurance: Also known as a Family Floater Plan, a Family Health Insurance Policy covers the health expenses of all the members of the household under a single cover. This policy secures all family members, including kids, spouses, and elders. If two family members are receiving simultaneous treatment, you can claim the benefits for both members until you reach the sum insured limit.

However, if you have senior members above 60 years of age, avoid including them in the family floater plan, as they are more prone to diseases or illnesses, thus affecting your premium. In that case, you can choose a Senior Citizen Health Insurance or Critical Illness Insurance Plan to receive higher benefits for the elders.

So, consider your needs and weigh the benefits you will receive with each plan to choose the best policy.

4.   Consider Network Hospital Coverage

After shortlisting a list of healthcare plans, cross-check whether your insurer’s hospital network includes your preferred doctors or hospitals. You may like to visit a particular hospital due to proximity, credibility, or personal choice. Choosing a plan covering a wide network of nursing homes, hospitals, and doctors is wise.

5.   Choose a Policy with Lifetime Renewability

Before signing the deal, check the total number of years the plan will cover your medical expenses. Learn whether the policy offers lifetime or limited renewability. That’s because you are going to need a health insurance plan the most during the later years of your life when you become prone to a higher number of illnesses. Therefore, choose a healthcare plan with lifetime renewability to stay secure and financially covered during your later years.

Final Words

The above guidelines should help you choose the finest health insurance for your needs. Read all terms and conditions and thoroughly review their packages and services. Sometimes, dissatisfaction might develop towards a particular insurer because of their complicated claim settlement procedures.

Thus, read all their conditions and clauses before signing the contract. Choose the correct healthcare plan to avoid stress. Always seek greater life quality and physical and mental health.

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