In the last decade, health care expenses have been on the rise. It’s thus extremely important that every family be well prepared, financially, to handle those unforeseen expenditures and bills that usually come right along with unforeseen health emergencies. Of course, one of the best ways to be financially ready for such emergencies is to have health insurance coverage for your family.
Here are some of the key points that will help you better understand the need for health insurance coverage for your family:
A single policy takes care of all family members
In family health insurance, there are some plans that can insure the entire family under a single policy. This relieves you from the inconvenience of maintaining and renewing multiple policies for each individual of the family. A single policy can take care of everything.
Optimum utilisation of the sum assured
Since the sum assured amount in the family health insurance policy is shared amongst the family members, it enables optimum utilisation of the amount. In an individual policy, one hardly utilises the ‘entire’ coverage amount.For example, if a family has purchased a plan with a Rs. 5 lakhs cover and a member is hospitalised utilising Rs. 2 lakhs; the other members of the family or even the same member can avail the remaining Rs. 3 lakhs in case of another medical emergency. The sum assured can be used multiple times.
Higher sum assured can be bought at a lower premium
With family policies, the rates of the premium depend on the age of the eldest family member. So, if you choose a good policy earlier, you start young and a higher sum is assured which can be purchased at a lower premium.For instance, if you are 35 and your spouse is 32, and the age of your two kids is 6 and 4 respectively, a sum insured of Rs. 10 lakh could cost you around Rs. 20,000 per year. On the other hand, an individual health insurance could also be around the same amount and more.
Newborns can be added, expired members can be removed easily
With family health insurance policies you do not need to purchase a new health policy for a newborn, instead, you can welcome them under the existing family medical plan. Similarly, you can also remove a family member should they pass away while the policy is in effect.
A no-claim discount on the premium
Yes, ‘no-claim’ discounts, up to a certain amount, are also available from many insurance companies. If there’s a no-claim on a family medical policy, the premium automatically reduces the next year according to the insurer’s policy.
Cashless treatment and hospitalisation
A family medical insurance policy can allow the insured family to be treated at any network hospital with cashless admission. The policyholders need not pay for consultation fees, tests etc. All these costs (up to the sum assured) would be covered by the policy.
Renewability factor is flexible
If the primary insured family member dies and/or reaches the maximum age of renewability, the other adult members covered within the policy can continue with the plan and get the continuity benefit. Any deletion or addition in the policy is possible only during the time of renewal.
The following factors should be considered while buying health insurance for your family:
Check the sub-limits – Always check the sub-limits for sub-categories in the health plan. For instance, for a health cover, the sum assured may be Rs 5 lakh, but there could a sub-limit of say Rs. 50,000 on medicines and Rs 70,000 on pre and post hospitalisation.
Focus on the renewability factor – Make sure you know when you can renew the plan, how can it be revived, and if there are any specific steps you need to follow in order to renew it. All these factors differ from company to company.
Value-added features – Check out for add-ons like discounts on medical stores, free health check-ups, 24 x 7 free medical advice over the phone, concierge services, membership to fitness centres, health clubs, and so on.
Understanding how health insurance works, especially how the benefits will work for you and your family is very important when choosing a plan. It always helps to make a calculated decision with regards to an investment in your family.