Imagine a local agent visiting you to tell you about the best health insurance plans he has for your healthcare needs. Like most people in India, you would want to listen to him half-heartedly and then ask him about the cost involved straight away. If you are not comfortable with the pricing of the health insurance plans he has offered, you would most likely ask him to talk about cheap health insurance, not knowing the impact of reducing the price on the corresponding benefits you can get.
The same journey follows for most individuals who look for cheap health insurance plans online for themselves or their family members. But there’s a catch in all such realistic conversations that take place between prospects and health insurance sellers in India –
Most people focus more on the price of health insurance than the benefits they can get from it. As in many other life instances, focusing on cheap, low-cost health insurance in India will not take you to the best health insurance plan for your needs. Another reason why most individuals think of buying health insurance as a matter of expense mainly is the lack of awareness about different types of health insurance plans. If you look at the data, nearly 514 million people were covered under different health insurance schemes in 2021 (Source: Statista). This is a much smaller number in relation to the Indian population which stood at 140 crores in the previous year.
If you want to buy the best health insurance, you need to better understand why people look for cheap health insurance policies in India. Let’s get started in finding the facts behind it.
What is Cheap Health Insurance?
If you look at it from an individual perspective, the basic definition will be as follows:
Cheap health insurance plans are the ones that can fit an individual’s budget without causing any financial strain and provide much-needed health insurance coverage.
If you agree with this definition, you will also realize that while this may be true for all, the ultimate choice of cheap health insurance will vary from one individual to another. Based on your income, what can be considered a cheap health insurance policy might not be cheap for someone who earns less than you do. Hence, the selection of a health insurance plan based only on its price is not the right way to go about it.
Besides this, a cheap health insurance policy may not provide you with adequate coverage to deal with healthcare emergencies. You can better understand this with an example –
You bought a health insurance plan with a sum insured of Rs. 1 lakh just because you were capable of paying the corresponding premium. However, when faced with a medical emergency, you realized that the insurance coverage ended earlier than expected and you couldn’t get the complete treatment covered under the insurance plan. Such situations are not very much different from the ones in which patients do not have any health insurance plans. In the end, you stand at the risk of asking for financial help from local lenders or relatives/friends.
Still wondering why people are highly inclined towards an affordable health insurance plan? Continue reading.
Why Do People Look for Cheap Health Insurance in India?
The simplest answer is – their regular income.
In general, the per capita net national income in India is Rs. 1,50,000 in 2022. This amounts to Rs. 12,500 per month. Envision running a basic lifestyle within this average income range, knowing the impact of rising inflation rate. It would be fair to assume that people would want to avoid paying for any unnecessary expenses to focus on making ends meet. This can be considered one reason behind the low health insurance penetration in India.
In general, their income does not match the minimum premium requirements of an adequate health insurance plan, which is why the quest for cheap health insurance continues in both online and offline modes.
The next important question that you might have in mind is –
Can You Buy Cheap Family Health Insurance or Individual Insurance?
Before we get to the affordability of these health insurance plans, you should know what they are all about.
An individual health insurance plan, as the name suggests, covers only one individual under its benefits. On the other hand, you can provide health insurance coverage to all your family members under one family health insurance plan.
Indeed, you can buy cheap family health insurance or individual insurance as per your liking provided the chosen plan fits easily into your budget and is affordable too. The main highlight here is to find and select such a plan as offered by the leading health insurance companies in India.
Before you proceed towards purchasing any of these types of low-cost health insurance plans, you are recommended to know more about them in detail.
Where Can You Get Cheap Health Insurance?
When it comes to buying a health insurance policy, you can get it easily in the following ways:
- Online policy purchase from the chosen insurer directly
- Online policy purchase from an insurance aggregator
- Offline policy purchase via an insurance agent
- Offline policy purchase by visiting the insurer’s office nearby
While you can easily get to know the steps to buy cheap health insurance plans, there’s something that matters even more. It is about the right selection of a health insurance policy and an insurance provider. First and foremost, it is important to understand which type of health insurance policy will be best suited for your individual needs. Then, you need to zero in on the policy further based on the factors like sum insured, policy premium, available add-ons and their benefits, cashless treatment, etc.
Recommended Read: 9 Factors You Should Consider While Buying Health Insurance
How Can You Get Cheap Health Insurance in India?
As detailed above, there are several ways through which you can purchase a low-cost health insurance plan. One of the related concerns is to first decide why you should resort to buying the best cheap health insurance when there is a plethora of options available. All you need to do to make a better decision is to invest time and effort in understanding how the premium of a health insurance plan is calculated.
Low-Cost Health Insurance – Is It Worth The Price Paid?
If you look at the availability of health insurance plans, you will realize that some sort of plan is there for everyone, irrespective of their income. While there can be certain terms and conditions laid by health insurers to approve different applications for insurance purchases, the choice is open to all.
In simple terms, you should know that the lower the health insurance premium will be, the lower will be the insurance coverage and other related benefits. Hence, you should look for a low-cost health insurance plan that can provide you with an adequate sum insured and costs just enough that you can pay its premium timely (at least).
Difference Between Best Health Insurance and Cheap Health Insurance
The answer to this question is quite subjective in nature and it depends on the perspective and financial health of the individual who is considering this question. As with any other choice you make in life, it is always recommended to go for the best option available if its price is pocket-friendly. In relation to health insurance, considering the premium as the sole parameter for plan selection is not advisable.