Compare Health Insurance: Why Is It Important?

Compare Health Insurance - BimaBandhu

Maintaining good health is essential to living a good life free from bodily diseases and other ailments. However, as we proceed with our lifestyles, we all make mistakes that take us closer to health problems. With the rise in healthcare inflation, it has become important for us all to plan for the financial side of getting the best quality treatment. This is where health insurance comes into the picture. 

However, with the easy availability of a wide range of health insurance plans, it is obvious to feel confused about making the right selection. To put a deliberate end to your doubts about health insurance, you can choose to compare health insurance before buying the right one.

Wondering why it is quite crucial to compare health insurance plans? Continue reading this complete guide. Before we dive deeper into the steps to compare health insurance plans in India, let’s uncover some basics of health insurance.

Health Insurance at a Glance

Health insurance is a type of insurance that caters to the financial needs of the insured. It covers the healthcare expenses arising from an illness or accident in exchange for a premium. The chosen health insurer provides medical coverage for daycare procedures, hospitalization expenses, critical illness coverage, and cashless hospitalization to name a few.

As a health insurance policyholder, you can get the insurance benefits only up to the chosen limit of the sum insured during an emergency or even planned hospitalization. To better understand how much sum insured will be adequate for your needs, you must compare health insurance policies before buying a plan.

In general, most health insurance plans provide the following benefits:

  • Ease of selecting sum insured up to a few crore rupees
  • Availability of maternity cover
  • Pre- and post-hospitalization coverage
  • OPD and ICU coverage 
  • Coverage for pre-existing diseases
  • Insurance coverage for daycare procedures and ambulance charges
  • Tax benefits as defined under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961

Recommended Read: All That You Need to Know About Health Insurance

Why Should You Compare Health Insurance Plans Before Buying?

This is synonymous with almost every other thing that you buy after comparing different features of products or services. Take the case of online shopping for formal shirts. Before you select any of the available ones and add them to the cart, you would want to know the fabric quality, fabric type, cost, brand’s return policy, and most importantly – whether it will suit you or not. 

Similar will be and should be the mindset when you compare a health insurance policy with the other alternatives. The right selection of a health insurance plan will take you a step closer to a hassle-free experience of getting quality treatment in network hospitals nearby whenever you need it.

Top Benefits of Comparing Health Insurance Plans

Since so many insurers now offer a plethora of health insurance products each having impressive features, selecting the right one can be quite confusing. By comparing health insurance quotes carefully, you can choose the best health plan that matches your healthcare needs precisely.

Given below are some of the major advantages of comparing health insurance before buying it:

  • Time savings as you zero in on the right plan with careful health insurance premium comparison
  • Easy access to detailed features and benefits of different plans available
  • A better understanding of what you should check while buying health insurance
  • Extensive knowledge about what all decides the health insurance premium
  • Cost savings as you can simply skip buying expensive insurance plans that are not suitable for you
  • Easy to compare health insurance online
  • Peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have selected the best plan matching your specific health needs

Top Reasons to Compare Health Insurance Online

  • Easy access to reliable information

While it starts with health insurance premium comparison for many, people get to know about various sides of medical insurance available in the market. Policy comparison also saves you from insurance agents, many of whom often try to provide unreliable, biased information about the policies they sell.

  • Quick and convenient online plan comparison

Comparing health insurance policies online is much easier than meeting different insurance agents in person to choose the best plan. You can check all the plan-related information online, its features, and premium online to proceed toward buying the right one.

  • Budget-friendly policy selection

While an insurance agent may not tell you which policy will best fit your budget as per your income, you can know it yourself by comparing different plans online.

  • Availability of reviews about the plans and insurers

With online health insurance comparison, you can also get a good idea of the reputation of both a health insurance plan and the corresponding insurer offering the same. You can find genuine reviews of existing policyholders to make an informed buying decision. 

Common Misconceptions Related to Health Insurance

  • My health insurance will cover every expense related to the treatment

As per IRDAI guidelines, every health insurance plan has certain inclusions and exclusions related to it. The insurance company will only compensate for the expenses covered in the plan you have selected. This is where comparing health insurance plans helps a lot in buying the best plan.

  • Smokers cannot buy a health insurance plan

Most health insurance providers ask for lifestyle elements and habits before offering a policy. In case you declare your habit of smoking, you may get the health insurance policy at a slightly higher premium because of the associated risks. However, there is no such limitation on not offering the plan to smokers at all. You can get a better idea of the premium change with a detailed health insurance premium comparison.

  • Health insurance only covers hospitalization expenses

As mentioned above, the overall benefits of a health insurance plan are defined under the set of inclusions that covers hospitalization expenses, daycare procedures, surgeries, and more. To better understand the benefits, it is crucial to compare health insurance.

How to Compare Health Insurance Plans in India?

In general, there are two ways to compare health insurance policies. These include:

  • Offline health insurance comparison

It includes visiting the nearby offices of health insurance providers and meeting their respective agents to understand the policy benefits. This is quite time-consuming and may turn out to be a complex way to purchase health insurance.

  • Online health insurance comparison

In this method, you can either visit the official websites of insurance companies in India to check their plans or choose an online insurance aggregator to compare multiple plans from different companies. The common steps involved in online health insurance comparison are as follows:

  • Visit the health insurance/insurance aggregator’s website
  • Proceed with selecting the health insurance category and enter your basic details
  • Select the benefits you expect from a plan, including sum insured, critical illness cover, etc.
  • Including health insurance add-ons if required
  • Compare different policies they offer in terms of benefits, pricing, claim process, and reviews
  • Purchase health insurance based on the information obtained through this detailed comparison

Also Read: What is Cpvered Under Health Insurance for Parents?

Factors to Consider While Comparing Health Insurance Plans 

Given below are some of the most important factors that determine the overall value of a health insurance policy:

  • Sum insured
  • Additional coverage beyond the selected sum insured (like Covid-19 insurance, daycare cover, etc.)
  • Range of network hospitals
  • Sub-limits or capping on certain insurance coverage elements
  • Co-pay clause
  • Room rent capping
  • Online reviews
  • Ease of policy purchase
  • Reputation of the chosen health insurer

Also Read: A Complete Guide to 10 Lakh Health Insurance

Health Insurance Comparison FAQs

Does health insurance premium comparison help in finding the best policy?

When you invest time and effort to compare health insurance plans, you get the required knowledge about how different policies work and how they are different from each other. This way, you will find it easier to zero in on the policy that is best suited for you.

Can I save money by knowing how to compare health insurance plans?

You can select the best health insurance plan with an adequate sum insured and other benefits at an affordable price after a thorough comparison of different plans.

Can I save more tax by comparing health insurance policies?

The tax savings related to health insurance purchase is directly related to the premium you pay for the same. In simple words, the higher premium you pay for a health plan, the more tax you can save (subject to the prevailing tax laws). 

Should I consider the claim settlement ratio while comparing a health insurance policy?

The claim settlement ratio represents an insurer’s commitment to fulfilling the insurance coverage promised under the health insurance policies it sells. Hence, it makes sense to check this parameter as a part of a health insurance comparison.

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