Health insurance is an agreement whereby insurance company agrees to undertake a guarantee of compensation for medical expenses in case the insured falls ill or meets with an accident which leads to hospitalization of the insured. Generally, insurance companies have tie-ups with the leading hospitals so as to provide cashless treatment to the insured. In case the insurance company has no tie-ups with the hospital, they reimburse the cost of expenses incurred by the insured. The government also promotes health insurance by providing a deduction from income tax.
Importance of Health Insurance
Buying a health insurance policy for yourself and your family is important because medical care is expensive, especially in the private sector. Hospitalization can burn a hole in your pocket and derail your finances. It will become even tough, if the person who brings in the money, is now in a hospital bed. All this can be avoided by just paying a small annual premium which would lessen your stress in case of medical emergencies.
A good health insurance policy would usually cover expenses made towards doctor consultation fees, costs towards medical tests, ambulance charges, hospitalization costs and even post-hospitalization recovery costs to a certain extent.
Benefits of having a Health insurance Policy
1. Cashless Treatment: If you are insured, you can get cashless treatments as your insurance company would work in collaboration with various hospital networks.
2. Pre and post hospitalization cost coverage: Insurance policy also covers pre and post hospitalization charges up to the period of 60 days, depending on the insurance plans purchased.
3. Transportation Charges: Insurance policy also covers the amount paid to ambulance towards the transportation of insured.
4. No Claim Bonus (NCB): This is the bonus element which is paid to the insured if the insured does not file a claim for any treatment in the previous year.
In India, people under 45 years of age are not required to undergo a mandatory health checkup when obtaining a health insurance policy. They are, however, required to disclose any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. It is, therefore usually advised that one should get a health insurance when young so that the premium would be less.
Types of Health Insurance
1. Individual Health Insurance: This policy covers the health expenses and hospitalization expenses of individual who has taken the policy. Premium under this policy is determined as per the age of insured.
2. Family Health Insurance Plan: Under this policy, an individual can include all the family members against multiple diseases under a single cover. Family health plan offers a fixed sum assured for the family members, which can be availed by all members of the family or by any one individual in the family.
3. Senior Citizen Health insurance Plan: This policy is designed for the senior citizens or individuals over 60 years of age offering protection from health issues during old age.
4. Surgery and Critical Illness Insurance Plan: This plan is suitable for the insured that requires treatment against critical illness, such as kidney failure, paralysis, cancer, heart attack etc. As the medical expenses of these treatments are very high, the premium applicable to these types of policies is also high.
5. Maternity Health Insurance Plan: This policy covers costs, including pre and postnatal care, child delivery expenses of newborn babies. This policy is also covered for the newborn up to a certain period of time as mentioned in the plan. Ambulance costs are also covered.
6. Personal Accident Plan: This policy covers hospitalization expenses in the event of an accident. Premium amount is depending upon the amount of cover taken.