6 ways to increase insurance coverage at low cost
With medical costs escalating, your health insurance cover may seem inadequate when you need it. But you can increase your sum assured seamlessly, without paying that much more.
Inflation is a phenomenon not just common to food prices but also medical costs. The health insurance industry in India estimates medical inflation at 18 per cent. So, regular hospitalization that earlier cost Rs20,000-35,000 (a few year ago), would now escalate to Rs80,000 to Rs1 lakh. If you think your existing cover won’t be sufficient, here are ways to increase your health insurance cover in a cost-effective way.
High-deductible plan or top-up
Let’s say you already have a health insurance plan from your employer or one which you’ve got on your own for a Rs3 lakh assured sum. If you think this won’t suffice, then you can purchase a health plan with a high deductible. This plan will kick in only when your initial cover amount is exhausted. So, if your hospital bill is Rs4.25 lakh, then the bill up to Rs3 lakh would be paid under the first cover and the balance Rs1.25 lakh would be cleared off using the high-deductible plan. This is beneficial since premium is lower due to the deductible amount.
Insure your daughter under the same plan
Most public health insurance providers, such as New India Assurance, have been offering a 50% discount on the premium for families with a girl child.
Opting for co-pay
If you are a healthy individual, who wouldn’t take to bed often then you can opt for the co-pay clause – according to this clause, you will have to foot 10-20% of the hospital bill. So, for a bill of Rs1 lakh, you would have to bear Rs20,000 worth of the expenses. Thus your on-going expense of health insurance premium too is likely to reduce between 15-18%. This is a good strategy for senior citizens looking for a fresh policy. Since insurance companies are assured of policyholders not opting for luxury rooms, no fake claims, they are ready to offer a cover at reduced costs. However, if you do make claims often, you could end up paying a lot.
Second plan for younger member
If you feel that the frequency of hospitalization of one policy holder has increased and hence the family floater cover may not be sufficient to cover two or more people, don’t increase the sum assured. The insurance company may demand a hefty premium anticipating the higher usage of the cover. Instead ask for a fresh individual cover for the younger member – a spouse, son or daughter. This way the premium would be lower and the chances of a cover being rejected would be low, too.
Critical illness cover
If you have a family history of heart attacks or cancer, then instead of buying a hospitalization plan, go for a critical illness cover. Here you would be paid a lump sum amount upon detection of the disease. The expenses have to be borne out of this fixed cost paid out.
Opt for simple products
Instead of going in for a policy that covers anything and everything, look for simple products. There are plans in the market that offer additional riders. However, give add-on covers a miss.