Affordable Health Insurance
Is Health Insurance Affordable in India?
Health insurance is a necessity in today’s time. A health insurance plan can offer you financial security during a medical emergency so you can access the best possible treatment. Medical insurance also offers you benefits like preventive health check-ups that help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and catch an illness in its embryonic stage. Moreover, investing in a good plan gives you peace of mind and protects your savings in times of an emergency.
Despite the several advantages offered by health insurance plans, a lot of people still look at them as an avoidable expenditure. The cost of purchasing a health plan is seen as an unnecessary liability. This attitude is primarily found in people of younger age groups. Since people in this age group are in the prime of their health, they do not see the need to buy health insurance.
The notion that health insurance is expensive and therefore unnecessary is completely false. Firstly, you can easily get health insurance at the lowest premium amounts in India. There are many good individual and family floater health plans in the country that provide wholesome, all-inclusive protection at inexpensive rates. These plans can fit into any budget or income group and can be customized as per your unique needs and medical requirements.
Secondly, fortunately, the cost of health insurance in India is comparatively lower than in other countries, such as the U.S. This is primarily because of the affordable cost of treatment in India. Buying a health insurance plan is highly recommended, regardless of your age or health status. A health emergency can strike at any time. And even though the cost of healthcare is low in India, compared to other parts of the world, it can still add up to a lot. Covering these expenses out of your pocket can hamper your monthly budget and long term financial goals.
You can buy an affordable health insurance plan to cover the costs of most medical expenses in India. Affordable medical insurance policies can offer some of the best features with comprehensive protection that secures you and your loved ones in trying times.
Factors that Affect the Premium Amount in India
The premium amount is decided on the basis of a number of aspects. Some of these have been discussed below:
Age: The cost of health insurance is generally lower for younger people. These costs begin to rise as the person ages. So, if you want to get an affordable medical insurance plan, you should try to purchase a plan when you are young. The longer you wait to buy health insurance, the higher will be the premium charged.
Investing early in life: Purchasing a health insurance plan early also benefits you in other ways. Every health plan comes with a waiting period during which you cannot raise a claim. So, if you buy a plan early, you can claim insurance at a later stage in life when you need it.
No Claim Bonus (NCB): The NCB is a bonus that is applied to the premium of your policy if you do not raise any claims in the previous term. For instance, if you do not raise a claim this year, you would be eligible to get the same plan at a lower premium or with a higher coverage (with the same premium) the next year. The NCB can help you fetch a reasonable discount or get a higher coverage and enjoy affordable health care. So, try to limit your claims unless absolutely important.
Family floater health insurance: Some plans can offer lower premiums than others. For example, the premium for a family health insurance plan is lower than individual medical insurance plans. If you want to get affordable medical insurance, switching to a family floater plan can be more affordable. Family health insurance plans are also more beneficial in other aspects. They protect all the members of the family and reduce the hassles of buying multiple policies.
Super top-up plans: You can get a top-up plan to increase the coverage of your policy at a very low premium. Super top-ups are one of the most affordable health insurance plans and a great way to enjoy enhanced features and services at inexpensive costs. These plans increase the coverage of your policy from the base policy, so you get to enjoy better features without putting a strain on your pocket.
Lifestyle habits: Habits like smoking and drinking can put you at a higher risk of contracting diseases. Hence, the premium for health insurance for people who consume tobacco or alcohol is always higher. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you get a cheap medical insurance plan. So, prioritize your health and live a clean and healthy life by adopting habits like exercising and eating right.
A health insurance premium calculator can help you calculate the cost of your insurance. Make sure to use it before you finalize a plan.
Types of Affordable Health Insurance Plans
There are three types of affordable health care plans that you can purchase in India. These have been mentioned below:
Family health insurance plan: A family health insurance plan is a plan that protects all members of a family, such as you, your spouse, dependent children and dependent parents. These plans offer umbrella coverage to multiple people with unified premium payment for everyone. A family floater plan is the cheapest mediclaim policy that you can opt for. It also offers wholesome protection and can help you manage your financial responsibilities better.
Individual health insurance plan: An individual health insurance plan offers protection to only one individual and not the whole family. These plans are suitable for people below the age of 60 who do not have any family responsibilities. Individual health plans provide cheap health insurance. But the cost of premium can differ for different people, based on different factors like age, health history, pre-existing illnesses, gender, coverage, and more. The sooner you purchase an individual health plan, the lower would be the premium cost.
Parent/Senior citizen health insurance plans: Parent health insurance plans are plans that provide coverage to parents, generally over the age of 60. These are also known as senior citizen health insurance plans. The chances of falling sick increase as you age. Hence, your parents require a plan that can cater to their growing medical needs. A parent health plan is ideal for people in this age group as it can offer affordable medical insurance and cater to the unique needs of the elderly. These plans offer a high coverage amount at inexpensive health insurance rates.
How to Choose an Affordable Health Insurance Plan?
Here are some things to keep an eye on while selecting the best and cheap health insurance plan:
Choose an adequate sum insured amount: The higher the sum assured amount, the higher would be the premium. Hence, when you choose the sum assured amount for your health plan, make sure that you understand its impact on the policy’s premium. Having said that, it may not be advised to pick a low sum assured just to get the health insurance lowest premium amount. Instead, analyze your overall needs, medical history, pre-existing illnesses, age, gender, lifestyle habits, etc. and then pick a sum insured that would suffice any medical expenses in the future. Sometimes you may end up saving some money on the premium but can lose more funds on a medical treatment later. So make an informed choice.
Choose the right coverage type: When looking for an affordable health insurance policy, pay attention to the coverage that the policy offers. Look for wide-ranging features like pre and post hospitalization cover, daycare expenses, ambulance transportation, global cover, dental treatments, AYUSH treatments, and more. Pick a plan that covers all your requirements. A plan with incomprehensible coverage will only increase your out-of-pocket expenses and fall short in your hour of need.
Check the flexibility to increase the total amount you are insured for: Some plans offer top-up options that let you increase the total sum assured amount at a nominal cost over the base premium. See if your health insurance offers this facility. This can be an excellent way to get a high sum assured at a lower cost, thereby ensuring an affordable health insurance plan.
Check the pre-existing disease waiting period: The waiting period is the period after you purchase a policy when you cannot raise a claim. The longer the waiting period, the higher are the chances of you spending money out of your pocket. So, in order to enjoy affordable medical insurance, look for a plan with a shorter waiting period. This can help you save money in the long run.
Check the maximum renewal age: If your plan offers limited renewability, you may be left without a health cover when you are older. Buying a health insurance plan when you are older will result in a high premium. However, you can avoid all of this if you pick a plan with unlimited renewability. This will allow you to renew your existing policy at a later stage in life without having to pay a higher premium.
Insurer with a high Claim Settlement Ratio: The claim settlement ratio of a company determines its credibility and trustworthiness. A high claim settlement ratio assures you of the company’s readability and reduces the likelihood of your insurance claim getting rejected. However, if you pick a health plan from an insurer with a low claim settlement ratio, your claims may be rejected. In such a case, you will have to bear the costs of your medical treatment from your own pocket.
Smooth claim settlement process: Just like the claim settlement ratio, the claim settlement process is also important. If the process is too lengthy and complicated, you would have to incur the expenses on your own in an emergency. So, always pick a low-cost health insurance policy from a company that offers options like same-day settlements, etc. This will offer you ease and financial liquidity.
Cashless hospitalization: Cashless hospitalization offers you the benefit of availing services at a network hospital without having to pay the bills upfront. Under this option, the insurance company directly pays the hospital for the services availed. You do not have to raise a claim for reimbursement, thereby allowing you to avail of the best yet affordable health care. Cashless hospitalization at network hospitals also removes delays and ensures faster treatments.
Do not forget to check premium: The best way to ensure cheap health insurance is to pick a plan with low premiums. Compare different plans and the features they offer and pick the one that is the most cost-effective.
Read the exclusions: Exclusions refer to services or expenses that are not covered by your health insurance. Make sure to read the list of exclusions to fully understand the scope of coverage that your policy provides. The fewer the exclusions, the better it can be.
Add-on rider/critical illness rider/accidental rider: The best and cheap health insurance plans are those that offer a wide range of riders like critical illness riders, accidental death riders, etc. These riders can be added to your base plan to enjoy improved coverage.
Frequently Asked Question
1. How can I get cheap health insurance?
You can get the best affordable health insurance by purchasing a plan early in life. It also helps to pick a plan with lifetime renewability and comprehensive features to reduce the overall costs incurred.
2. How much is health insurance a month for a single person?
The best affordable health insurance plan can cost anywhere between ₹500 and ₹850 (approximately) per month for an estimated cover of ₹5 lakhs for a single 30-year-old. The precise costs can vary as per the age, gender, occupation, and health history of the person.
3. How much is health insurance a month for a single person in 2021?
The monthly premium cost for a health plan in India can be anywhere between ₹500 and ₹850 (approximately) for an estimated cover of ₹5 lakhs for a single 30-year-old. The costs can differ as per the age, gender, occupation, sum insured amount, and health history of the person.
4. How much is affordable medical insurance?
A low-cost health insurance policy with a sum assured of up to ₹5 lakh can be bought at approximately ₹5000 to ₹9000 per annum by a healthy 30-year-old.
5. How can I get affordable health insurance?
Purchasing a health plan early in life can help you get a good inexpensive health insurance policy. Other ways to reduce the cost of the premium include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, picking a good insurance company, and comparing different plans to pick the most cost-effective one.
6. Which is the best health insurance plan?
Tata AIG offers several excellent health insurance plans that have been designed to cater to the varied health insurance requirements of individuals and families. If you want to opt for a health insurance plan with substantial coverage at a feasible premium along with future-proofing, you must check out the Tata AIG Medicare Premier plan, which includes a cover for Covid-19.
7. Which is usually the least expensive way to obtain health insurance?
The best way to obtain an inexpensive health insurance plan is by buying a plan early in life. The younger you are, the lower would be the premium.
8. What is the most affordable type of health insurance?
Family floater plans, individual health plans, and parent health insurance plans are some of the most affordable types of health insurance.
9. Which is the best cheap health insurance plan in India?
Tata AIG offers some of the best cheap health insurance plans in India under MediCare Health Insurance at affordable rates and high sum assured amounts.