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How to save on your health insurance

Choose an appropriate Sum Insured: While deciding on the sum insured you need to keep in mind that you are not over-insuring or under-insuring yourself or your family. For instance, if you are between the age group of 25-30 and single, and you buy a health insurance policy that offers a sum insured of Rs. 5 lacs, then this would perhaps be too high for you, given your age, and given that you have no family dependents or a chronic health condition. Similarly if you are 50 plus with a family to support, and your sum insured is only Rs. 1 lakh, then it is a serious concern as you are susceptible to more health risks at that age and you have a family to support.

  • Do not buy features that are not useful to you
    Extra features means extra premium. For instance, if you are buying a policy with maternity as the feature, be sure that you will need it in future. Understand each feature and only opt for ones that seem relevant to your needs.
  • No Claim Bonus or Cumulative Bonus (CB)
    You can avail yourself of health insurance policies offering Cumulative Bonus for every claim free year, where the Sum Insured is increased by a certain percentage at the time of renewal subject to a maximum percentage (generally 50%). In case of a claim, CB will be reduced by 10% at the next renewal.
  • Cost of Health Check-up
    Health policies may also contain a provision for reimbursement of cost of health check up. Reading your policy document carefully will help you understand intricate details of a policy that might help you save.
  • Minimum period of stay in Hospital
    In order to become eligible to make a claim under your policy, minimum stay in the hospital for a certain number of hours is necessary. Usually this is 24 hours. This time limit may not apply for treatment of accidental injuries and for certain specific treatments such as outpatient treatments. Read your policy document carefully so that you can claim this additional feature.
  • Pre and post hospitalization expenses
    Expenses incurred during a certain number of days prior to hospitalization and post hospitalization expenses for a specified period from the date of discharge may be considered as part of the claim, provided the expenses relate to the disease /sickness for which the insured was hospitalized. Don't forget to go through the specific provision in this regard.
  • Cashless Facility
    With most Insurance companies having tie-up arrangements with a network of hospitals in the country, under the cashless facility, you will not be required to pay hospital bills if you get your treatment in any of the network hospitals. The insurance company, through its Third Party Administrator (TPA) will arrange direct payment of the amount covered under the policy to the hospital. This is considered useful if you would like to have a seamless experience with lesser paperwork and are willing to be treated in the hospitals within the network to avail this convenience.

Based on the necessity you can also opt for a treatment in a non-listed hospital in which case, you may have to pay the bills first and then seek reimbursement from the insurer. Cashless facility will not be applicable here.

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