1. Not Researching Different Policies
A lot of people end up buying their health insurance in a hurry, or by relying on the recommendations of friends and family. However, since one person’s needs are different from another’s you need to look out for a plan that suits your needs.
- How to correct this – You can do this by comparing different policies and understand their coverages and their respective premiums. Also try to figure out what your medical requirements and expenditure will be in the coming years so that you can find a suitable policy that fulfils these needs.
2. Getting Insufficient Coverage
Another common health insurance mistake is that people tend to skim on the coverage. In order to pay a lower premium, many end up opting for plans with restricted insurance coverage, or a lower sum insured amount.
But, while this kind of coverage may seem beneficial in the short term, it means that you will have to pay out-of-pocket at the time of a medical emergency, adding to your financial burdens.
- How to correct this – Check that the health insurance policy provides adequate coverage for all your medical needs, and includes essentials like critical illnesses, pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, annual health checkups and more. Additionally, ensure that you choose a sum insured amount that provides for all your needs. With the right coverage, your health insurance will help ensure your financial security
3. Only Opting for a Basic Cover
Some people just buy health insurance for the sake of having it, or just to qualify for tax benefits. However, in such cases, you will be missing out on the benefits of a comprehensive health insurance plan, which will offer more protections, including things like ambulance charges, no hospital room rent limit, and more.
- How to correct this – It is worth it to spend a little extra on the premium for a comprehensive health insurance plan over a basic coverage. This way, you will get comprehensive coverage and be financially secure during difficult times.
4. Not Looking at Add-Ons
Apart from not getting a comprehensive policy, a lot of people also don’t look at the health insurance add-ons that they can add to their policy. This is often because they have to be added separately and require an additional premium.
However, since a standard health insurance plan does not cover certain situations, opting for these covers can make a huge difference to your healthcare.
- How to correct this – Look at the add-on covers offered with your insurance policy, and choose the ones that might be helpful for you, your family, or your plans for the future. Some important ones might include a Maternity cover, Critical Illness cover, Personal Accident cover, or AYUSH treatment cover.
5. Relying Solely on Insurance Provided by Your Employer
These days, a lot of salaried employees get covered by a group mediclaim policy from their employer. So, they don’t bother to get additional health insurance for themselves. But, this kind of policy might not provide adequate coverage, and if you lose your job, or retire, you will still suddenly not have any cover at all.
- How to correct this – It is advised to invest in an additional health insurance policy so that you get additional coverage and financial security regardless of employment status.
6. Not Sharing Your Medical History
A number of people commit the mistake of concealing their medical history when buying a health plan. This is often because they fear rejections, longer waiting periods, or high premiums. However, doing this can be very detrimental as when you most need it, your insurance claims can be denied due to existing conditions, or undisclosed medical information.
- How to correct this – Health insurance policies work best when there is transparency on all fronts. Therefore, don’t be afraid to truthfully disclose your medical history at the time of buying your policy. You might have to pay a higher premium, but it will also remove the likelihood of future claim rejection.
7. Not Reading the Policy Document
Another common mistake many individuals make when buying health insurance, is that they skip going through the policy’s terms and conditions. Every insurance policy comes with inclusions and the exclusions, and while it is important to know what is included, it is just as important to know the exclusions.
- How to correct this – Carefully go through the inclusions and the exclusions in your policy document, or what is covered and what is not covered under the plan, before you buy it. Knowing these things will help you make an informed decision, and will also help avoid any unpleasant surprises at the time of claim settlement.
8. Overlooking the Sub-Limits
Often people overlook the sub-limits clause in their health insurance or are just not aware of what it entails. A sub-limit is a pre-determined cap that is placed on parts of your claim amount by the insurer. These limits can be placed on ambulance charges, hospital room rent, treatment of certain diseases, post-hospitalization charges, and more.
So, when you can only make a claim, the insurer will only pay the amount set out by the sub-limit clause; beyond that, you need to pay out of your own pocket. Because of this, health insurance plans with sub-limits usually have lower premiums.
- How to correct this – Go through your policy document and review the sub-limit clauses it has. Usually, you will see them under exclusions. If possible, try to buy a plan with higher coverage limits or no sub-limits at all.
9. Not Taking into Account Co-Payments
Many buyers might agree to opt for a higher co-pay, to lower their total premium payment. However, they often forget that the co-pay is the percentage of the claim amount that they will have to pay at the time of a claim. While this might be fine if one is young and healthy, as one gets older or there is a medical emergency, the co-pay clause can pose a problem.
- How to correct this – Some insurance companies have a mandatory clause for co-payment, while others offer voluntary copayment. If you can, look for a company that does not require mandatory co-payments. And, carefully consider your financial and medical situations when you decide whether to opt for a co-pay, and for what amount.
10. Waiting Until You are Older to Invest in Health Insurance
Young people are often apprehensive of getting health insurance early in life, and think that they can wait to make this investment when they are older. But, no one can predict medical emergencies. And not being covered at a young age can result in a loss of savings, and high premiums later in life.
- How to correct this – Getting health insurance whilst you’re young means you will have to pay lower premiums. And, you will also be able to get through the waiting periods while you’re healthy, and even get cumulative bonuses for claim-free years.
Even though we have seen rapid economic development in the last few years, affordable healthcare is still not available to many with our country’s infrastructure. This makes health insurance an essential investment.
But since there are so many options available today, you need to be well informed to avoid making any mistakes while buying health insurance. Once you know what to look out for, you will be able to make a good choice and secure your future and wellbeing with the right health insurance.