James and Roshin enjoyed the benefits of company-sponsored health and medical coverage for the initial eight years of their married life. In the course of that time, health cover premiums were subtracted from remuneration and distributed on their behalf. While disbursing premiums with pre-tax cash had with its own perks, it also implied that the couple could not make rewards (or points) on all the amount they were spending. After a few years, they had their own start-up and started purchasing their own cover. They were excited to find that premiums can be paid with their credit card. Even though it ended up as extra spending on credit, which is not ideal, it certainly made things easier for the couple.
Are you burdened with debt because of hospital bills or costs of medicine? Please know that you are not the only one. There are countless low and mid-income Indians who pay their medical expenses using credit cards, which is a mark of huge burden inflicted on Indian families by increasing medical expenses. Recent data shows that health care expenditure has risen by six percent in the previous year alone. Many do not have adequate health insurance. This evidently made people think that it is better to buy health insurance using credit cards rather than pay off endless bills using credit card. The trend of paying health insurance premium through credit card EMI emerged as a result.
Health insurance is essential for one and all. Unlike before, when you had to pay for your health indemnification using cash or cheque, insurance companies these days agree to take credit card payment towards the premiums. Thanks to the prevalent usage of plastic cash, this way of paying is, in effect, gaining more popularity. But how practical is it to buy your health cover using your credit card? Let us explore the pros and cons of the same. Customers nowadays enjoy umpteen choices when it comes to choosing personal and / or family health insurance covers and shelling out regular premiums. Paying for personal insurance will make it easier to chalk up reward points and air miles.
The main benefit while paying your premium using your credit card is that your bank balance amount will not go down instantly. That is, you shall postpone the flow of money from your savings account. You may also accrue reward points on your credit card for this particular expenditure. If you have availed a significant health insurance, your regular premiums will also be higher. This shows that you can assimilate more number of cash points for your purchases. But what if you were to go for a credit card payment just because you can adjourn the money outflow and fetch points? It can end up quite badly if you are not vigilant with your usage of credit card.
Automated-mode: Firstly, you must make sure that the annual imbursement is not set in the 'automatic-pay' mode. Many insurance firms offer their customers that option. If you click on the option 'yes', the money is debited from your credit card account every annum. Even though this seems like a perfect way to keep to the deadlines, it is strongly recommended that you do not go for this.
If you are not satisfied with the health insurance firm’s product and services, you can port your insurance policy to any other company. Pre-setting your premium payments using the credit cards can make the procedure all the more complex if you wish to change your health provider, not to mention, premiums are at times escalated without notifying the policy user and the increased sum is deducted from your credit card account. Every credit card provider discourages customers to share their credit card info with the insurance company or to sanction an intermediary to withdraw money from your credit card under any situation.
Extra fees and charges: When you use your credit card for shopping (online or offline), you will be imposed an additional fee on top of your premium money. This could either be a certain share of your premium money or a uniform fee. The charge levied differs from one insurer to another. However, every credit card payment involve a transaction charge. This is because the health insurance company will consecutively have to shell out that amount to the credit card provider. This added fee you pay may seem like a negligible sum, but why give more when you have options that do not come with any additional charge?
Missing due payment dates: Credit card interests are often perceived as sharks. You won’t know its strengths until you get caught. Unlike other payment modes, the not-so-slight hitch about credit card payment is that if you miss your deadline, interest piles up. Moreover, you will be levied a late payment charge too. The cash you will have to pay extra will be a lot more than you think.
Whether or not you must buy health or medical insurance via credit cards is dependent on your financial discipline. If you are cautious in utilizing your credit card(s) and are punctual in your premium imbursements, you pay your health insurance premiums using the card. If not, you would do better to adhere to usual payment modes like hard cash or cheque.