The launch of the much-anticipated Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission has made health insurance a more accessible service for a vast majority of the Indian population.
Ayushman Bharat has gained immense popularity in a very short span of time for it has minimum exclusions and it offers benefits that most insurance providers don't. Purchasing a comprehensive health insurance policy often means sifting through a long list, analysing the benefits of each plan, and then deciding on one for its maximum inclusions and minimum exclusions.
Health Insurance Policy Ratings:
There are certain factors based on which health insurance plans can be gauged on their effectiveness, like availability of additional riders to enhance the base plan. In the year 2018, the score that insurance providers received for effectively and efficiently settling claims stands at 30%, which is a huge leap from the earlier score. This score has been bifurcated between claims settlement and claims complaints, wherein claim settlement has received a 25% and the latter has received a 5% score.
Individual health insurance: This is taken by customers who wish to protect themselves from financial uncertainty in case they are ever hospitalized due to the onset of a sudden and unforeseen illness, or an accident at work or on the road.
Family floater health insurance: This is taken by customers who wish to cover themselves from potential financial uncertainty that could arise from any member of their family requiring hospitalization. Some people, who are unaware of this category, choose to take individual policies for each member of their family – this is an expensive and unnecessary practice.
Senior citizen health insurance: This is taken by and for senior citizens, and has a lot of additional benefits and financial coverage for health issues and injuries that are common among senior citizens. A senior citizen would benefit a lot more taking a senior citizen health insurance plan, than he or she would by taking a regular individual health insurance plan.
Critical illness health insurance: Regular hospitalization and treatment charges, while incredibly expensive, cannot even be compared to the amount charged for treatment of critical illnesses. There are specific health insurance policies that offer huge pay outs on the diagnosis of pre-defined critical illnesses.
What are some of the important points based on which best health insurance plans are determined?
The following important elements determine the potential of a typical health insurance policy:
- Coverage against an extensive list of medical disorders and conditions: You should always look at the number of illnesses and disorders while selecting a comprehensive health insurance policy. Cutting down on illnesses covered under a medical policy to lower the premium amount is not advisable, in fact you should get maximum inclusions in your health cover, and minimum exclusions.
- Life cover: The most ideal health insurance coverage is one that can be renewed throughout the lifespan of the insured. A health insurance policy essentially defeats its own purpose if it does not cover illnesses one contracts in their old age.
- Cashless claim settlement: Ensuring cashless claim settlement is a thoroughly important, decisive factor one must take into consideration while purchasing a health insurance policy. When you are hospitalised for a specific illness, the primary objective should be to avail the finest treatment and not worry about cash. Cashless claims are easy and hassle-free as they spare the tension and stress, not only for the insured but for his/her family members as well.
- Maximum hospitals must be covered: Another important point is the hospital network offered by a typical health insurance policy. Your insurance provider must have tie-ups with maximum number of hospitals for easy accessibility and convenience.
- Reasonable and economical premiums: A real-time comparison between multiple health insurance policies must be conducted before a purchase is made. You should always compare the premium costs of multiple health plans before finally deciding which to buy.
- Time taken for settling claims: The amount of time a typical insurance provider takes to settle a claim reflects volumes about them. You should compare multiple providers before finally purchasing a comprehensive health cover from one.
Based on the factors mentioned above, following are some of the best health insurance policies currently available in India. The table includes both individual plans as well as family plans:
|Insurance Provider||Name of the Plan||Minimum and maximum entry age||Basic Sum Assured (in Rs.)||Minimum Premium Amount (in Rs.)|
|Apollo Munich Health Insurance||Optima Restore||
Minimum entry age:
||The sum assured provided under the plan ranges from Rs.3 lakh to Rs.15 lakh||The minimum premium amount is Rs.5,000|
|Max Bupa Health Insurance||Heartbeat||No age restrictions||The sum assured provided under the plan ranges from Rs.2 lakh to Rs.50 lakh||The minimum premium amount is Rs.3,700|
|Bajaj Allianz||Health Insurance for Individual||
||The sum assured provided under the plan ranges from Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.50 lakh||Variable with SA|
|HDFC Ergo||Health Suraksha Plan||No age restrictions under the plan||The sum assured offered under the plan ranges from Rs.3 lakh to Rs.10 lakh||Variable with SA|
|Religare Care||Care Health Insurance Plan||
||The sum assured offered under the plan ranges from Rs.2 lakh to Rs.60 lakh||The minimum payable premium amount is Rs.2,300|
Special Features and More:
Apollo Munich Optima Health Restore: This unique plan offers the facility of restoration, wherein, the basic amount is restored by the insurer in case it is about to get exhausted before the policy term’s end.
USP of the plan:
- A coverage of 180 days or more is provided to the insured after the period of hospitalisation
- The plan offers the facility of lifetime renewal
- The basic amount is restored in case it is about to get exhausted
- The plan offers coverage for domiciliary treatment
- The plan also covers expenses incurred while donating organs
Max Bupa Heartbeat:
USP of the plan:
- The plan offers coverage for free medical check-ups for every second year
- The plan does not obligate Third Party Administration (TPA) for settlement of claims
- The plan offers maternity benefits
- The plan can be renewed at any time throughout the lifespan of the insured
- The plan offers coverage for vaccination of children, up to the age of 12 years
Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance for Individuals:
USP of the Plan:
- The plan offers fixed terms of 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years
- The plan offers coverage for expenses incurred in day care
- The plan gives the facility to avail cashless treatments and also has tie-ups with multiple hospitals
- The plan offers coverage for preventive health check-ups
- Additionally, the plan also offers coverage for homeopathic and other ayurveda treatments
HDFC Ergo Health Suraksha Plan:
USP of the Plan:
- Along with a wide hospital network, the plan offers cashless medical treatments and services
- The plan offers coverage for OPD (outpatient department) expenses incurred, such as dental fees, pharmacy bills, and so on
- The plan offers coverage for the AYUSH treatment (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy)
- The plan offers coverage for expenses that are incurred while donating organs
Religare Care Health Insurance Plan
USP of the Plan:
- There is no maximum entry age limitation
- The plan offers the facility of lifetime renewal
- The plan offers cashless treatments from a wide hospital network
- The plan can be purchased online without paperwork hassles
Best Health Insurance Policies for Senior Citizens in India:
Typically, as an individual begins to grow old, they become more prone to diseases and critical illnesses. During such a time, having a comprehensive health insurance policy proves to be highly beneficial as it helps overcome any financial set-back that the individual and his family may be going through. Health insurance policies for the elderly must be purchased at an early stage in life as they usually come with waiting periods.
Let us take a look at some of the best health insurance policies for senior citizens in India:
Apollo Munich Optima Star: This plan offers extensive coverage for medical treatments and procedures that require in-patient hospitalisation.
- The minimum entry age for the plan is 61 years or more.
- The plan offers a 5% family discount for people who purchase the cover for themselves along with their spouse. However, the sum insured provided under the plan is on an individual basis.
- When you are renewing your policy, the existing premium amount may change due to an increase in your age or your spouse’s age. The tax rate applicable on the premium will undergo a change as well.
What are some of the benefits offered under Apollo Munich Optima Star Plan?
The following are some of the benefits offered under the plan:
- Cover for pre-hospitalisation medical expenses
- Cover for post-hospitalisation medical expenses
- Cover for in-patient hospitalisation
- Cover for 140 day-care procedures that are enlisted under the plan
- Cover for domiciliary treatment done at home
- Cover for organ transplant/organ donation
- Cover for emergency ambulance services
- Cover for second opinions from doctors of Apollo Munich
- The plan is offered to people who fall between 60 years and 75 years
- The plan does not mandate medical examination for applicants
- Offers coverage for in-patient hospitalisation up to a time period of 24 hours
- According to specified limits, the plan offers coverage for ambulance services
- The plan covers post-hospitalisation expenses in the form of lump-sum payment
- The plan covers certain pre-specified day care procedures as well
What are some of the new features of the plan?
The following are some of the features that have been recently introduced in the plan:
- Apart from the existing sum insured options, two more have been introduced, namely Rs.10 lakh and Rs.7.5 lakh
- Cataract limits have undergone revision
- If you are purchasing the plan online, you will get a discount of 5% on the premiums payable
- The plan covers outpatient consultation as well, in network hospitals