Buying one health insurance is a tough task when a lot of companies are selling it with great offers and benefits. There are numerous of plans, offers to attract the customers and mostly befuddle them.Here are a few things you should definitely check and know before falling for a health insurance deal:
1. Claiming procedure: The claim process of the company should not be much complicated as it will cause a huge delay in settlement of claim. Health insurance is one of the most important types and you cannot risk your or life of your family by making it difficult. The simpler the claiming procedure the easier is claim settlement. Examine their process carefully and then decide.
2. Customer Support: A 24*7 customer service is mandatory for health insurance. In case of any misunderstanding in the hospital the customer care executive should be present to handle such situations. Research about the company and their way of dealing with customers.
3. Waiting period: Mostly insurance companies provide a waiting period for any previous ailment. This can range from one to around six years depending on your age and type of disease. The best way to avert this issue is to buy a health insurance plan in youth so that you can easily clear the waiting period.
4. Pre/Post Hospitalisation: There are numerous of expenses added with Hospitalisation which include medicines, tests and doctor’s follow up. Make sure that your insurance plan covers these expenses too. From Hospitalisation of a patient to their discharge health insurance should cover all of the expenses. There should not be too much of burden on your side.
5. Insurance amount: The most important decision to make is deciding on a right insurance amount. The right choice of amount shall only cover expenses. Take your age, health condition, salary levels in consideration before making a decision. The amount shouldn’t be too high for you to afford nor too less as you do not need a shortage of amount in emergency.
6. Family insurance: In choosing a health insurance plan make sure that you insure your family members along with you. Decide the insurance amount by considering their age, existing or previous ailments.
7. Network hospitals: The most important thing is to check their network hospitals. Mostly hospitals provide cashless options and the bills or receipts of all expenses are settled directly with the insurers. Make sure to ask the insurer about the network hospitals where this cashless system is available.
It’s common knowledge that those who have more money tend to have more to spend without question. Insurance companies are not any different; they are the ones with the bigger purse. Medical providers know this as well. Over the last 50-60 years, the providers increased their prices to see what they can get away with, at the same time the insurance companies were negotiating for bigger discounts. This is how healthcare became big business. The insurance companies fronted this cost, and now we have to cover the expense of higher premiums today.
The pricing transparency is null in the healthcare industry. Partly because we never needed to know because someone else was paying the bulk of the bill. The other reason is that no one shopped their healthcare expenses like they do other consumable items. The medical providers know this and took advantage of this. The price for something billed to the insurance company and what is the ‘cash price’ can be completely different. Which one are you going to pay?
It’s highway robbery if you ask me. Take a typical generic medication at the local pharmacy. One could cost about twenty dollars to the insurance company, but your price if you pay the cash price could be ten dollars. Why? It is because they can.
The opposite is also true. If you ask for the cash price, it could be double what the insurance companies negotiated price. Many providers will charge the patient the billed amount versus the discounted amount. It’s kind of like since you asked I’ll charge you more.
Personal case study: My kid injured his hand. The specialist could not tell that it was fractured or not. They wanted to lean on the side of caution, but I wanted to know if it was just a deep bruise or a fracture. The doctor suggested that we do an MRI on his hand just to be sure. As any caring father would, I inquired how much would this cost me if I paid cash, I have a high deductible health plan.