Sat. Dec 14th, 2019

What are the different types of Health Insurance?

4 min read

Selecting the right health insurance plan is a bit like that. Only, there is no one right answer here. It’s a case of different strokes for different folks. The first step is to figure out where you stand financially. Next, assess your health needs. Do you have any pre-existing health conditions? Is there a family history of certain illnesses? What kind of lifestyle do you have? Finally, look at the different types of health insurance plans available to you.

Types of health insurance Plans

Comprehensive health insurance: As the name suggests, comprehensive policies provide all-round cover. These plans provide coverage for hospitalisation expenses and doctors’ fees. You also get coverage for expenses incurred as an outpatient. This is useful in case you require frequent medical attention but no hospitalisation. Most comprehensive policies cover ambulance charges to some extent. And, for an extra fee, you can avail a critical illness cover as well. Some policies also compensate you for loss of income.

When to choose this plan: Make this your first line of protection.

Basic health insurance: These plans help you take care of the basic hospital expenses. So, you get coverage for your room rent, doctor’s fees, and other inpatient expenses. But there is no cover for outpatient expenses. This is a basic, no-frills health plan. And because of the limited coverage, the premiums may be more affordable.

When to choose this plan: Get this if your income is low and you cannot afford the comprehensive option.

Mediclaim: A pure Mediclaim policy has one simple function: It reimburses you for all the expenses incurred while in hospital. That includes your room rent and the doctors and nurses’ fees. It covers the costs of medical procedures and tests that you undergo while hospitalised. Should you need blood or oxygen, that too is covered. The coverage extends to pre- and post-hospitalisation costs as well.

You pay all the bills upfront and file a claim for reimbursement. You must submit all relevant bills and medical documents to support your claim. Multiple claims are possible until you exhaust the sum assured.

When to choose this plan: Avail this to take care of your basic medical needs at a low premium.

Family floater plan
This is a convenient health insurance plan that covers you, your spouse, and children. And you get this benefit under a single health plan and a single premium. One or more family members can use the plan in a given year. You have coverage until you use up the sum assured.

When to choose this plan: Select it if you need affordable health insurance for the full family.

Joint health insurance: This option is usually available to a married couple. Like in the family floater plan, the coverage is shared by the two insured individuals. In one year, both or one of the insured is free to claim the full sum assured.

When to choose this plan: Opt for this to get adequate health coverage for your specific requirements.

Individual health insurance: Here, the policy caters to a single person. The advantage here is that you do not need to share the sum assured. You also have the scope to customise the policy as per your needs. It is also possible to include add-on riders.

When to choose this plan: Opt for this to get adequate health coverage for your specific requirements.

Group health insurance: Many employers offer a group health insurance plan for their employees. This is hassle-free coverage, with usually no waiting period. Some plans extend coverage to the employees’ family members as well. However, the coverage ends once you leave the job.

When to choose this plan: Your employer may have already included you in their plan. Boost your cover by paying an extra premium to include add-on riders.

Critical illness plans: Treating critical illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and kidney failure can be expensive. The costs of treatment may exhaust your sum assured. Covering further costs out of your own pocket may not be sustainable. That is where critical illness plans come in.

These plans pay out the full lump sum benefit once you are diagnosed with a critical condition. You may then use the money in various ways. Use it to cover treatment costs. Or let it provide a temporary income for your family.   

 When to choose this plan: It adds an extra line of security if a critical illness risk runs in your family.

Add-on health insurance: These also go by the name of top-up health insurance. Use a top-up or super top-up plan to increase the sum assured on your base plan. But there is a difference between the top-up and super top-up options. The former covers the costs of only one hospitalisation. Meanwhile, the super top-up offers coverage for a full year until you exhaust it.

When to choose this plan: Use this to extend your sum assured at a lower premium than if you bought a fresh policy.

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