In the wake of rising healthcare costs, health insurance has become a must for every individual. While the importance of a health cover is slowly being understood by many people, an often neglected aspect is the amount of coverage to be taken.
You must consider the size and needs of your family, any existing cover you may have, your place of residence (treatment costs in larger cities are more than smaller locations), your existing health conditions and also your premium paying capacity when you evaluate the coverage you need.
Inflation must also be factored in, keeping in mind the increasing longevity. If you feel that the amount of coverage you already have is insufficient, then you must take steps to enhance this. Following are a few options that can be considered in this situation:
High sum assured option: This is naturally the first step that can be considered. But it is seen that most companies do not offer sum assured coverage of more than R5 lakh or R10 lakh. Some insurance companies like Apollo Munich, Star Health, Max Bupa and ICICI Lombard offer higher coverage amounts, but the premiums they charge are way too expensive for a small family of four. Therefore, you must evaluate this aspect before you look at enhancing your cover. Also remember to check the coverage your employer provides you and for your family. Porting directly from a company group cover to an individual policy is not an option at present. It is expected that Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) will simplify guidelines further, making this an easier option.
Take a top-up cover: If directly enhancing your cover by purchasing a new insurance looks expensive, opting for a top-up cover is an inexpensive alternative. A top-up cover means an additional insurance, giving you cover above your existing coverage. Premiums work out to be much cheaper under this mode. However, remember that claim under top-up cover is possible only if the expenses are beyond a certain ‘deductible’ limit, and also only for a single occurrence of hospitalisation.
Split the cover: De-risking health insurance is also an option.