Health insurance companies offer you the option of going for co-payment, which involves you sharing a portion of the claims with the insurer should they arise. The sharing of the claims burden means a lower premium outgo compared to normal insurance policies.
However, under what circumstances should you look for a health cover and opt for the co-payment (also referred to as co-pay)?
Insurance experts say that the preference in general should be towards polices that do not have the co-payment clause. Co-pay should should be considered only when premium rates are beyond ones ability, says Mahavir Chopra, Director,- Strategic Initiatives, Coverfox.
“Customers should always opt for plans which do not have co-payment as a condition. Only when the premiums charged are unaffordable or beyond the budget of the customer should he opt for co-pay to reduce the premiums,” Chopra told FeMoney.
He feels opting for voluntary deductibles is a better option. “One should consider going for voluntary deductible which is a fixed amount that the customer needs to share. This is a better option for reducing premium than co-pay, as the amount to be shared is restricted on a value and not as a percentage of premium,” he said.
Saroj Satapathy, CEO, Ideal Insurance Brokers Pvt Ltd agrees with Chopra. “The future cannot be predicted and any mishap can happen any moment. So if one is comfortable paying the high premium it is wise to take a regular health policy where the entire medical treatment expense is covered and to avail best possible medical care without any apprehension. My advice would be to avoid co-pay unless and until it is pre-imposed condition of the policy which you are planning to take,” he said.
Satapathy pointed out most companies have a compulsory co-pay clause for people seeking coverage at later age or beyond 60 years of age. “One should opt for co-pay if an individual is above the age of 60, where the chances of claim are high. And even young person who is fit and has no medical history can go for co-pay, where his premium becomes much lesser,” he said.