Even after opting for a higher sum assured, there are various ways to keep your premiums low. Here is how to do it
In current times, we all need to be covered under health insurance. However, senior citizens are the ones who need it the most, as the frequency of them falling sick is more. In India, till date, senior citizens account for almost 50 per cent of the total deaths caused by COVID-19, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. Worldwide data and global trends say that senior citizens are hit the hardest. Experts say it is so because these are the people who are mostly found with pre-existing diseases.
Additionally, as amidst the pandemic getting an insurance policy for senior citizens is tough, hence, it’s always better to have a policy as early as possible in life. With the country witnessing disruptive lifestyle changes, constantly increasing medical inflation, and rapidly spreading chronic diseases, it has become imperative for us to opt for an insurance policy. The older you get, the harder it becomes to obtain a policy with lesser restrictions, and lower premiums.
Having said that, there are few ways you can get the best policy at a reasonable premium if you play it smart.
High sum insured
As medical costs are continuously on the rise, experts suggest it is better to buy a policy with a larger sum assured. As with a larger sum assured the policyholder can pay for his/her treatment at a better hospital, even if the rates are expensive.
For instance, for the COVID-19 treatment, private hospitals are billing patients above Rs 5 lakhs including the ventilator, therefore a health insurance cover less than Rs 10 lakh will not be ideal. Many experts used to suggest Rs 5-lakh cover till recently as it was considered sufficient, but COVID-19 proved us wrong. Hence, choose better features and higher sum insured of an insurance policy over cheaper premiums.
There are various health policies that come with a co-pay option wherein the policyholder pays a part of the bill and the insurer takes care of the rest. Even though a policy without co-pay is ideal, these kinds of insurance policies have lower premiums, however, if the co-pay ratio is around 20 to 25 per cent, it is of little use to the policyholder. Experts suggest, around 10 per cent co-pay share is the right ratio for a policyholder.
Keeping your premiums low
Even after opting for a higher sum assured, there are various ways to keep your premiums low. If you are opting for a regular policy, opt for an insurance policy between Rs 3 to 5 lakhs, and then buy a top-up add-on cover. Having an add-on will enhance the overall coverage of your insurance cover.
Play your Add-Ons
Health insurance top-up covers are ideal if you have lower sum insurance. These add-ons kick in if a policyholder’s hospital bills are over and above the deductible amount, that he/she has chosen while opting for the top-up cover. As these have deductible amounts, the premiums are also cheaper.
For instance, if you have a base cover of Rs 4 lakhs and you opt for a top-up policy with a deductible amount of Rs 4 lakhs, the add-on will kick in only for bills that exceed Rs 4 lakhs. While a top-up takes into consideration a single claim and if that has exceeded the deductible limit or not, a super top-up takes into account aggregate claims made during the year. Hence, a super top-up is more favorable for policyholders.