With rising hospitalization expenses and an increased risk of contracting infections like the Coronavirus disease, getting oneself protected with a health insurance plan is becoming more of a necessity than ever before.
Rakesh Jain, CEO of Reliance General Insurance, says, “With the increase in age, it becomes difficult for individuals as well as families to get covered. However, this can be a daunting task for those with pre-existing health conditions, including diabetes, asthma, blood pressure, cancer or even sleep apnea. They also need to undergo additional checkups to be eligible for policy issuance.”
To make things a little easy, here are a few useful tips to help find the best health insurance policy for people with pre-existing health conditions.
Pre-existing Diseases can be covered by your health insurance subject to evaluation of risk and accepted by the insurance company, but a minimum waiting period is applicable on policy. During this waiting period, the policyholder cannot make claims for hospitalization due to any of these prevalent/pre-existing illnesses. This treatment also expands to doctor fees and the cost of medicines that may be ongoing requirements.
Jain explains, “Factors affecting the waiting period include present medical condition, the severity of illness and most importantly, the insurer. It is advisable to choose your insurer wisely and, in case of porting to another provider, do so post completion of the existing waiting period.
Refrain from hiding your present or past medical condition as this can be treated as misdeclaration or wrong declaration and can lead to the termination of the policy and forfeiture of premium. Industry experts sat it is thus important to give correct information about the pre-existing illnesses to the insurer at the time of purchase of the policy or at the time of portability.
“If the list of prevalent diseases isn’t disclosed in full, it could lead to claims being rejected on the grounds of misdeclaration/non-disclosure condition,” adds Jain.
Research the products offered by different Insurance companies. Jain says, “While some insurers consider the proposer’s entire medical history, quite a few companies evaluate only the recent history and also provide a lower waiting period for a slightly higher premium amount. If available, it is advisable to opt for the reinstatement plan which will ensure hassle-free policy renewal in case of a lapse.” Even those with existing health issues can safeguard themselves with adequate health coverage.
However, according to experts, you must always consider the average cost of hospitalization in the city where you live while choosing a health insurance policy. For instance, hospitalization costs are likely to be lower in a tier 2 city than in a tier 1 city. Thus, one who stays in a tier 2 city and planning to get treatments in the same city can pay zone wise premium and get additional discounts. However, the same is not applicable if the person gets treatments in a tier 1 city instead.
Last but not the least, Jain points out, “it’s best to research all available options before purchase and declare all pre-existing conditions to avoid any hassle in the future.”