Monthly Archives: February 2016

Health Insurance Basics


Saving money on health insurance is important, but the strategies to do so are not so obvious. Here are seven ways to control your health insurance costs:

Make sure you are familiar with all of the rules of your health insurance plan, and that you follow them. Your plan will have rules regarding pre-authorisation and provider networks.

If you fail to adhere to these rules, you could find that you have little or no coverage available to you for your treatment. Do not make assumptions about the plan. Read your policy terms and ask questions of your plan’s representatives. Remember that a lack of information can cost you money.

You may be able to opt out of certain coverage features that you do not need. Mental health services, chiropractic services, and maternity stays are often not needed by everyone. In some states, health insurance companies are allowed to offer basic health insurance policies that include only mandated items of coverage. Choosing such a policy is a less expensive option.

If you are married, and both you and your spouse have health insurance policies, check each policy to see if spousal benefits are available. If so, you can eliminate the other one as coverage under spousal benefits is available to both the husband and the wife.

Be prepared for emergencies by becoming familiar with the full aspects of your health insurance coverage. If when an accident occurs you are familiar with which hospitals and physicians are included in your network, you will be in a better position to make confident decisions in an emergency. This information should be kept handy in case you need it quickly.

Saving money on prescription costs will help your overall health insurance strategy. Simple things that you can do include asking for free samples from your physician, using generic drugs, or investigating the availability of reduced cost medications. There are typically eligibility requirements for programs such as these as they are primarily designed for those with low income or no insurance coverage.

Do you have any bad habits? If you quit smoking you will become a more desirable candidate for insurance coverage. Smokers automatically pay higher premiums. You won’t see immediate results, as it may take about 3 years to qualify for better rates enjoyed by non smokers.

Exercise, and get fit. The obese will pay more premium than smokers, the aged, or alcoholics. Getting in shape will not only benefit your wallet, but will help you live longer and healthier. Healthy people experience less stress also.


Increasing Lifestyle Diseases and the Future of Health Insurance in


First the good news, Indian health care industry in the 1990s grew at a rate of 16% and today is worth more than $ 34 billion. Health insurance industry has registered a 20% growth in health insurance premium in December 2009 and is expected to cross a premium mark of Rs. 9000 crore in FY 2010 making health insurance industry one of the fastest growing industries in India.

Now, a string of bad news, the average health expenditure on a person per year is just $34, only 6% of India’s GDP is spent on health, number of hospitals per 1000 persons is 0.7 while the world average is 3.9, less than 10% of India’s population has health insurance while 80% of health infrastructure is provided by private sector making health care unaffordable to most.

So the current scenario has a growing population, poor State-owned infrastructure, no health insurance coverage for the majority, and due to over dependence on private health care, exorbitant medical expenses. Over and above this, increasing migration of people from rural areas to urban areas along with adoption of sedentary lifestyles, poor dietary choices and stress has led to the spate of lifestyle diseases in India. Today, there are 51 million diabetics in India and the number is set to rise to 73.5 million by 2025. Similarly there are 25 million people with heart disease in India and 15 million die of this disease every year. While the number of cardiac patients is decreasing in the world, 60% of heart patients in the world will be Indians.

The news is indeed grim but the cause of worry is not only the rate of increasing diseases but also the nature of these diseases, diseases like Heart disease, Hypertension and Diabetes are chronic diseases requiring a long term medication course along with the set of complications that they bring requiring expensive treatments. With a large population of Indians – rich and poor – suffering from these diseases, the total healthcare costs will skyrocket. In this scenario, we asked health insurance experts about their thoughts about the future of health insurance industry.

We spoke to K S Sankar, Member of Corporate Relations, Medimanage, with about 30 years of experience in Health insurance industry and Sudhir Sarnobat, co-founder, Medimanage, a ‘health insurance broking firm’ with ‘dedicated India centric health website’ about the future of best health Insurance in India in relation with the increasing lifestyle diseases.

How to cover the masses?

Even with the tremendous growth in the health insurance industry we find in a country of more than one billion people only 9.8% of people have health insurance. This leaves 90 % of the population to either depend on the Government hospitals with subsidized rates or paying on their own the expenses they incur in private health care clinics.  With the public health care system failing, people have no choice but to depend on their own resources to pay for their health care.

Keys- Awareness and Affordability

K S Sankar says that health insurance can reach and cover the masses by being affordable and through awareness creation.  He believes the first goal is taken care of; “The industry has demonstrated capabilities of creating affordable products like Universal Health Insurance, Jan Arogya Bhima, etc. So, making affordable products available is not quite a problem. The problem has been that of creating awareness and reach”.

These health insurance plans do have some very good benefits at a low price. The Jan Arogya Bima Yojana for instance – in a premium starting from just Rs. 70, reimburses expenses upto Rs.5000 in a year towards hospitalization as well as pre and post hospitalization expenses.

The issue, therefore, is more about creating awareness of such policies.

Brokers should market Health Insurance

For the lack of awareness about the health insurance policies Mr. K S Sankar, says the fault lies with outdated model of marketing still used by the insurance companies. The only saving grace he says is “introduction of professional intermediation through insurance broking”. However he adds “even this was kind of forced upon the industry than happening as an internally evolved strategy”. But he laments that, the current breed of brokers, except a few, are more interested in reaching into each other’s market than genuinely trying to create more awareness and create new markets.


With health cover you can get well soon


It is rightly said that “Health is Wealth”, good health can help you work well, earn money, look after family, visit place around the world and enjoy the true essence of life. People try numerous ways to stay fit such as gym, good diet plan, jogging, healthy foods etc. Although these are the basic means to live a health life, unfortunate incidences like accidental mishaps, critical illnesses are those unexpected guests that don’t come knocking at your door. They are at once and if not secured with adequate health insurance plan can leave you mentally, physically and financially limping state. India is a country where less than 15 per cent of population has some form of health cover. Thus it holds great potential for various general insurance companies to upsell customized health insurance policies that will cater your needs at cost effective budget rates.

Today, companies especially in private sector are launching health insurance plans with high coverage limit at cost effective rates. There are innovative and more customer friendly top-up features along with average premium costs for policyholder. But, as market is on expansion spree with diversified features being made available to the buyers, the complexities increase and it becomes difficult for customers to choose the best possible plan for themselves and their family needs.

When choosing a health insurance plan, there are several features which are common for all as some terms and conditions have been standardized as per regulations. This makes it easy for customers to shortlist their options for unique set of insurance plan.  The article discusses some of the common features of health insurance plans.

  • All health policies offer 24 hours hospitalization with cashless claim procedure or on reimbursement basis.
  • Although the number of hospitals offering cashless may vary, Insurers have around 4000+ hospital tie-ups in India. However, it is advisable to stay updated with your insurance service provider while purchasing the policy.
  • Most of the plans offer no claim bonus which varies around 5 to 50 % from 1st to 5 year of the policy.
  • Pre and post hospitalization domiciliary treatment and availing ambulance service are common to all plans
  • In all health insurance plans, any treatment within first 30 days of cover except any accidental injury is not covered.
  • Pre-existing diseases are not covered immediately.You have to wait for around 3 to 4 years to get it incorporated in your health package.
  • Once you choose the cover, check if it is available online as it is easier, saves times and don’t ask for medical tests up to age 45. Online sites are a great place to start as they help you easily compare the premium cost of insurance, benefits, features, discounts, payment flexibility & hassle free claims. They also provide you variety of options to choose as per your requirements.

A good health insurance policy is mandatory to combat tough health issues times as it covers you and your loved ones completely against sudden financial burden caused by medical emergencies. Having a good health insurance plan ensures an immense peace of mind and assurance that you can focus on the healing and recuperation of your loved ones, instead of financial worries.

Few things to know while buying health cover


Medical costs are increasing in India at the rate of around 10-15% per year. As long as things are minor they can be taken care off but a serious illness in the family can cause severe financial distress. During this time you feel the real financial “punch” on your face if you’re not covered with suitable health insurance cover. Health policies in India are essential element to safeguard your health and financial wellbeing. The biggest mistake people do is either they feel they’re young & fit so don’t need cover at all or else they are covered with employee health plans. But this can be a costly mistake.

Let understand why? Firstly, you might be fit but not necessary you may not fall ill. A sudden viral fever or critical illness can land you in hospitals with hefty bills. Secondly, a group health insurance plan of your employer may not provide comprehensive coverage for all your healthcare need or dependents, particular illness or family members suffering from any medical conditions etc. Therefore, it becomes imperative that an individual should buy an additional health cover to protect your family’s healthcare needs. While buying a policy there are several things you should be aware of. The article discusses few points to keep in mind while choosing health cover.

  • In the event of family or dependents to take care of, you should always ensure that your entire family has health insurance cover. Check out their ages, any chronic ailments, family medical history, etc. You should note that most health plans will have a waiting period for pre-existing medical conditions. Bare all this in mind and then go for policy purchase.
  • Access your lifestyle, income sources, demographics that have big impact on your health plans. Lifestyle issues like smoking, drinking, obesity will tend to increase premium but it will surely help you to get a financial back up incase of any mishaps.
  • Never exceed premiums beyond income source else there is chance you might not be able to pay particular premium. Eventually it will lead to policy purge or you might stay out of cover in between which can lead to huge financial loss for you.
  • Always read carefully, the exclusions in the health insurance plans. If you or your family members suffer from a medical condition that is not covered by your plan, your claim will be rejected and you may get hit with a huge bill. So, check your family’s medical history and make sure that your health insurance policy covers the illnesses in your family’s medical history
  • Incase you hold a policy and want to increase your cover then it is advisable go for top up of additional cover instead buy separate policy. This will help you cut down on premium costs and no need for fresh waiting period.
  • Make sure the empanelled hospitals in health insurance plans are the ones that you will be comfortable with, both from a quality and convenience wise. Do your own due diligence on the hospitals, with regards to their reputation, specialties, doctors on payroll, equipment and facilities, distance from your home, etc.

Health insurance is a complex financial product. If you don’t have enough knowledge on the policy then talk to health experts but don’t let this put you off from buying health insurance. Online sites are a great place to start as they help you easily to compare the cost of insurance and also provide you variety of options to choose as per your requirements. If you can’t afford to devote your valuable time on research then you can entrust the job to a well-known insurance agents. Always educate yourself about Health Insurances and their feature benefits, costs of premiums and flexible options. If you have a good health insurance plan that covers a wide variety of your medical needs, you will be free from health related financial concerns.

Different types of the family health insurance plans

Family health insurance plans

Nowadays in this fast moving world people want protection for them and their family as well, for this purpose the insurance companies are providing the health insurance​ plans for you so that you will feel secure after buying the insurance plan. What you have to do is to choose the best family insurance plans  that is fitting to your needs so that you will be satisfied by the features offered by them. So have to select the company that is providing the best plan and policy. The types of the insurance plans offered commonly by the insurance

 Companies are as follows:

Senior Subject health plan:

This offers to shield you from well being issues amid your old age. As per IRDA standards, each guarantor must give spread to individuals up to the age of 65 years.

Preventive Health awareness:

Without a doubt social insurance is costly and who needs to fall wiped out and sick; anyways. Thus, now you can have preventive health awareness that offers to deal with you and not let your fall wiped out and sick. This incorporates preventive consideration medicines like consistent checkups, meeting charges and different tests or x-ray expenses concessions. The thought is to screen your health at auspicious interims and give general social insurance advantages.

Key Highlights of Well being Protection Approach:

A thorough health plan comes pressed with highlights. Comprehend these highlights in point of interest so that purchasing a solid strategy turns out to be simple.

Cashless treatment:

Each protection supplier will have a rundown of clinic under its system and if you get conceded in these clinics then you do not have to pay anything. Simply tell your approach number and rest everything will be taken care by the healing center and the protection supplier. This kind of arrangement is the most favored on in light of the fact that there is no anxiety of case repayment and organizing the documentation.

Pre and Post Hospitalization:

This highlight deals with both pre and post hospitalization charges for a time of 30 to 60 days relying upon the arrangement acquired.

Emergency vehicle charges:

The approach holder is free from weight of transportation or rescue vehicle charges as it is paid by the safety net provider. This is an extra advantage and you ought to have decided on it while acquiring.

No Case Reward:

No Case Reward is an advantage gave if the guaranteed does not assert for any treatment in the earlier year. Advantage could be in any structure, either an augmentation in the aggregate guaranteed or a markdown in premium. You can avail this advantage on reestablishment.

You ought to choose the insurance plan that is suitable for you and after having the plan you will feel secure and satisfied as well.


Factors to consider when choosing a health insurance policy

health insurance plan

Not that many moons ago private health care was the preserve of the rich and/or famous, while the rest of us had to take pot luck with (an exceptional, but historically stretched) National Health Service. But then along came a succession of private health care groups which made these plans far more accessible (financially and geographically) to Joe Public, whilst at the same time more companies began offering medical insurance packages as part of their employee perks.

With private health insurance plans therefore being more plentiful than ever before, it would be all too easy to plump for the first decent-looking policy that fell on our laps, rather than shopping around. Plus, there’s the not inconsequential first step of determining just what YOU want your health insurance plan to do for you.

With this in mind we’ve researched and drawn up a shortlist, if you like, of the main factors to consider when choosing a health insurance policy. A rapid-fire guide to the quintessential elements of private medical plans which must be established between would-be policyholder and insurance provider from the very start.

But before we do, let’s remind ourselves of the acknowledged advantages of health insurance, and therein why it’s imperative that we seek out a package which works best for our individual requirements.

Health insurance is far more attainable and affordable than ever before

Firstly, by acquiring health insurance you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be seen quicker at NHS hospitals, essentially making timely in-roads into notorious waiting lists, which in turns potentially means you’ll receive prompt treatment. With regard to this, it should also result in being able to choose which hospital you wish to attend and even earmark a particular consultant to carry out the diagnosis/subsequent procedure.

In addition to this you’ll also bag yourself a private room in a hospital or clinic, rather than settle for a bed on a public ward; potentially even getting your own en-suite facilities in some cases. What’s more, the possibilities of being granted access to medications and treatment that might otherwise be off limits from an NHS perspective could present themselves, should you venture down the health insurance route.

So, addressing these ‘factors to consider’ and the one which should always appear at the top of any such list is that of ‘which type of health insurance policy’ you wish to go for. There are, ostensibly, five predominant branches of private healthcare available to the general public, namely individual health insurancefamily health insurancechild health insurancejoint health insurance and health care cash plans.

While the first four are more or less self-explanatory (in terms of who is covered), the fifth refers to a monthly premium-based package, whereby if you receive medical treatment you’ll be reimbursed by your insurer on a one-job-at-a-time basis, providing you supply them with a receipt for the health work undertaken. As opposed to the aforementioned examples which require an annual premium to be paid by the policyholder.


Approaching Professional Help To Compare Health Insurance Plans India

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Approaching professional help to compare health insurance plans India is crucial to reach the right coverage for oneself and family. These experts can be reached both online and offline for locating tailor-made solutions.

Seeking the right medical coverage has practically become non negotiable for each and every individual in the present century. A plethora of reasons back the decision of person to locate the ideal policy that covers every risk or, mostly all of it as and when they occur. To begin with, the uncertainties that surround people these days are far too many and the cost for medical expenses is sky high.

It has been seen in many unfortunate cases that making payments out of one’s own pocket under critical medical circumstances landed the concerned individuals or, families into bankruptcy. On the other hand, it has also been witnessed, that people in possession of the right medical policies managed to sail through their emergencies with confidence and success.

Landing up with the wrong policies can be considered just as bad as not having one at all. And considering the fact that there are perhaps a million different varieties of health plans available in the market and dynamic advertising by the providing company, experiencing sheer perplexity in the matter of which to take and which to leave is sure to happen with any prospective buyers of the same.

One of the most damaging outcomes of falling prey to the wrong medical policy is not receiving any financial help when claim is made, thus resulting in sheer wastage of the premiums paid. To ensure that no such disasters happen anytime in the near or, far future, it is best to compare health insurance plans India by approaching professional help.

Making comparisons all by oneself can be very taxing in the sense that there are far too many options to go through and just as many terms and conditions to deal with. Accommodating time for this task with the pressures of the everyday work schedules and chores is sure to leave ample scope for choosing an outright wrong policy or, a not-so-good deal in the same respect. By involving professionals, there are a number of benefits that any individual prospective policy buyer can gain.

To begin with, these experts compare health insurance plans India on the basis of a number of considerations that may often slip the grasp of a layman. Inclusions and exclusion of benefits, cost of premium, terms and conditions of claim are usually matched with the requirements and financial standing of approaching individuals and families. The policies so chosen are perfectly matched with the buyers in all respects and there is a guarantee that in case of the occurrence of emergencies, the latter would get all or, a massive chunk of their claim amount.

Mentioning the benefits in simple points one can say that involving professionals will help …

  • Save a lot of time and hassle in the part of the buyer
  • Save in the amount of premiums paid
  • Find greater coverage and benefits at lower costs
  • Gain easy and quick claims in case of emergencies
  • Prevent falling to the traps of useless policies and wasting premiums

The enlightenment so gained by approaching these professionals also come handy while choosing other policies later in life.