Personal finance: Want to reduce your health insurance premium? Here's how
One should purchase a health insurance policy as soon as possible to avail the benefits of lower premium.
Adequate health insurance coverage has become an absolute necessity for every individual, as an appointment with a doctor for minor ailments such as a cold or a cough can burn a hole in your pocket, while circumstances can become worse in case of major or critical ailments that may require large financial assistance.
A medical emergency can strike anyone, anytime, and impact an individual emotionally and financially.
A need for adequate health insurance coverage also comes from the fact that medical inflation is looming at large, and is resulting in high treatment expenses. While most people understand the merit of health insurance coverage, many are not mindful of the fact that a health insurance policy helps only if it’s active at the time of hospitalisation. Hence, every individual should look forward to reducing his/her health insurance premium, and keep their policy active.
Purchase health cover when young
There are several factors at play when it comes to deciding the premium of your health insurance cover -- ‘age’ remains one of the prominent factors. As age increases so do the premium of health insurance coverage. Hence, one should purchase a health insurance policy as soon as possible to avail the benefits of a lower premium. The chances of contracting ailments increase with age, which is also reflected in the health insurance premium – therefore, buy early and live longer.
Have a right sum insured
It’s extremely important to have the right sum insured -- you should keep your health, age, and income in mind while purchasing a health insurance cover; buying excess or inadequate coverage can lead to serious problems. If you are over-insured then there will be a higher health insurance premium outgo. On the other hand, if you are under-insured then you might have to pay extra from your pocket. One also has to take note of inflation when considering paying a health insurance premium – for instance, a ten lakh policy today would be insufficient five-to-ten years down the line.
Opt for voluntary co-payment
If you are young and healthy, you can choose a high voluntary amount and get a concession on premium rates from the insurer. As the probability of falling ill is less when young, it’s a great way to receive affordable premium rates from the health insurer. You can opt for high voluntary amount when you are young, healthy, and have a steady flow of income; it’s a great way to minimise premium cost. Co-payment is the portion of claim that has to be first paid by the policyholder at the time of a settlement, which can be further segregated as compulsory and voluntary.
Purchase insurance online
You should consider buying a health insurance policy online, as there are considerable discounts available on premiums. Online health insurance policies are comparatively cheaper that those sold by agents directly, as the insurance company doesn’t have to pay a commission to agents, and the benefit is directly passed on to the consumer. Moreover, buying a health insurance policy online is both hassle-free and convenient for the customer.
Opt for a longer tenure
Health insurance policies are required to be renewed every year, however, some health insurance companies offer policies that have a term period of two to three years. There are benefits of choosing a longer tenure health insurance policy as one receives significant discounts on premium.
Opt for a Family Floater policy
When choosing a health insurance plan, it’s imperative to consider the coverage requirements of your family as well. One can avail discounts when opting for a family floater policy, as the overall premium is divided among all insured family members. Since premium is charged on the basis of coverage, health insurance companies also permit you to customise your coverage features as per your needs.
No claim bonus plans
If there is a zero claim in the previous year, most of the insurance companies provide a no claim bonus. Hence it’s important to check with the insurance company whether they offer a no claim bonus. One can use a no claim bonus to get extra coverage without paying the additional premium.
Lead a healthy lifestyle
Your lifestyle determines your health. You are less prone to ailments and diseases if you make a conscious effort to live healthily. This is highlighted by many health insurance companies that offer special premium discounts for the same. So, time take out, hit the gym and choose a balanced diet.
Hence, by analysing the coverage and its features, you can save your hard-earned money. Simple tips which, when followed can certainly help reduce your health insurance premium.
(The writer is Chief Customer Officer, Cigna TTK Health Insurance)
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