EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Health insurance is a must have product for every family. However, due to availability of many options people confuse themselves and make mistakes while buying it. Hiding information, not reading terms and conditions, not checking network hospital list are some of the common mistakes people make and regret later. This article covers some of the mistakes which people should avoid so that in future they do not suffer.
Health insurance protects a person and his or her family members from suffering any financial disasters caused by high medical expenses. Paying the hard earned money for an extended stay in the hospital or for any injury may be very expensive. Hence, this kind of insurance provides the necessary health care during the time of illness or injury. While buying a health insurance policy, it is very necessary to evaluate what one needs and how much risk can one afford, premium and coverage of the product and also the insurer’s service quality before buying any plan.
Since it is nowadays a very common concept, many people end up making mistakes while buying their respective policies and then regretting on it later:
- Hiding information in the proposal form: Most of the times people believe that stating wrong information in the form will not be discovered by the insurance company in the future. This is normally done because customers may think that by representing pre-existing medical conditions in the form, insurance companies may charge a higher premium from them or may even not provide the cover against that particular illness. However, insurance companies are now wise enough to track down the medical history with the help of doctors. This may anyhow result in charging higher premiums or sometimes a lapse of the policy.
- Preferred hospital may not be in the network hospital list: The advantage of getting a treatment in the hospitals that come under the network list is that one can get cashless hospitalisation facility. While checking the details of the insurer, one needs to check whether the nearby hospital or preferred hospital comes under the list of hospitals network so that on the last moment one do not run for money. Therefore it is very important for buyer to check the availability of the preferred hospital in the list while comparing the products.
- One may not read the fine print carefully: One of the biggest mistakes that people make with a multi-page contract is that one may not read the fine-print carefully. Supposedly, some health insurance companies may have good network coverage, but may refuse in case claim is from out of network hospital.. If a situation arises where one must use an out-of-network hospital, this may result in a huge out-of-pocket payment. Also few health insurance companies may not cover uncommon surgeries; this may also result in a huge amount of expenses. So be careful and read before signing the form.
- Too much of insurance is not good of coverage: While it is good to have a proper amount of coverage, it is also important not to over-insure. Being too cautious regarding this matter, wherein one may get insurance against any disease under the sun, the premium amount also maybe too high in such cases. If one is healthy and young then it is better to purchase a health plan of lower coverage which can be increased with the age.
- Focussing solely on the premium and deductibles: When people look out for purchasing health insurance, it is very common to look at the premium and deductible only. This approach makes sense on the surface as it is important to know what the yearly premium costs are so that one can adjust them according to the monthly budget. It is also important to know the deductible to get a sense of overall coverage. A deductible is the amount that one has to pay out of pocket for expenses before the insurance company covers the remaining costs. And most of the times low premiums are the reason why people buy health insurance. So before buying it is good for the buyer to check how much cover one can afford according to the need, otherwise it may cost more if in case any claim arises in future.
- Shopping around with multiple providers: When one has to buy a car or a house, one doe’s research in terms of prices, features, etc. In case of health insurance generally people fall prey to the agents that may approach them first and end up purchasing the health cover from the first provider that may suit their general needs. There are a lot of health care coverage providers with different cost structures and coverage. They are the ones who compete with each other in terms of these factors. Therefore customers have enough time to consult them and decide which one is the best.