You may be aware that having health insurance is essential, but have you ever wondered just how much insurance would be enough for you and your family? It may have been a mind-boggling decision until now, but it no longer has to be. A few tips may help you decide just what the right health insurance amount for you is.
Take into account your age
Your age is the first thing that must be taken into consideration since it is one of the most important factors that affect your health insurance. An early start is therefore best advised. For instance, if you start at age 35 years or below, then you should start with a sum insured of Rs. 1.5 lakh and increase it by 10%-15% every year. Taking a health insurance policy when younger, simply means, that you get a better deal while paying a lower premium, as you would usually have fewer pre-existing diseases. In addition to that, some insurers also offer plans that are designed specifically for senior citizens or people aged 46 years and above. Such plans come with special features such as a shorter waiting period than the normal health plans. These are therefore some options you can consider, since they meet age specific requirements.
Consider the life stage that you are at
Insurance requirements change as you progress in your life. This is why you should consider your life stage, so that you can have the right amount of health cover. If you are married, you have the responsibility of your spouse, and perhaps children too. In such a case, you will have to get a plan that caters to the possibility of their health problems as well. Thus, you can consider a family floater plan which would cover the entire family under a single policy. As a result, it will also be easy to manage rather than having separate plans for each family member.
Consider any other health insurance cover that you may have
The company you work at may offer you insurance facilities. While this is definitely a convenient benefit offered by employers, it most often is not sufficient, nor is it long-term. You could lose these benefits upon quitting the job, thus leaving you without any cover, especially in a situation where the group cover is the primary health insurance option. It is therefore advisable to have an individual health insurance plan too.
Considering the rising medical costs, especially with new and advanced procedures being available in India, it is advisable to consider a product which can be taken as a top-up policy (with some deductions applicable). Such a plan would give you continuity benefits over your existing policy at a reasonable premium.
Think beyond your basic health cover
While your basic health cover will offer standard hospitalisation benefits, you should think beyond that too and get something that would cater to specific needs for your family. Certain plans that can enhance your health cover, thus making it a comprehensive cover are good options for you to choose from.
Some choices available in the market for a complete health cover are:
According to the current tax laws, the premium paid towards health insurance is eligible for tax deduction under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act. This can be a maximum of Rs. 35,000 including premium paid for both parents above 60 years. Hence, this is another reason for you to consider a health insurance.
The author is the head of health administration team operations at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
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