In one of our previous posts, we had discussed various parameters to consider while purchasing health insurance plans. The kind of coverage provided can vary across different health insurance plans. In this post, we have picked up five health insurance plans from different health insurance companies. We will compare these five plans on the parameters mentioned in the earlier post.
We must clarify that we have chosen the above five plans from the universe of available health insurance plans only for demonstrating feature comparison. We are in no way suggesting that these are five best plans available or the five best health insurance companies present in the market. There are many other health insurance plans (from other providers) available in the market which may suit your requirements better. While choosing a health insurance plan, one size fits all approach will not work. So, there is no perfect health insurance plan. Every person/family has own set of health insurance requirements. You need to pick up a plan which meets suits your requirements the best.
The comparison is for a family floater plan (2 adults – both 31 year old) residing in Mumbai for a sum insured of Rs 10 lacs. A family floater plan provides cover to the entire family to the extent of sum insured.
How do these Health Insurance Plans compare?
Please note that the feature-wise information provided above is not complete and coverage under such features may be subject to further conditions. For the exact details, you may have to refer to policy wordings of the respective plans. As we have discussed, there are no two policies which offer the same features. That is why it is not so easy to compare health insurance plans.
You can see the range of premium for the same couple across health plans. The difference in premium payable is not only due to the extent of coverage provided (features) but also due to claim experience (depends on both age group and individual medical history) of the respective insurers.
For example, if Apollo Munich has witnessed higher percentage of claims from people in the age group 30-35 than say, Tata AIG (in the same age group), Apollo Munich is likely to price its policy higher than Tata AIG (everything else being the same) to the age group 30-35. Insurance premium increases with age as the likelihood of getting hospitalized increases with age. Additionally, higher the number of features (better coverage) provided, more expensive the policy is likely to be.
A point to note is that insurance plans cover events that impact the insured adversely e.g. hospitalization for accident or any illness. Maternity benefits and new born baby cover are an exception. Hence, it is not unwise to expect plans which provide such coverage to be expensive. You can gather from the table that the two most expensive policies are the ones with maternity benefits and new born baby cover.
We have seen that various health insurance plans provide different extent of coverage. Hence, unlike term life insurance plans, it is not advisable to compare health insurance plans merely on the premium payable. First, you need to find out what you need from a health insurance plan. Talk to your friends who have purchased such plans and take their feedback. You can even talk to a financial planner. Premium is important too. However, there are ways to lower your premium. You can opt for a deductible or a co-payment feature. You can choose a plan which provides only shared accommodation (during hospitalization) and not a single private room. Never base your decision on the premium alone. Find out what you want from your medical plan and pick up a plan that is the best fit with your requirements and pocket.
In one of our subsequent posts, we will discuss certain inhibitions behind not purchasing a health insurance plan, tax benefits and how to start researching for purchase of a health insurance plan.
Deepesh is a fee-only financial planner and is Founder, PersonalFinancePlan.in
Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012. The original image and the information about usage rights can be downloaded from Flickr.com