Tips To Buy Health Insurance

Track the insurer’s premium patterns over a period of time to gauge how often premiums are increased.

Unsure about what factors should be considered while buying health insurance? Here are a few thumb rules.

Start early

The prime rule to buying health insurance is to start early. Since the likelihood of pre-existing ailments such as blood pressure, diabetes is on the lower side while you are young; insurers would give you a policy easily too. In addition to that, the premium would also be lower.

For example, if you take a cover of Rs 2 lakh at the age of 25, the premium will be approximately Rs 2,338 whereas the same cover taken at 30 years will cost you Rs 3,283 for a year. This is why, for the benefit of a better cover, an early start is advisable.

Increase your sum

To ensure that you are making sufficient provision for any unforeseen hospitalisation, it is important that you increase your sum insured by 10-15 per cent each year. This is important because of the rapidly increasing rate of medical inflation. For example, cardiac treatment would cost anything between Rs 3 lakh and 5 lakh today. Adding an inflation rate of 15-20 per cent would mean it could see an increase of anything between Rs 45,000 and Rs 1 lakh, the following year. This would be a substantial amount to shell out in case of inadequate health cover. To cover this increased cost, it would be prudent to increase the sum insured accordingly.

Most working individuals are covered by a group health policy provided by the employer. However, you should not purely rely on the benefits of the group cover offered to you. The drawback of this mediclaim offered by your employer is that, it may be neither sufficient in terms of sum insured nor long-term, as these benefits are lost upon quitting the job. It is therefore important to have an individual health insurance beyond a group cover, as this will ensure continuity, irrespective of a job switch.

Evaluate your insurer

These days, with a large number of insurers present in the domain of health insurance, customers have multiple options to choose from.

While taking a decision, it is advisable to track the insurers premium pattern over a period of 5 years, at least. This will allow you to get an idea of the frequency at which there is an increase in the premium charged. If the amount charged as premium is low, make sure you check the coverage that is being offered. Besides that, it is advisable to look into the claim settlement procedure offered by the insurer. This means, you should consider their procedure, and most importantly, the time in which a claim is settled. It is also recommended to make previous enquiries regarding the mode of claim settlement i.e. whether it is handled in-house or through a third-party administrator.

In addition to the above mentioned, consider the co-payment applicable on the policy, as this would help you bring down the premium, although you would have to share the cost in case of a claim. You should also consider the spread of network hospitals, value added services such as discounts and offers on OPD, diagnostic tests offered by the insurer.

Currently, the biggest advantage for customers has been introduced in the form of health insurance portability. This suggests that even if you are not satisfied with the services being provided by your current insurer, you have the option of switching over to another insurer, whilst retaining benefits such as waiting period.

comprehensive cover

Although a vanilla hospitalisation cover is important for everyone, it is suggested to enhance this cover with plans such as critical illness, hospital cash, and so forth. Furthermore, it is better for you to opt for top-ups instead of multiple policies, as this gives you the option of enhancing your sum insured. Not only does this offer you better benefits, but it is also useful to cover very high medical expenses.

(The writer is Head-Health Administration Team, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.)

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  1. Reply

    Health Tips!!!!!!!!!!!? I have lettuce…. Any ideas what I could put in it to make it less boring but still healthy?

    Any more healthy food ideas would be great too.

    Any health tips period would be great lol


      • HealthNut
      • August 5, 2012

      Strawberries, cut up and put in the salad 🙂 Also, raspberry vinaigrette, croutons, tiny little seeds, celery, cucumber, carrots, even little cubes of cheese and raisins 🙂

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Health Tips? Is it bad for the health when after eating, I immediately lie to sleep?

      • HealthNut
      • August 5, 2012

      Yes it is you should wait at least 2 hours after eating before going to sleep or else the food you just ate won’t burn up! you shouldn’t eat after like 6pm

  3. Reply

    Any Health Or Beauty Tips You Know About Weightloss, Looks, Health Etc? I want to try and be heathlier and feel better about myself because at the moment I have really low self esteem and I want to know any health tips you guys can give me.
    – How to lose weight safely
    – How to brush your hair or teeth properly
    – How to apply makeup
    – A good cleanser that won’t harm your skin.

    Basically just anything you know about being healthy or anything you can think of.

    Person with the most tips gets best answer!

      • HealthNut
      • August 5, 2012

      Hi Kara!

      I have dealt with this problem of weight lose (and low self esteem too!) for a couple of years now. But now I reached a point where I know if I will not do something for myself, no one will do it…So, here is a list of some questions/ideas that I think you will find useful and by answering to these question you will have some ideas on what to work on.

      1. Make the time to focus on health.

      2. Take a long hard look at what you are putting into your body.

      3. How much are you eating?

      4. Drink WATER!

      5. How much do you move each day?

      Hope you will be ok soon!



  4. Reply

    How Can I Get Healthy? -Health Tips? This year, I made it a point to become healthy. I have lost some weight and got rid of some acne.

    I really want to be healthy, and make sure that I look healthy.

    Can you give me some all over health tips?
    Im a teen girl by the way.

      • HealthNut
      • August 5, 2012


      The best advice I can give you is exercise daily and eat well. Eat at least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day. Try to cut out as much sugar and snacks as you can manage. Drink plenty of water. Exercise for about 30 minutes a day, remember this does not have to be running a million miles and lifting 10 ton weights. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and is great because you can walk briskly around shops whilst looking at really cute outfits!

      I hope this helps!

  5. Reply

    Do These Health Tips Actually Work? 1 apple / day – no doctor
    1 lemon / day – no fat
    1 cup of milk / day – no bone problems
    3 ltrs water / day – no diseases…

    Also what are some losing weight health tips?

      • HealthNut
      • August 5, 2012

      No, these health ‘tips’ are actually myths. It’s all very healthy to do that, but no.

      To lose weight, all you can really do is exercise more and eat healthy and try to keep your calories at around 1600 a day. It’s good to drink homemade lemonade that tastes pretty sour and not sweetened very much- it’s good for your metabolism. Tea is good, fruits and vegetables are good. It’s a great time to get active because it’s summer and you’ll sweat more, which is awesome for your body to flush out toxins and such. I like making fruit smoothies and adding spinach or kale (you can’t taste it and it’s so good for your body- not to mention filling). When you snack during the day, only snack on ‘raw’ foods like fruits and vegetables, or maybe a few almonds.

      Good luck!

  6. Reply

    I’m Trying To Loose Weight, What Are Some Health Tips? I’m making a modeling portfolio, and I know I need to be slimmer. What are some health tips, such as eating veggies, and colors to dress in the make you look slimmer? What is skinny for height 5’8″? I am Indian (India) & German and I have blue eyes.

      • HealthNut
      • August 5, 2012

      Unfortunately there are no easy ways to permanently lose weight and most people who lose weight regain it all.

      A vegetarian or vegan diet for the rest of your life might perhaps be a good option as very few vegetarians or vegans are overweight.

      If you want a life changing permanent weight loss you need to follow a maintenance diet for the rest of your life after you reach your target weight with one of the many diets you can choose from.

      You can see further details in a web search for “how to lose weight and keep it off”.

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