21 Nov 2018
#FinancialBytes: 6 common myths around health insurance policies, busted!
Health insurance is an important financial product and investing in it is essential to protect one's finances in the event of any illness.
However, a large number of people still don't own a health insurance policy and lack of understanding or misconceptions are a major reason for the same.
So, here, we bust 6 common health insurance myths to help you decide better.
No need to take health insurance at an early age
One of the biggest misconceptions about health insurance is that people don't need it when they are young and healthy.
One must understand that unforeseen events like accidents and illnesses can happen to anyone, anytime.
In fact, buying and regularly renewing a health insurance policy at an early age is advisable as it means lower premiums, higher sum assured, and better claim experiences later.
One can enjoy health insurance benefits immediately after buying it
Many people assume they can buy a policy right before a surgery or hospitalization and avail the benefits immediately.
However, these policies have a certain waiting period before which insurers will not entertain any claims against ailments or diseases. Only accidental hospitalization is covered from the beginning under some policies.
Generally, there are clauses restricting subscribers from making claims in the first 30-90 days.
Insurers will pay the full amount of hospital bill
A health insurance policy is meant to bear expenses incurred on treatment and hospitalization. But, insurers do not always honor the claims fully to pay the total hospital bill.
In most cases, claims are honored partially as consumables (oxygen masks, bandages, thermometers, etc.) aren't covered.
They generally have certain sub-limits or monetary caps on the room rent and sum assured on specific diseases too.
One can make claim only if they are hospitalized
Many insurers have a certain cap on the minimum number of hours of hospitalization required to make a claim. However, hospitalization may not always be required in all cases, even if the person undergoes a surgery.
For example, cataract surgeries and dental operations don't need 24-hour hospitalization as they are day care procedures. Such procedures are also covered under several health insurance policies.
Myth #5: Policy buyers can enjoy cashless treatment anywhere
Many people assume all their medical/hospitalization expenses will be covered under the policy's cashless benefits. However, they first need to check whether the hospital they are admitted to is enrolled in their insurer's cashless program. Cashless cover will not be applicable at non-partner hospitals.
Misconceptions about whether health insurance policies cover pre-existing diseases
Health insurance policies generally cover pre-existing diseases after a certain waiting period, which can range from 1-4 years.
After the waiting period, one can make a claim against their pre-existing medical conditions.
However, subscribers must disclose all their medical conditions honestly while buying the policy.
If the insurance company suspects the subscriber has not disclosed their pre-existing disease willingly, it will reject the claim.