A family health insurance is a kind of policy that offers coverage to the members of a family, and covers the costs of their medical or surgical expenses. Depending on the terms of the policy you have, you can either pay your expenses from your pocket and then get reimbursed, or the expenses can be paid by the insurance company directly to the healthcare provider.

The need for proper Health Insurance Plans

Medical costs in India are on a constant rise. And so, for an individual, arranging for funds to pay for medical bills in the eleventh hour can be quite a daunting task. This is especially true for seniors, seeing as they have limited sources of income and that most ailments strike occur during the later years in life.

The most ideal way for people to safeguard themselves against such expenses is to opt for health insurance which covers such exigencies. That way, you are able to provide some kind of financial protection to your family in case of medical emergencies. Under the Income Tax Act of 1961, you can apply for deductions on the premium paid for health insurance policies. However, tax deductions are not the only benefit of having proper family health insurance in place.

With proper medical insurance, you do not have to worry in case a medical emergency hits you, as you can get access to the best healthcare services.

Family Health Insurance

Why opt for Family Health Insurance

A family health insurance plan, as the name suggests, is a type of insurance plan that is designed to financially cover the healthcare needs of the entire family. The basic principles of family floater plans are pretty similar to individual health insurance plans, with the major difference being the fact that family health insurance plans extend the coverage to your entire family.

When it comes to safeguarding the health of your family members, a family health floater is one of the best options that you have. As this is a single policy covering the entire family, it also saves you from the hassles of having to keep track and maintain several insurance policies. It is also a lot more affordable as compared to getting individual plans for every family member separately.

The other major benefit that is offered by family medical insurance is that it offers more extensive coverage and a larger sum insured, and that sum insured can be utilized by any family member under the coverage of the policy in case they have to be hospitalized.

Usually, a family health insurance covers an individual, and their spouse and children. Some insurance providers also extend the benefits to cover the dependent parents, siblings, and parents-in-law as well.

Before You Buy a Family Floater

Buying a family floater plan entails a number of factors that need to be kept in mind. Some of them have been outlined below:

  • Identifying your needs: Before you begin the search for the right health insurance plans, you need to identify your own healthcare needs. Take stock of the family members that you wish to cover under the health insurance policy and then consider their health conditions. Create a list of your family’s healthcare requirements. Once you have a basic idea of what you need from the health insurance policy, it will become much easier to be able to choose the right policy.
  • Research: Before you select the family floater that you want to buy, make sure that you do a thorough research about the various plans being offered and compare the benefits and features to find one that will suit you best. On the face of it, most of the plans might seem similar to you, so it is pertinent that you read the fine print of the policies as well.
  • Add-ons: There are several riders on offer in the market that help extend the overall coverage of your family health insurance. When you choose a policy, it is important that you check out all the riders available and compare them with respect to your family’s insurance needs.
  • Critical illness insurance: This is something that is very important, especially more so if you have elderly parents. You can choose from getting critical illness insurance as a standalone policy or as a rider to your main medical insurance plan. Look for the policy that offers the best coverage.
  • Pre-existing illnesses: Most insurance policies have a waiting period that you have to ride out before you can put in a claim regarding any pre-existing illnesses. As you have a larger number of people being covered under a family health insurance, you need to pay special attention to this clause.
  • Claim related factors: Claims are perhaps the most important aspects of any medical insurance; and that is why you need to pay attention to them. You need to not only check the claim process of the insurance provider, but also their claim settlement ratios to make sure that you make an informed decision.
  • The sum insured: The total amount of money that you will be able to claim in a medical emergency will be based on the total sum insured of the policy. You need to make sure that the sum insured is suitable for you and your family. You will also need to ensure that you can afford the premium that comes with a higher sum insured. All in all, pay attention to your needs in accordance with your budget.
  • Network hospitals: All medical insurances have a list of network hospitals where the insured can avail cashless treatment. Before finalizing on a policy, go through this list to ensure that there are network hospitals near where you work and live or that your preferred healthcare provider is on the list. Also, make sure that the policy covers hospitals pan India as well.
  • Lifetime renewal: As you get older, the requirements that you have to satisfy for availing health insurance keep increasing. When you buy a health insurance policy, make sure that it offers a lifetime renewability option.
  • Other benefits: Depending on your needs, you might want to go through the list of benefits being offered, like maternity benefits, pre and post hospitalization coverage, day care procedures, check-up coverage, etc.

If you pay attention to these factors before you buy family health insurance, you can rest assured that you will be able to choose the right policy, and make an informed decision in the process.

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June 2021