Health insurance has become the buzzword in 2020 as we all live through this severe global pandemic. The industry was quick to innovate and offer COVID 19 specific plans and soon enough the regulator stepped in and nudged insurers to offer standardized COVID 19 policies. Individual claim issues aside, at a mass level it was reassuring that the industry was able to address the problem quickly.
The other big change that happened this year was the change in guidelines for health insurance- most of it good for the customer.
Here is what you need to know:
1. New diseases which are now covered
The first good news is that many new illnesses are now going to be covered under a standard comprehensive health insurance plan. These include issues like mental illness, degenerative diseases, neurological and behavioural disorders, puberty and menopause-related disorders among others. Illnesses got due to hazardous professional work may also be included.
2. No claim rejection post eight years
If you have had a health insurance policy for eight years for which you continued to pay the premiums, your claim can’t be rejected from the ninth year onwards unless there is a fraud involved or the claim pertains to a permanent exclusion (an illness which is not covered at all by the health insurer)
3. Preexisting illness
This is now classified as illnesses diagnosed by a physician up to 48 months before the policy and any illness which requires treatment within three months of taking on a policy. The insurer is unlikely to reimburse or pay for a preexisting illness.
4. Health insurance through instalments
Insurers are now permitted to allow customers to pay premiums for the health insurance policy in defined instalments. The choice is with the insurer but will reduce the burden on customers in light of the pandemic related issues.
Taking on a comprehensive health insurance policy is one of the most important decisions of your money life, the sooner you get to it the cheaper and more efficient it will be.
As things progress and the size of your family grows you will find that having a comprehensive health policy is unavoidable; starting early reduces cost and increases your experience with claims and processes.
If we have learnt anything from the pandemic it is the importance of being prepared and having a health insurance policy is simply the most basic step towards that.