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Top Myths about Health Insurance Plan & Policy

Even before one starts financial planning, it is indispensable to purchase health insurance. An unexpected medical emergency can mean digging into savings or taking help from others. A health insurance policy is what you need to avoid this. 
However, certain myths are floating around health insurance. To pick the best health insurance plan, it’s crucial to bust them. 

Top 11 Myths about Health Insurance Plan & Policy Busted -

Myth 1 - Medical insurance is meant for unhealthy people: Though people who follow sedentary lifestyle are indeed prone to diseases; accidents and seasonal ailments such as malaria, dengue, etc.; can strike anyone. Therefore, buying health insurance is imperative irrespective of your health and age.  The right time to buy health insurance is when you are in good health. Usually, most of the health insurers do not cover pre-existing ailments. Purchasing the policy early when one is healthy would ensure health insurance coverage without exclusions. 
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Myth 2 - One should not disclose their medical conditions: It is commonly believed that one should avoid disclosing their ailments; otherwise, the insurer will either reject the policy application or will increase the premium rates. However, in case of a claim, if the insurer finds out that you have not disclosed your health conditions, your claim may get rejected. Whether you are buying individual health insurance or a family health insurance policy, it is imperative to disclose the current health state even if it means a premium hike. 
Myth 3 - Both health insurance and critical illness insurance are same: While health insurance covers the medical costs, critical illness insurance goes one step ahead and covers non-medical expenses as well. India has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of heart issues, cancer, diabetes and stroke in the last 25 years. Given the rising incidences of life threatening diseases, like cancer, heart ailments, etc.; it’s essential to purchase critical illness insurance policies. Treatment expenses of critical ailments are high. These plans not only cover hefty medical costs, but also act as an income replacement. 
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Myth 4 - Health insurance is only a tax saving tool: Usually, health insurance is considered as a tax saving option and little attention is paid towards the health insurance coverage. Though one can save tax under Section 80D of the income tax act; it is recommended to purchase a medical insurance policy to get protection against soaring medical costs. By investing wisely in a medical insurance policy one can save more than just tax. 
Myth 5 - All health insurance policies offer lifetime coverage: Most of the health insurers offer lifetime coverage, provided you renew the policy. One can buy health insurance for either 1 year or 2 years’ tenure. At the end of the tenure, it’s important to renew the policy to continue enjoying the coverage. 
Myth 6 - Corporate health insurance is sufficient: Medical insurance from the employer offers limited coverage and ceases to exist once the employee quits the job. Further, in most of the cases, corporate health insurance doesn’t offer coverage post retirement. It’s always recommended to purchase an individual health insurance policy instead of depending solely on the employer health insurance.
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Myth 7 - Health insurance coverage starts from Day 1: No health insurance company covers medical expenses during the first 30 days of buying the policy. Only accidental hospitalisation expenses will be covered from Day 1. Further, pre-existing diseases come with a waiting period of 3 or 4 years, and thus, the insurer will cover them only after a stipulated time frame.  
Myth 8 - 24-hours Hospitalization is mandatory: Usually, the important requirement for a health insurance claim is the minimum 24-hours hospitalisation. However, with technological advancements, there are certain surgeries which can be performed in less time. Due to which, many health insurers have started covering day-care treatments like cataract, chemotherapy, among others.  
Myth 9- Entire medical expenses will be covered: In general, the insurer pays the partial amount due to various sub-limits mentioned in the policy document. For instance, if the room rent has been capped at 1% of sum insured, any amount in excess of that will be borne by the policyholder. Further, the other medical expenditures like medicine bills, etc.; will not be covered if they belong to non-admissible list of expenses. In addition to this, there can be several out-of-pocket expenses which a policyholder has to bear. 
Myth 10- Maternity is not covered: It was a case a few years ago; however, in recent years, various health insurance companies have started covering pregnancy and newborn.
Myth 11 - Cashless is available at all hospitals: Usually, people believe that the cashless facility will be offered at all hospitals. However, cashless is available only at network hospitals. In case of non-network hospitals, a policyholder has to pay the bill, which can be later reimbursed from the insurer.   

How to buy health insurance?

In the current scenario, health insurance has become a necessity. To pick the best health insurance plan, it is crucial to compare all the available features along with premium carefully. Every health insurance plan has its exclusion list, which needs to be carefully reviewed to know which expenses are covered. Carefully read the fine print before buying medical insurance.

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