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Things to Check before Buying a Second Health Insurance Plan

Health insurance is a contract between the person insured and the insurer to provide financial assistance at the time of medical emergencies. All the members covered under the health insurance policy can avail of the benefits of the plan and get assistance either in cashless form or reimbursement. The insurer requires the insured to pay a premium amount as per the frequency set up while buying the policy. 

There are instances when the insured is not satisfied by the current policy and requires another plan to provide better facilities and a higher medical cover. Buying second health insurance, in that case, would a better option. There are certain scenarios where an insured might want to have another policy; some of the important ones are discussed below:

Lower Medical Cover: 

A medical cover is the amount of financial assistance that an insured will get at the time of hospitalization. A person might have bought the policy when he/she was unmarried and has been paying the premium amount since then. But, after marriage, if the spouse has to be included, then buying a second policy in the name of the person could be an option. The previous policy can be continued, and the new policy can also be utilized at the time of emergencies.

Policy for Critical Illness:

Critical illness policies provide medical cover for several life-threatening conditions like   a brain tumor, various forms of cancers, heart attack, kidney failure, and other life-threatening diseases. Treatment of these illnesses might require a high amount of money. It is preferable to purchase a separate policy to cover the expenses.

Policy Provided by the Employer:

Corporate health insurance provides basic health cover. Also, critical illness and maternity benefits may not be provided in the employer health insurance. To get premium benefits, buying a second health insurance policy would be a better idea, as it will assist even when a person changes jobs and is not working.

Before purchasing the second health insurance plan, it is better to assess the current situation, which involves the present health conditions of the applicant, the number of family members to be insured, the sum assured provided, maternity benefits required in the new policy, and current illnesses if any.

Certain benefits that were not a part of the previous health insurance plan can now be covered in the second insurance. It is better to ruminate about the policy conditions and discuss it with the insurance companies to know about the complete features and benefits of the health insurance plan. It is better to be informed than to regret later. 

Important Aspects to Check Before Buying Second Health Insurance

One should consider the following factors before buying second health insurance:

Higher Sum Insured:

The skyrocketing hospitalization costs and the increasing health issues require a person to have a higher sum insured to cater to healthcare needs. A higher sum assured will require a person to pay a higher premium amount as well. It will depend upon the claim history and present medical conditions of the insured. As the age of the insured increases, the premium amount increases. 

One should be ready to pay higher expenses. For instance, if a person has a family health insurance plan of Rs 3 Lakh and has 5 members in the family; then it might not be sufficient to cover the expenses. In such a case, having two medical insurance plans would be advisable. One will have a health cover of Rs 10 Lakh, and the other one will be a critical illness insurance plan with Rs 10-15 Lakh of cover.

Policy Cover: 

Since the last health insurance, many health factors might have changed will require and thorough check-up to decide the policy cover suitable to cover the expenses. If the plan is to buy health insurance for the whole family, then the health conditions of other members should also be considered.

Including a new family member after marriage/childbirth or any change in the occupation are some of the deciding factors. For instance, if a person is planning to have a baby in the coming two years, then it is better to buy second health insurance with maternity benefits to avail of a full cover at the time of childbirth.

Top-up Plans:

A top-up is an additional benefit health insurance plan that can be added to the existing policy to get more benefits. If you think your existing medical insurance policy may fall short of funds, then you can buy a Top-up Health Insurance Plan. This plan will provide additional sum insured to cope up with any unforeseen medical emergencies, when the existing health insurance policy may not suffice. 

Benefits of the top-up plan

Reload of sum insured

The sum insured will be restored to the maximum limit after making a complete or partial claim. An insured can make continuous claims and the sum insured gets restored.

 

Family Members Cover

Family members between the age of 3 months and 65 years who are dependent on the insured can be added to the policy

Room Rent Expenses

The rent levied by the hospitals during hospitalization is covered in this top-up, and there is no need to worry about the daily rent.

Pre and Post Hospitalization Expenses

Even before and after the hospitalization, there are several expenses that are heavy on the pocket. X-ray, MRI, lab test report, appointments with the specialist, ambulance charges, pharmacy expenses are covered in the top-up plan

Organ Donor Expenses

If a situation arrives where there is a requirement of donating the organ, then the top-up will cover the expenses caused to the organ donor. The top-up sometimes proves to be a savior as organ donation expenses can be in lakhs. 


Lifelong Renewal Feature: 

The existing medical insurance plan might have a cut-off age for renewal. After the insured arrives at that age, the policy cannot be renewed. Many people are unaware of the cut-off age of the policy and find themselves in a difficult situation when the policy has expired, and they need urgent medical assistance. While buying the new policy, it is mandatory to ask questions regarding the cut-off age. It is preferable to buy a lifelong medical insurance plan that assists even when the insured grows old.

Switch to Different Insurer:

The thought of purchasing the second health insurance plan might be liked by many people as it comes with a lot of research to be done to select the policy that provides benefits and sum assured as required by the insured.

Switching to different insurers is also an option, and the insured can choose the type of policy required and the benefits to be included. As per the IRDAI guidelines, the insured doesn’t lose out on the benefits while porting to a different health insurer.

Before buying the medical insurance plan, always check for the benefits provided in the policy and the top-ups available. The insured claims ratio is an important parameter to check the credibility of the health insurance company. A higher insured claim ratio signifies better claim settlement by the service provider.

FAQs 

Written By: Paisawiki - Updated: 20 October 2020

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