Health insurance: 9 smart ways to save your money

Smart ways to save on health insuranceSave money by still keeping your Health Insurance…

Health care is a big industry…

So much so that, demand sometimes outpaces supply. Though with the advent of technology we have found the cure for almost everything but now things are not that easy to buy.

Today,

Not only the cost of hospitalization is out of budget but the medicines too are a lot expensive. And this makes things really-really unaffordable.

Though,

Health insurance is a must have tool to stay under budget if anything unfortunate happens but still many Indians go without it.

The reason is,

They think they can’t afford it.

And,

Sometimes, they are true. Today a human being is plagued with so many problems that it is hard for insurance companies to cater every single of them.

Thus,

When a standard insurance plan doesn’t include what they are looking for, then riders are offered and this adds to the already inflating cost.

And,

This makes already expensive policy “Out of reach”.

Since health insurance is a must have policy for you and your family, you would not want to miss out on it.

But the question is how to buy it, when things are that expensive…?

Fortunately,

There are ways which can help you save money on health insurance and still keep you insured. These are as follows:

1. Start young:

It’s no hidden fact that insurance companies favor young. They tend to charge a lot less from people in their 30’s than people in their 50’s.

The big reason behind such a partial nature of insurance companies is the immunity of youngsters.

People usually are less prone any health related problems being young than what they face when the age ripes. According to one study by WebMD almost 40% of all the adults above 60 develop a combination of risk factors that help in the development of diabetes, cardiovascular problems and certain types of cancers.

Agingcare.com says that when we age then we usually get:

  • Thinner skin which makes healing of wounds difficult.
  • Bad immune system which makes fighting viruses and other disease difficult.
  • Declining sense of taste which leads to shrinking appetite and further worsening immune system.

Considering all these factors that people face when old, even insurance companies charge 5 times the premium of youngsters. Check this out:

When I compared the quotes on policybazaar.com of a certain person named:

  • Sudhir: Aged 25 and
  • Varun: Aged 50 years then here’s what I found.

Comparing Insurance premiums

Insurance premium for a 50 year old

Thus,

If you want to save on health insurance then the best you can do is to start early and start young. This will save you loads of money and will keep your health insured for long.

2. Buy family floater instead of Individual health plans:

Want to insure every member of your family…!

Then,

Buy Family floaters…

Instead of buying Individual health insurance plans.

Why…?

Family floaters give economies of scale, which gives you more for less. They cover more than 1 individual for a fixed sum which is then shared by every person in the policy.

E.g.

If a family of 4 is covered for a sum assured of Rs.10 lacs then the entire family as a whole can claim only upto Rs.10 lacs.

Since the sum assured is single and floats on every person covered in the plan thus the premium you pay comes much less when compared to individual policy plans.

Consider the following two examples where a policy is bought from Apollo Munich for a sum assured of Rs.5 lacs for 1 year.

Comparing between different health plans

You pay Rs.6,200/- approx as premium for an insurance cover of Rs.5 lac. Thus, this should mean that you would be supposed to pay Rs.24,800/- to get an insurance cover for 4 for the same sum assured, but let’s find what happens when you buy a family floater.

Is it better than Individual health plans

Here your premium turns out to be Rs.12,800/- approx which means a complete savings of Rs.12,000/-.

Family floaters can help you save lots, consider them when buying your plan.

3. Be a part of a Corporate health insurance Scheme:

If you are working in a company then most likely you would have already been covered under corporate health insurance.

Insurance offered by employers are a great way to save some big bucks. They not only come cheap to the employer but nothing goes out of your pocket. These plans are sometimes 100% funded by your boss and you reap the benefits for nothing.

Corporate health insurance sometimes also includes your family under their plan. For this they may charge little contribution from you. Consider buying it as the deals like such can be a lot affordable and easy on your pockets.

Employer sponsored insurance thus can be very beneficial to get that basic cover which you always wanted but found un-affordable.

4. Become a Non-smoker:

According to CDC.gov

“Cigarettes are one thing that harms nearly every organ of your body. They not only worsen your health but are one of the leading causes of death.”

In United States alone smoking kills more than 4.8 lakhs people every single year, which is close to 1 in every 5 death occurred.

The situation is no different in India. According to a report published in Hindustan times 10 lakhs people die every year due to use tobacco. They also state that if these trends continue then the fig. may even touch 1 crore by 2020.

Smoking is no good at all. It only brings trouble to your life:

  • Can damage your liver,
  • Narrows your air pipe that goes into lungs and makes you difficult to breath,
  • Can make you asthmatic and
  • Can give cancer.

Since smokers will always be a trouble to an insurance company. Thus, they prefer charging high premium from them.

You being a smoker will generally pay 20% more than a non-smoker. If a health insurance premium of a non-smoker comes out to be Rs.4,000/- for a cover of Rs.3 lakhs then a smoker will have to shell out Rs.4800/- every single month for the same life cover.

5. Compare quotes before you buy:

It is generally said that:

“If you want to have the best deal possible, then compare everything.”

Insurance companies are very different from one another. Though they offer the same product but the features are not always the same.

  • Where some can offer higher life cover, than
  • Others can give the advantage of longer life term.
  • Where some offer free health checkup than
  • Additional life cover for critical illness with others can be the more lucrative option.

That’s why you get to see different premium quotes from different companies.

Thus,

It’s better to buy from the company that suits you the best not only in term of features but in price as well.

With insurance aggregators like policybazaar.com or bankbazaar.com things are now easier to compare then it was 5 years from now. With simple click of a button you are now able to check out what will fall under your budget and what won’t.

Follow a step by step process to compare policies from different companies:

1. Goto http://www.policybazaar.com/

2. Fill in the basic info about you and your family.

Details required for health insurance

3. Plan your budget and choose the life cover accordingly and walah,

Choose the best health plan in India

4. You will get to see health policies from different companies according your pocket.

Budget plans

5. The cool thing about Policy Bazaar is that you can companies head to toe. Just simply click “Click to compare” and you will compare feature by feature.

Policy comparison

6. Know about your bonuses:

No-claim bonuses are a smart way to reduce your expenses and make you life better.

Do you know…!

When you do not make a claim in a given year then an insurance company rewards you with a No-Claim bonus. This bonus either gives you a higher sum assured or discount in premium, thus benefiting you either way.

Since these bonuses are of cumulative nature thus you are benefited when you get continuous claim free years. And when these get added to your life cover then you get higher sum assured for comparatively less premium possible.

Reliance General Insurance for example offers 1/3% increase in basic sum assured for every claim free year.

Whereas Apollo Munich on the other hand gives:

  • 50% increase on the basic sum assured for 1st claim free year and,
  • Another 50% for the 2nd claim free year. Thus giving 100% as No-Claim bonus.

Bonus that saves you money

Getting a no-claim bonus is really a smart way to save on health insurance. It can be really cost effective and can save you big chunks.

Thus,

Make sure you always know about your bonuses, otherwise your agent will end up eating it and you will get nothing out of the big pond.

7. Buy a basic cover:

Want to insure yourself and family, and still save the money, then buy a basic health insurance plan. This will insure your loved ones by keeping the cost at its minimum and still provide the advantage of health protection.

Standard plans are always very cost effective then the once you customize with top-ups and riders. This is because riders are extra services that you avail along with your plan for which you pay a little extra.

But,

If you are living a healthy lifestyle and don’t have a medical history then basic plan will be more than enough.

It’s because,

They are made for a public in general and include most of the basic facilities. Thus, when you hop for a such a plan then you get:

  • Lifelong renewability,
  • Cashless access to countless no. of hospitals,
  • Tax advantage under income tax act 1961, section 80D,
  • Pre and post hospitalization services,
  • Coverage for treatment you get at home.
  • Organ donor expenses,
  • Ambulance charges,
  • Cost for health check-up, and much more.

All this you get for an affordable premium of Rs. 4,578/- that gets you health cover of Rs.3 lakh from Apollo Munich.

Health plan from Apollo Munich

Thus,

Instead of giving up on your health insurance altogether and saving money in the process, try buying a basic plan. Believe me; this will help you save big in the long run.

8. Get daily cash:

Yes,

This is true; you can have daily cash benefits if you get yourself covered under a health plan. Inorder to attract people to get insured every health insurance policy provides this benefit.

For example,

In the case above “Apollo Munich” provides a lump sum cash of Rs.500 per day to a maximum of Rs.3,000 per day for selecting a shared room in a networked hospital.

Benefits that you get by staying at home

ICICI Lombard on the other hand provides Daily cash that varies with the plan like:

Sum InsuredDaily cash for each completed day in the hospital
Rs.2 lakhsRs.500/-
Rs.3 lakhs / Rs.4 lakhs / Rs. 5 lakhsRs.1,000/-
Rs.7 lakhs / Rs. 10 lakhsRs.2,000/-

Benefits

Though,

It doesn’t help you save money directly in your premium but it still leaves cash in your hand for you to use.

9. Only pay for what is needed:

It is quite possible that we may not need what we wanted 5 years back. This is because priorities change as we age.

The same is true with insurance.

The life cover that satisfies our needs today may not be enough 5 years from now. If we are single today than most likely the sum insured of Rs.2 lakh would be more than enough. But the same may not come sufficient when once married and have kids.

If then you think of buying another policy, then you will only add up to your cost.

Thus,

Instead of buying another insurance plan go for a top up. This way you will help yourself by paying only for what you want. Your sum insured will increase with only a little extra cost and you would not have to pay for the whole policy all over again.

If you consider majority of the measures listed above then you can surely save lots.