Medical illnesses and diseases are on the rise and although new technologies and medical innovations are coming out, the cost of treatment keeps going up. A family health insurance plan is not only a smart way to ensure your well-being but your family’s as well.
Before you decide to consider family health insurance plans, make sure to delve into your medical history and collect your records for any pre-existing conditions. This will help in selecting the right plan for you and thus avail, the best course of medical treatment.
How Does Family Health Insurance Benefit You
Family health insurance plans with maternity and other covers included will benefit you in the following ways:
1. One Premium For All
The best family floater health insurance plans in India cover not only you and your spouse but your entire family. This includes up to four children, parents, and siblings, with the option of adding extended family members like in-laws to the cover.
2. Easy to Keep Track Of
You don’t need to track multiple health insurance policies when you opt for a floater-type family health insurance including parents plan. You get no compromises on treatment either since you know what you’re signing up for.
3. Saves Money on Taxes
Opting for family health insurance plans lets you avail certain tax benefits of up to Rs 55,000 under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
4. Continuous Policy Cover Benefits
Many insurance companies these days let you avail a continuous policy cover which means you don’t have to pay any higher premiums for the first two years.
5. Exclusive Discounts
Unlike how you have to pay additional charges like hospitalization costs, transportation, medical bills, and more when you don’t have health insurance, a family health insurance plan helps you save money by providing you exclusive discounts. This lowers the overall cost of treatment and hospitalization.
Features Offered By Family Health Insurance
Following are the features offered by family health insurance plans these days-
1. Flexible Tenures
Family health insurance policies provide customers with flexible tenure options ranging from 1, 2, 3 or more years.
2. No-claim Bonuses
If you don’t end up filing a claim by the end of your policy tenure, your policy’s insured amount gets increased, thus providing you additional insured sums at no additional costs.
3. Add-on Covers
Many health insurance policy providers these days let you take add-on covers for maternity, surrogate pregnancy, artificial insemination, etc – if you need them. Some include these features as well. You also get a rebate on your whole health insurance policy if the insured amount is high enough.
4. Add New Family Members
You can add any new family members like children or siblings in modern health insurance plans. This option didn’t exist before but now it does and you know about it.
5. Restore Health Insurance Policies
If your health insurance policy expires, you have the option to restore it automatically with modern health insurance plans – for both individual and floating types.
Types of Family Health Insurance Plans
Here are some common health insurance types:
1. Individual Health Insurance Plans
This policy covers only one specific family member and is ideally suited for the elderly. It provides detailed covers for those who have a wide range of illnesses. The elderly are more prone to falling sick and have a health condition which makes this cover suitable for them, versus the entire family.
2. Floating Health Insurance Plans
Floating family health insurance plans provide an assured amount in the policy. For example, if a floating plan tells you that the insured amount is Rs 2 lacs, it indicates for all the family members together and not on a per-person basis.
3. Critical Insurance and Medical Insurance Plans
These again fall under the individual bracket except the main difference is that it covers cases like heart attacks, stroke, and kidney failures – something which floating plans may not fully cover. Medical insurance plans fall under the floating bracket and cover hospitalization costs only when medical treatment is availed.
Things You Should Consider While Selecting Family Health Insurance
Before you opt for any family health insurance plans, here are a couple of things you should consider:
1. Number of Family Members
If you have a small family, such as in the case of couples without parents, then it doesn’t make sense to opt for a floating plan. Getting individual plans, in this case, is much more convenient.
2. Age of Family Members
If your family members are relatively healthy and physically fit, with no existing illnesses, then getting a floating plan is smart. However, let’s say that your parents are severely ill while the rest of your family is healthy, then getting a floating plan won’t work for them. In this case, you need to combine floating plans with individual health insurance policies for optimal benefits.
3. Any Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Your premium will go higher if you have any pre-existing medical conditions before applying for health insurance. The type of plan you avail, be it floating, individual or both, will depend on this.
4. The Waiting Period
For some pre-existing medical conditions, the waiting period for your treatment will vary. It could be 3 to 4 years or even longer depending on what you have. It is best to speak to the insurance provider before you sign up for any of their plans regarding this.
5. Think Insurance Amount
Last but not least, think about the insurance amount you are applying for. Consider your family’s health, nutrition, and overall lifestyle before applying for insurance. If you’d like a safety net and you feel you’re well off into your later years, then floating plans may just be what you need.
Eligibility Criteria for Family Health Insurance Plan
The following is the eligibility criteria for most family health insurance plans:
- The person who is applying for the policy must be no older than 65 years. Some companies are flexible and let individuals of up to 70 years old apply.
- The oldest family member becomes the policyholder.
- Family members and extended family members must fall within the age bracket of 18 to 65 years old. In some cases, it can be extended to 70 years old.
- For children or newborns who want to be included in these policies, the starting health insurance age limit is 90 days, however, depending on the policy provider, some plans initiate after 30 days of birth.
- You will be required to take medical tests at the nominated medical test centres recommended by the insurance policy provider.
What is Covered Under a Family Health Insurance?
The following are the features or medical aspects under a family health insurance policy:
- Family health insurance policies include hospitalization costs of the patients, including medical bills, doctors’ consultation fees, and room stay charges.
- According to Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, the premium amount paid for will not be taxed.
- Any organ transplantations or replacements are covered under most family health insurance policies.
- Daycare charges and ambulance charges in the event of medical emergencies are also covered.
- Insurance companies sometimes cover some of the many critical illnesses in their policies like cancers and kidney diseases.
- Free look period of up to 2 weeks is provided by policy providers where the person availing the insurance is free to cancel the policy and get his premium refunded, in case he is not happy with the product or service.
- Insurance policies also cover an automatic renewal or lifelong renewal feature and the terms for this vary based on the plans selected.
What are the Exclusions?
Some of the exclusions included in health insurance policies include:
- Organ damage or diseases caused by excessive use of alcohol and drugs
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases like HIV/AIDs
- Dental and oral treatments
- Non-allopathic medical treatments
- Diagnostic fees are not refunded if the patient applies to undergo medical tests despite having no positive signs for diseases
- Infertility cases, pregnancy abortions/complications, and treatments related to incidences of miscarriage
- Any injuries or losses caused by suicidal attempts or self-harm
Here are some frequently asked questions about family health insurance plans.
1. How to Buy a New Family Health Insurance Plan?
You can buy a new family health insurance online by simply visiting the insurance provider’s website and submitting the details. Or, you can walk directly into the insurance companies’ offices to fill up the form and physically and get your policy on paper.
2. What is The Minimum Age Limit for Baby to Get a Family Insurance Plan?
Usually, it’s 90 days but some insurance companies let you get a family insurance plan starting when your baby turns 30 days old.
3. How to Renew The Family Health Insurance Plan?
Here is how you can renew your family health insurance plan:
- Contact your insurance policy provider online or offline and provide details like your previous policy number, expiry date, and other details required by the renewal application form.
- Pay the required amount via credit card/debit card or net banking.
- After payment, a digital copy of the policy will be sent via email. You will also receive your payment receipts as confirmation.
- You’ll get the physical copy sent to you as well, unless the policy you apply for is done completely online, in which case, you can print it out yourself.
- In addition, your username and password will be sent to you so that you can log in to your online insurance account and track/check the renewal details
4. Is Family Floater Plan Better Than Individual Health Plan?
Depends on your family and any existing health conditions. Generally speaking, yes, but only if the insured amount is high enough to cover all your family members. Otherwise, combination plans which take the best of individual and floating insurance policies are the best.
5. Is There Any Lifetime Renewal of Family Health Plan?
Yes. Some insurance policy providers allow lifetime renewal of family health insurance plans.
A family insurance policy is a good way to safeguard your future. When we lead busy lives, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves and our family’s health. In this way, a family health insurance policy not only protects your family but keeps you stress-free and free from worries.