A health insurance policy has become a necessity in today’s age when medical costs have become unaffordable. That is why insurance companies offer a range of health insurance policies which provide comprehensive coverage benefits for your health insurance needs. There are more than a hundred health insurance plans available in the market but you should choose the best health insurance plan for your coverage needs. Choosing the best health insurance policy would ensure that you do not miss out on the comprehensive coverage benefits which are offered by health insurance plans. Moreover, the best medical insurance plan would also have the best premium for the coverage that is offered. Besides the coverage and the premium, if you choose the best medical insurance policy, you would be able to avail easy cashless treatments at a wide network of hospitals and get your claims processed smoothly. Thus, for an all-round coverage, pocket-friendly premiums and smooth claim process, you should choose the best health insurance coverage.
How to choose the best health insurance plan?
In order to choose the best health insurance plan, you should compare the available plans on some important parameters. These parameters are as follows –
- The coverage benefits offered
This is an important parameter of judging a health insurance plan. The more comprehensive the scope of coverage offered, the better would be the plan. When the coverage is comprehensive the plan would cover maximum medical expenses and reduce your out-of-pocket costs. So, an all-inclusive plan is always recommended. That being said, you should ensure that the coverage benefits are suitable for your needs so that you pay for exactly what you need. Do not opt for unnecessary coverage benefits which would drive up the premium. For example, if you already have kids and have planned your family, opting for a plan with maternity coverage would be unnecessary. You should, alternatively, look for other coverage benefits for comprehensive coverage.
- The sum insured level
Look for the minimum and maximum sum insured offered by the policies. Health plans which allow higher coverage levels would be better since they would allow you to opt for an optimal sum insured for covering expected medical costs.
- The premium rate
The premium of the policy should be affordable and competitive compared to other similar health insurance plans. However, when comparing the premiums, also compare the coverage offered along with the premium charged to judge the premium rate.
- The network of cashless hospitals
The best health insurance plan would be the one which has a wide network of hospitals for providing cashless treatments. This would help you easily locate a networked hospital in your area and avail convenient cashless claims.
- Pre-existing waiting period
If you or any family member suffers from any pre-existing illness, you should opt for a plan which has low pre-existing waiting period so that such illnesses get covered at the earliest.
- Coverage limits
Opt for health plans which have no room rent capping so that you can get treated in a single private AC room without worrying about the costs. Moreover, the best health insurance policy should also have minimal coverage restrictions and sub-limits on coverage benefits for a more holistic scope of coverage.
- Add-on riders
Many health insurance plans allow optional riders which you can add to the coverage at an additional premium. These riders help in enhancing your coverage and are recommended. So, look for plans which have optional riders so that you can customize your policy as per your needs.
- Premium discounts
The best health insurance plans would allow you attractive premium discounts which would help you bring down your premium costs. So, hunt for the best discounts available so that your premiums get affordable.
- Value-added benefits
Modern-day health insurance plans also offer different types of value-added benefits in their coverage like free medical consultations, second opinion, wellness rewards, health check-ups, etc. The best health insurance coverage would be the one which has a range of value-added services which enhance your coverage and give you something extra.
List of 10 best health insurance plans
Considering all the above-mentioned factors, here is a list of 10 of the best health insurance plans available in the market that offer the best-in-class coverage benefits at the most reasonable premium rates. So, here’s a look –
Name of the plan
Incurred Claim Ratio 2020-21(Health)
ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance Plan
6 years onwards.
Dependent children aged 3 months to 5 years can be covered under the floater policy
Free health check-ups, pre and post hospitalisation, AYUSH Treatment dietician and nutrition consultations, vaccination care, physiotherapy consultations, etc.
Star Comprehensive Insurance Plan
Star Health Insurance
3 months to 65 years
Health checkups, extra cover, maternity cover, OPD cover, complex medical procedures, mid-term inclusion, automatic restoration, etc.
Care Health Care Insurance Plan
Care Health Insurance
91 days onwards
Covid-19 treatment, in-patient hospitalisation, advanced medical treatments, the medical second opinion, free health check-ups, etc.
Aditya Birla Activ Health Platinum – Enhanced Insurance Plan
Aditya Birla Health Insurance Company Limited
91 days onwards
Up to 100% Health Returns, Modern Treatment Expenses, Mental Illness Hospitalization, second e-opinion, international emergency assistance, wellness coach, etc.
Manipal Cigna ProHealth Protect Insurance Plan
Manipal Cigna Health Insurance
91 days onwards
Hospital daily cash benefits, cumulative bonus booster, maternity expense, new born baby expense, Free health check-ups, etc.
HDFC ERGO Health Optima Restore Individual Health Insurance Plan
HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company
91 days to 65 years
E-opinion in critical illness, Stay Active benefit, health check-ups, etc.
Universal Sompo Complete Healthcare Insurance
Universal Sompo General Insurance Company
1 day to 70 years
In-patient hospitalisation, mother and childcare benefits, Wellness benefits, dial-a-doctor, health education library, second opinion, specialist consultations with follow-ups, etc.
Royal Sundaram Lifeline
Royal Sundaram General Insurance
91 days onwards
Free health check-up, second medical opinion for critical illness, preventative healthcare and disease management wellness programs
Reliance HealthGain Health Insurance Plan
Reliance General Insurance
91 days to 65 years
Pre and post hospitalisation expenses, tax benefit, maternity cover, wellness benefits, a guarantee of policy servicing, a guarantee of claim servicing, etc.
Future Health Suraksha
Future Generali Total Insurance
90 days to 70 years
In-patient treatment expenses, pre and post hospitalisation, cumulative bonus, hospital cash, free medical check-ups, no claim bonus, premium discounts, instalment premiums, etc.
Factors affecting your health insurance premium
A health insurance plan is a protective shield that helps you cover your financial need that arises at times of emergency treatment or hospitalization. It provides you with a sense of support when there come times of medical requirements for you and your family. But before you make your choice for which medical insurance plan to purchase and the best health insurance company, you must have a 30-degree idea about the health insurance plans.
Every health insurance company conducts a thorough assessment before approving any insurance application. There are specific guidelines that are followed when it comes to deciding the insurance premium. These are:
- Previous medical history
The customers need to show their own health records, this ensures that there is no existing pre-medical condition. By any chance, if the customer has any pre-medical condition then it’s the company’s policy that decides if it could be covered or not. In case if the company doesn’t cover it then the policyholder will bear the full cost.
- Medical history of the family
If the family of the customer has certain disorders then the premium for that policy will certainly be higher. This is because the insured person may also be prone to genetic diseases like blood sugar.
The policyholder’s nature of work and the risk that he is associated with, affects the premium. For example, if a person works in a hazardous environment or works at a construction site, then the premium will be on the higher side.
- Harmful habits
Insurance companies tend to increase the cost of premiums or even sometimes refuse to cover the customer who has a habit of smoking, chewing tobacco or drinking. This is because smokers are more prone to diseases. This will increase the rate of premium.
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
The person having a high BMI will have to pay a higher premium than the normal ones. The reason behind this is they are more likely to have certain diseases.
Generally insurance companies follow this trend of, the older the person, the higher the premium. The reason for this is that youngsters have fewer unidentified diseases than older people. A young person has fewer chances of having health issues and is less likely to visit any doctor.
Your geographical location is a very essential factor in determining your premium rate. For some locations, the premium rate is high due to the lack of healthy food options and climate. A specific climate may pose more health risks than others.
- Not insured yet?
If the client is getting insured for the first time, then the company may charge him a higher premium rate. This is because the newbies may have a more frequency of visiting a hospital.
Health insurance plan inclusions
In order to assess your requirements and expectations from your health insurance plan, it is essential that you understand what all are covered under the health insurance plan. However, coverage may differ from policy to policy and company to company:
- In-patient hospitalisation
The expenses that occurred in the case of hospitalization under 24 hours or more is covered. The expenses include room rent, ICU room rent, doctor’s fee, cost of medicine, oxygen and blood, etc.
- Ambulance cost
The cost of taking the policyholder to the hospital by ambulance is covered to some extent. In such a coverage, you can avail the facility of an ambulance in case of an emergency or even in planned hospitalization.
- Pre and post hospitalization
The medical cost before being hospitalised and after getting discharged is also covered.
- Organ donor price
The cost of harvesting the organ from the donor’s body and the transplant surgery is all covered under the plan.
- Domiciliary treatment
The cost of treatment at home, when there is no availability of beds in the hospital is covered.
- AYUSH treatment
Non-allopathic treatments like Ayurveda, Unani, Homoeopathy are all covered under the plan.
- Maternity coverage
Maternity coverage with newborn coverage is offered if opted for
- Free health checkups
Most company allows health checkups to the insured after 1 or more claim-free years
Health insurance plan exclusions
Like every other insurance plan, health insurance plans have exclusions as well. Not every medical situation can be covered. Hence, it is important that you have an idea of what is not covered:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
Most health insurance companies may not cover the pre-exisiting medical conditions. For instance, if you already have blood sugar while getting insured, your medical expenses for blood sugar will not be paid by the company.
- Initial Waiting Period
Some companies do not prefer to cover the illness that occurs within 30 to 90 days of buying the policy.
- Drug abuse or alcohol
People suffering from medical conditions due to overdose of drugs or intake of alcohol might not get any medical coverage under the health insurance policies.
- Dental ailments
The expenses incurred in getting dental treatment may not be covered in most health insurance plans.
- Cosmetic treatments
Cosmetic surgeries are not covered in most health insurance plans.
- Health issues due to war or riots
Health insurance plan eligibility criteria
Before you decide to purchase your preferred medical insurance policy, you must have an eye on the eligibility criteria and check if or not you are eligible. It includes:
- Minimum entry age
For a child the minimum entry age for any insurance plan ranges from 16 days to 18 years. And for adults, the entry age ranges from 18 years to 65 years. This can also extend up to the age of 70 depending on the plan and the insurer.
- Previous medical history
If the customer is above the age of 45 then he/she might have to go under several medical tests before purchasing the health insurance. If the customer is not asked for any medical tests, then a declaration form has to be submitted by the customer disclosing his/her medical condition. These processes determine whether you are eligible for health insurance cover or not.
Details of the best health insurance plans
Here’s a brief look into the above-mentioned best health insurance plans –
- ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance
This is a comprehensive health insurance plan which comes in four different variants and has the following salient features –
- 100% of the sum insured is restored if it gets used up in the same policy year on an earlier claim
- Free annual health check-ups are provided
- There is a range of optional coverage benefits like hospital cash allowance, convalescence benefit, maternity and newborn cover, critical illness cover, etc.
- Star Comprehensive Insurance Policy
This is one of the leading health insurance policies with extensive coverage benefits, both inbuilt and optional. The features of the policy are as follows –
- No sub-limits on room rent
- Air ambulance charges are also covered
- Maternity and newborn baby coverage is inbuilt under the plan
- OPD expenses are also covered once in 3 years
- Coverage for bariatric surgery is available
- Care Health Care Insurance Plan
This plan offers sum insured up to INR 6 crores, the highest in the industry, along with the following salient features –
- Robotic surgeries are covered under the plan
- Free annual health check-ups for all insured members
- Sum insured restoration benefit restores the sum insured if it is exhausted
- There are a range of optional coverage benefits for an inclusive scope of coverage
- Aditya Birla Activ Health Platinum – Enhanced
This is the premium version of the Activ Health plan series which offers high sum insured levels. The salient features of the plan are as follows –
- You can get the actual cost of an ambulance covered, without any sub-limits, in a networked hospital
- The sum insured is reinstated upon exhaustion on earlier claims
- If hospitalisation exceeds 10 days, a recovery benefit of INR 10, 000 is paid in a lump sum
- There is no room rent capping
- The plan’s unique Health Returns program helps you earn up to 30% of your annual premium as rewards for healthy living. This earned premium can be used for paying renewal premiums
- Manipal Cigna ProHealth Protect
ProHealth Protect offers you affordable coverage with high sum insured levels and comprehensive coverage benefits. The features of the plan include the following –
- More than 500 daycare treatments are covered under the plan
- You get worldwide emergency cover for medical emergencies
- You can claim health maintenance benefits of up to INR 500 if you practice healthy living
- Up to 200% increase in the sum insured is allowed as no claim bonus
- A range of optional and add-on covers is available for customization
- HDFC ERGO Health Optima Restore
This health plan can be taken on an individual basis or on a family floater basis. It has the following salient features –
- The sum insured is restored 100% if it is exhausted on prior claims
- In case of a claim-free year, the sum insured increases by 50% and doubles up after two successive claim-free years
- There are no sub-limits on room rent
- The premium is not loaded based on your claim history
- Universal Sompo Complete Healthcare Plan
You can buy this plan in three different variants for yourself as well as for your family members. The main features of the plan include the following –
- Dental treatments, due to an accident, are covered
- Vaccination expenses for an animal bite are covered
- Outpatient medical expenses are also covered by the plan
- Optional additional benefits are available for customizing your coverage
- Royal Sundaram Lifeline
This policy provides you with a gamut of inbuilt coverage benefits, value-added features and optional coverage benefits. The main features of the plan are as follows –
- The sum insured is reloaded if it is exhausted on previous claims occurring in the same financial year
- Worldwide emergency coverage is provided under the plan allowing international treatments in medical emergencies
- There are 11 critical illnesses for which you can avail international treatments and get coverage under the policy
- Cost of OPD expenses is also covered
- Reliance Health Gain
Reliance’s Health Gain plan provides a good scope of coverage with attractive premium discounts for affordability. The main features of the policy include the following –
- 100% restoration of the sum insured is allowed for non-related illnesses and 20% for related illness within the policy term
- The sum insured increases by 33.33% after every claim-free year. You can also choose to double the sum insured after four consecutive claim-free years
- In case of specified critical illnesses, the policy is renewed free of cost
- Future Generali Future Health Suraksha
The plan allows a range of coverage benefits and features some of which include the following –
- Individuals above 60 years of age get additional daily allowance if they are hospitalised
- The sum insured increases by 25% in case of accidental hospitalisation
- Sum insured recharge benefit is available under many plan variants
Take your pick from any of these plans for availing the best health insurance coverage.
How much coverage do I need?
The medical requirements can differ from individual to individual. Not only this, but the location of your residence might also play an important role. In order to decide the amount of coverage you need, you must pen down your health requirements. Only then can you figure out which is the most beneficial plan for you. A family health plan can be useful if you have a family and you don’t yet have a family plan. If you are a bachelor, the individual insurance plan can be helpful. If by now, you don’t have coverage for your parents then a parents health plan can be meaningful.
In case you have an existing medical insurance plan, make sure the new one’s benefits do not collapse with the existing one or it might be of no use. Also, do not forget to check out the reputation and health claim ratio of the insurance company before making a purchase.
Benefits of having the best medical insurance
As the name suggests, the best medical insurance plan helps you to protect your savings from exhaustion during several health calamities. These plans provide various coverage to the policyholder by offering various healthcare expenses. The best plan for you can be the one that meets all your requirement and serves you the desired benefits. In general, these benefits are:
- Cashless Treatment
The companies offering cashless treatment facilities have tie-ups with the reputed hospitals of the country where the policyholder can get the required treatment without paying directly. Network hospitals settle the payment of treatment directly with the company without hassling the insured individual. You only have to pay for the expenses not covered under the policy terms.
- Broad coverage
These health insurance plans offer the customer broad coverage by protecting the policyholder from various healthcare expenses like in-patient hospitalisation, pre and post hospitalisation, ambulance cost, domiciliary cost, daycare treatment, organ donor expenses.
- Portability benefits
A lesser-known benefit of health plans is that it offers the flexibility to switch from one insurance plan to another in case the benefits provided are not satisfactory enough. It also saves the customer from being taken for granted by the insurer.
- Financial security
A health insurance plan always helps in fighting the stress in case there is a medical emergency even if there is a rise in healthcare amount.
Optional add-ons in health insurance
Health insurance add-ons are benefits that are optional that a policyholder can choose while purchasing a health insurance policy, or while renewing the existing plan. For this, an extra premium has to be paid. Add-ons help you increase the effectiveness of the health insurance policy and add the additional benefit you find missing in your plan. It is essential to note that with one health insurance plan, one cannot purchase add-ons that exceed 30% of the actual premium amount. This means, if you buy a family health insurance plan that provides you coverage of INR 50,0000 in return for an INR 5000 premium, you can purchase add-ons that collectively do not exceed the limit of INR 1,500. Let’s see in detail the various optional add-ons that you can choose from.
Some add-on covers to consider while buying your health insurance plan are:
- Daily allowance
In this add-on, the company provides extra cover for additional expenses that a policyholder might encounter during the hospitalisation phase. The policyholder is eligible for a lump sum amount of money for a specific number of days per hospitalisation, for bills like transport cost, attendant cost and others.
- OPD care
This add-on ensures that the policyholder can apply for reimbursement of expenses related to OPD consultation and medications. All these pile up to be a substantial amount which can affect a person’s budget.
- Unlimited automatic recharge
This add-on provides the policyholder with the benefit of getting the policy amount restored unlimited times in a policy year. It automatically recharges the sum insured. The sum restored will be available for further medical security. By getting this add-on the policyholder can be worry-free.
- Room Rent Waiver
As the name suggests, a room rent waiver add-on helps you to enhance the benefit of room rent. You may or may not get these benefits in a health insurance policy that you have depending on the insurance company you choose. With this add-on, you can cut down your hospital expenses. In case room rent is included in your health policy but is limited, this add-on will help it enhance either by making the extent unlimited or increasing the room rent benefit.
- Maternity Cover
If you do not find maternity cover in your health insurance policy, this one might be of great help especially if you are expecting a child in future. It covers pre and postnatal maternity expenses and childbirth expenses as well. If you already have this benefit, the extent can be increased.
- Hospital Cash Cover
The expenses on food, conveyance, etc. that occurs during hospitalisation are covered under this add-on. To avail of the benefit of this add-on, the insured individual must be hospitalised for not less than 24 hours.
- Critical Illness Cover
Critical illness cover, as the name suggests, is beneficial in case the insured is diagnosed with any critical illness. Under this add-on, a lump-sum amount is provided to the insured person when she/ he is detected with any of the covered illnesses.
- Personal Accident Cover
Accidents can result in heavy medical expenses, which is why this add-on is of great help. It covers the expenses incurred on treatment of injuries caused due to an accident of the insured individual. From partial to complete disability and death is covered. In case of death, the family of the insured member receives a lump-sum amount.
- Zone Upgrade
Different cities have different medical costs. To deal with medical expenses despite this disparity, one may require a zone upgrade add-on. It covers you for the expenses based on the medical cost of the particular city and the zone. The zones are classified as:
- Zone – Delhi/NCR and Mumbai (including Thane, Kalyan, and Navi Mumbai)
- Zone – Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Vadodara, Secunderabad and Surat
- Zone C- Cities not included in the above two zones
Add-ons are meant to increase the benefits of an existing health insurance plan. In order to make the maximum out of an add-on, you need to analyze which add-ons you may need in future. For instance, if there is no planning of a child in future, purchasing a maternity add-on might be of no use. However, on the other hand, if you drive on a daily basis, personal accident cover might prove to be beneficial. Know your requirements and make the purchase accordingly.
Why do you need medical insurance?
A Health crisis comes without notice and you have to be prepared well enough to deal with it. To fight back, you need to have a strong support pillar that you can find in a health insurance policy. A medical plan not only provides medical assistance in times of need but also provides you with several other benefits. Moreover, the mental support of having a financial backup gives you the freedom to get the best possible treatment. So, if you do not have a health insurance plan yet, you must purchase one for yourself and your family.
It can be said that health insurance is a must for every individual as no one shall experience a financial crisis at times of medical needs. You can purchase a plan depending on your needs. Do not forget to renew your plan on time to avail discounts and benefits. Before you purchase the plan, have a complete idea about the best health insurance company in the market and the various features they offer. It is also essential to analyze if or not you need specific health insurance benefits so that you do not miss out on the essentials in a rush to get the most of the benefits. Choose wisely and make the most out of your health insurance policy. Purchase one today!
How to buy the best health insurance plans from Turtlemint?
Turtlemint’s online platform allows you to compare and choose the best health insurance policy for yourself. Turtlemint is tied-up with all of the leading health insurance companies and offers their plans on its portal. You can simply visit Turtlemint, enter in your coverage details and find the top cheapest health insurance plans available. You can also compare the benefits and premiums of the plans and then choose one policy which offers the best coverage at the cheapest premiums. To buy the cheapest health insurance through Turtlemint, here are some simple steps which you need to follow –
- Visit Turtlemint’s website at https://www.turtlemint.com/health-insurance/ and choose ‘Buy New Policy’
- Proceed to enter your details like your gender, members to be insured, age of the insured members, whether any insured member suffers from any pre-existing illness or not and your PIN code
- In the next page you can pick out the list of preferred hospitals in your locality and Turtlemint would specifically look for plans containing such hospitals in their preferred provider network
- Provide your income level to be recommended the most suitable coverage level
- Leave your contact details so that Turtlemint’s executive can get in touch with you and help you find the cheapest health insurance plan
- When you proceed to the next page you would be shown a list of the best and cheapest health insurance plans with their respective benefits and features
- Compare the displayed plans and choose the most suitable plan
- Pay the premium online, complete the online application process and you would be able to buy the policy instantly online through Turtlemint
Turtlemint, therefore, provides you with a hassle-free approach to compare and buy the cheapest health insurance plan so that you are adequately covered without any financial strain of the premium.