Overview of Health Insurance in India

Health insurance in India commonly called Mediclaim, refers to a health policy which pays for hospitalization expenses if you are hospitalized for a minimum of 24 hours. However, a regular health insurance plan covers a lot more than basic hospitalization, like day care treatments costs for which hospitalization is not mandatory, pre and post-hospitalization expenses, organ donor coverage, free health check-ups, etc. The Indian health insurance market offers a variety of health insurance plans which you can choose from.

Why is health insurance important?

The importance of a health insurance policy in today’s age can be summarized as:

  1. Medical costs have increased – With the overall progress of medical science, costs of treatments, medicines, diagnosis, etc. has also gone up.
  2. Medical Inflation – The cost of basic treatment has also gone up with the rise in medical inflation. Basic cost of treatments has thus become expensive.
  3. Number of illnesses have risen – the incidence of ailments and diseases have multiplied over the years, both in younger as well as older generations.
  4. Health expenses can deplete wealth – If you plan for your wealthy financial future and save steadily for the same, opting for a good health plan is inevitable so that your wealth is not depleted by unforeseen medical expenses.

When you combine these factors, the basic reason for availing a health insurance policy in India is very evident. The increasing incidence of ailments and the high medical costs can be very heavy on the pocket. A health plan thus helps in easing this financial burden at a nominal annual cost.

Types of health insurance plans in India

While health plans come in different variants, let us understand two major sub-divisions of a health insurance plan. They are –

  • Individual health plan: Individual health plans cover only a single individual. The coverage is chosen by the policyholder and the premium depends on the age of the life insured.
  • Family floater health plan: A family floater plan, on the other hand, covers the members of a family under a single policy. The proposer, spouse and dependent children are covered under the scope of the plan. Some plans also cover dependent parents. The sum insured is shared by all members and the premium is based on the eldest member’s age.

Compare Health Insurance Plans and buy the best one

The importance of having a health insurance policy has already been stated but do you know how to buy a policy?

A health insurance policy should be bought only after comparison of different health insurance plans from the hundreds of health plans available in Indian market. To get the best plan which suits your requirements, you should compare health insurance and then buy so that you can opt for the right benefit at the optimal cost.

Heath insurance comparison can be done online which provides easy access, accurate information and time-saving technique at the click of a button!

Why to compare health insurance plans?

There are multiple important reasons why you should compare health insurance plans and not settle before you choose the best plan according to your need. Some of the major reasons include:

  • Getting the best coverage features

    Health insurance plans in India vary on the basis of the coverage they provide and the cost for the same. While some common coverage benefits are there in all plans, the story doesn’t end there.

    There are multiple additional benefits available like restoration of sum insured after the initial cover is exhausted, air ambulance cover, OPD treatment coverage, maternity benefit, coverage for alternative treatments like Ayurveda, etc. So, you can also compare health insurance plans for family, their benefits and coverage features and then opt for the most suitable one.

    You will be able to understand the entire gamut of coverage features only on comparison, which provides a holistic approach to your complete health care requirements for a lifetime

  • Ensuring the best deal on premiums

    Just like coverage features, health insurance premiums too vary. No two plans have the same premium rate. To ensure that you get the lowest rate of premium without compromising on the coverage features, you need to compare.

  • Availing discounts

    Health plans sweeten the deal by offering attractive discounts. There are discounts for covering multiple family members under the policy, for buying a longer tenure plan, when you buy the plan online and for other reasons. Comparison lets you hunt for various discounts so that your pockets are not strained.

  • Choosing the best insurance company

    Though companies are all regulated by the IRDA, the company’s claim settlement record says much about the company’s trustworthiness. When you compare you can find the claim record of an insurance company, customer reviews and testimonials. These help you choose the best health insurance company in India.

Things to look out for while comparing health insurance plans

Health insurance comparison is not a difficult task. You just have to evaluate for certain factors while you compare health insurance plans and then choose the best health insurance plan in India. These factors are:

  • The premium v/s the coverage offered

    Don’t focus only on the coverage or the premium. Compare both together. An ideal plan should be a mix of comprehensive coverage features at affordable premium rates. Look for this ideal plan combination when you compare health insurance plans.

  • Optional riders

    Health insurance plans also have optional benefit features known as add-ons or riders which can be added at an additional premium. The additional premium is a very little amount while the feature greatly enhances the scope of coverage. Look for available optional riders in health plans and try to select a plan which offers those riders which you require.

  • Company’s Claim Settlement history

    To ensure a speedy settlement of your claim, consider the company’s claim settlement history. The better the history the better would be your chances of getting a claim settled.

  • Waiting period for pre-existing illnesses

    Pre-existing illnesses are not covered in first few years of the policy. This period, where the illnesses are excluded is called, the waiting period. Different plans have different waiting periods ranging from 1 year to 4 years. You should try and choose a plan with the lowest waiting period to cover your illnesses at the earliest possible time.

  • Discounts offered

    Different plans have a different discount schedule. When comparing, compare the various discounts offered. Choose a plan which has the highest discounts available.

  • List of networked hospitals

    Cashless claim settlement facility is only available if you seek treatments in a network hospital. Look for the network hospitals of the insurance company and find out if your local hospitals feature in the list.

Here are some popular health insurance plans in India offered by the leading insurance companies.

Insurance Company Plans Name Plan Feature
Apollo Munich Optima Restore Restore benefit, E-opinion for critical illness, Critical illness add-on
Max Bupa Heartbeat Sum Insured up to Rs.1 crore, International treatments for specified illnesses, OPD and diagnostics coverage which can be carried forward if not utilized
Religare Care Coverage up to Rs.6 crores, International coverage allowed, Super NCB doubles the sum insured in 2 years
Cigna TTK ProHealth Premier Worldwide coverage, Health maintenance benefit of up to Rs.15,000 for a healthy lifestyle, Expert medical opinion on critical illnesses
New India Premier Mediclaim Policy Hospital cash benefit per day of hospitalization, AYUSH coverage for up to Rs.20 lakhs, Infertility treatments also covered
Oriental Happy Family Floater Daily cash benefit for an attendant, Maternity and new born baby cover, Life hardship survival benefit add-on
Bajaj Allianz Health Care Supreme Personal accident and critical illness add-on covers, Coverage for physiotherapy expenses, Free annual health check-ups
HDFC Ergo Health Suraksha Gold with Regain and ECB No sub-limits on AYUSH treatments, Regain benefit restores the sum insured, Maternity expenses covered
Star Health Family Health Optima Restoration of sum insured is available three times, Assisted reproductive treatments are covered, Compassionate travel is covered
Reliance Health Gain Call option which doubles the sum insured in 3 claim-free years and then allows no claim bonus to be declared further, Accidental death cover for Rs.1 lakh, Attractive discounts for girl child and female policyholders

Health insurance premium calculator

A premium calculator helps you in ascertaining the expected cost of a health insurance policy. The medical insurance premium rates can be determined by the help of a mediclaim or health insurance premium calculator.

What are the basic requirements of a health insurance premium calculator?

To calculate the expected premium you will need to enter the following information in the health insurance premium calculator:

  • Number of members covered – you have to mention the members who would be covered under the health plan. The number of members would be required to ascertain the type of health insurance policy required and the expected cost of the policy. Also, more the number of insured members higher would be the premium rate and vice versa.
  • Age of the insured members – age plays an important role in ascertaining your health and the risks associated with it. The premium generally increases with age. You would have to mention your age if you are buying an individual health policy. You would also have to specify the age of all the other insured members in case of a family floater plan. This is because of the fact that the premium of a family floater health insurance plan is calculated based on the age of the eldest member. The member’s age can depict who is the eldest member and the premium can be determined based on the eldest member’s age.
  • The sum insured – the sum insured has a direct impact on the premium rate. Higher the sum insured you choose higher would be the premium charged.
  • Gender – your gender also affects the premium charged by a health plan. Females are charged a lower premium than males. Thus, you should enter your gender in the calculator to find out the correct premium.
  • Location or pin code – your location also affects the premium as the medical costs differ across cities. If you are in a metropolitan city, your premium would be higher.
  • The policy tenure – health plans can be taken for 1-3 years. Where a longer policy tenure is available, premiums are discounted if you choose a higher tenure. Thus, you should enter the policy tenure in the health insurance premium calculator to find the correct premium rate.
  • Any optional add-ons if required – add-ons increase the coverage and come at an additional premium. So, if you are choosing add-on under your health cover, the same should be opted in the health insurance premium calculator for the correct premium amount to be calculated.

After taking all these factors into consideration, the health insurance premium calculator would determine the actual premium . These factors are also necessary for health insurance premium comparison.

Tax Benefits of Health Insurance in India

Besides covering you against the expensive medical expenses, health insurance also helps you in saving your tax liability. The premiums you pay towards a health insurance policy are exempted from tax under Section 80D. This brings down your taxable income and reduces your tax liability. You can get a tax exemption of up to Rs.60,000. Here’s how:

  • Tax exemptions for health premium paid for self, spouse and dependent children = Rs 25,000 if you are less than 60 years of age and Rs 30,000 if you are more than 60 years of age
  • Tax exemptions for health premium paid for dependent parents = Rs 25,000 for parents less than 60 years and age and Rs 30,000, if any parent is more than 60 years of age.
  • Total 80D benefit possible = Rs 60,000, i.e. Rs 30,000( if you are more than 60 years) + Rs 30,000 (if your parents are also more than 60 years).

Why you should choose Turtlemint ?

Turtlemint, an online platform helps you buy the best health insurance plan in the market with all your requirements in mind and also continues to service your policy thereafter.

  • Turtlemint helps you to compare health insurance plans: Turtlemint has various health insurance plans listed on its website. You can visit the website, fill in your requirements and get access to different plans available in the market. You can, then, compare health insurance plans and choose one which is most suitable for your needs. Turtlemint, thus, helps you to access different plans on the same website in a quick and hassle-free way.
  • Get a free health insurance premium calculator: Turtlemint provides a health insurance premium calculator which lets you calculate your health insurance premium online. The process is easy. You just have to enter your pin Code, gender, members to be covered and their ages, your health insurance history and the required sum insured. You could then see the available health plans. You can also leave your contact details and Turtlemint’s expert team would get in touch with you to help you buy the plan easily.
  • How Turtlemint helps in buying a health insurance policy?: After you select the best health insurance plan as per your requirements and calculate the premium, you can also buy the plan online from Turtlemint. Moreover, you can seek assistance from Turtlemint’s support team if you have any query or require guidance in buying the best health insurance plan for your family or yourself.

FAQs

Health insurance plans are renewable lifelong.


If you do not renew the health plan within the due date, the policy lapses and the coverage stops.


A waiting period is that period during which pre-existing illnesses are not covered.


Health plans can settle claims either through reimbursement or through cashless facility.


Different health plans cover different number of members. The maximum number of members, under most plans, is limited to 6.