Things To Evaluate While Renewing Your Health Insurance

You recharge your data pack periodically because you don’t want the services to stop, right? In the same way, you need to remember to renew your Health Insurance policy to keep it active. We are living in a frightening time where cancer and diabetes are increasingly becoming household diseases. Buying Health Insurance to protect your family is definitely a step in the right direction. But not renewing it within the grace period could lead to a lapse. And if the policy lapses, you will lose out on all its benefits and bonuses - and you surely don’t want that happening.

So, What Is Renewal Of Health Insurance?

Every insurance policy comes with an expiry date. Once a policy expires, you are not eligible for any compensation, and you cannot make any cashless/reimbursement claims in case of hospitalisation.

In simpler terms, Insurance Renewal is when you opt to extend the services of your insurance policy before it expires.

This article is a gentle reminder to renew your Health Insurance, before it’s too late. And while you’re at it, here’s a list of things you should evaluate -

  • Upgrade Your Sum Insured

    Among Asian countries, India has seen the highest medical inflation rate over the past few years. A growing population, disease prevalence, and new-age diagnostic technologies have rapidly increased healthcare costs. Hence, renewal of health insurance is a good opportunity to assess your total cover and see if it is enough. You should ensure that you and your family have sufficient health insurance cover for the next 20-30 years, while factoring in the inflation.

    For instance, Shivam has a Rs. 3 lakh family floater health cover. While renewing his policy, he needs to consider the rising costs and check if the policy will be sufficient for the whole family. If the size of the cover does not meet with his requirements, renewal is the perfect time to upgrade it.

  • Add Family Members To Or Remove Them From Your Policy

    At the time of renewal, you also have an option to add or remove members and adjust the coverage as per your family’s financial needs.

    For instance,

  • If you recently got married and want to add your spouse to your health plan
  • If there is a child-birth in the family
  • If an old family member covered under insurance has passed away

You are also eligible for taxation benefits by adding family members.

  • Explore Suitable Riders

    Riders are add-ons that you can buy with your base health insurance plan. They provide additional benefits and help you enhance your coverage. While renewing the policy, you must also evaluate your present and future needs, and go for riders that fit them.

    Some of the riders available with Health Insurance are Critical Illness Rider, Maternity Rider, Room Rent Waiver, Consumables rider, etc.

    For example, if you undergo hospitalisation for treatment of an illness or injury that is medically necessary, the Hospital Care Rider will pay a fixed amount of cash on a daily basis for each day you are hospitalised. To avail the benefit under this rider, you are required to be admitted to the hospital for a minimum period of 48 hours. Suppose, you undergo a 4-day hospitalisation for treating hyperglycemia. If you’ve opted for this rider along with your health insurance, the insurer will pay a specific amount, say Rs. 5000 for 4 days each, i.e. Rs. 20,000 in total.

  • Check For Changes In Policy’s Terms And Conditions

    As per Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) guidelines, insurers can change policy terms and conditions after taking prior approval from the regulator

    Therefore, before renewing your policy, it is best to sit with your financial advisor and check for any changes in the terms and conditions. If the revised terms are not acceptable, you have the option to migrate or port your existing health insurance policy as per the IRDAI portability guidelines.

  • Consider The Option Of Portability

    If you feel that the services provided by your insurance company are not satisfactory, or its features and benefits don’t satisfy your needs anymore, you can apply for portability. Just like mobile network portability, you can switch to a different health insurance provider while keeping your continuity benefits. You can apply for portability by informing your insurer 45 days before the renewal date.

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What Happens When You Don’t Renew Your Policy On Time?

You generally get a 15-30 day grace period post the renewal due date for your Health Insurance renewal.

  • If you don’t renew your policy even within this period, it will lapse. You will lose out on all its benefits. Any hospitalisation costs incurred during this time will not be covered by the insurer.
  • When you set out to buy a new policy, there are chances you might not get the desired one, considering any age and health-related issues.
  • Even if you do get a policy, there will be additional terms and limitations, and the premiums can be very high. You will also lose all the policy benefits and no claim bonuses you might have accumulated in your previous policy.
  • If you purchase a new policy after the previous one has lapsed, you will also have to serve an additional waiting period to get checked for pre-existing diseases (PED), under the new policy.

Just like buying a car is not the end of it, you need to look after it, maintain it well to avail its features - your Health Insurance policy needs to be maintained too. Only an active plan will provide you with financial support in times of need. With changes in your health condition, number of family members, needs and requirements, your policy will change and become better suited to cover for you. It is your responsibility to renew your health insurance on time, and give it the chance to serve you well.

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We were fortunate enough to have selected SMC as our Health Insurance Broker for they have been very helpful in resolving our queries related to health insurance. I would like to cite two examples where SMC's role has been very crucial. One was when payment for cashless hospitalization was not coming through as the insurance company was taking undue longer time to approve the Hospital Bill. It was then I talked to Neha and it was she who through her contacts in the Insurance co. facilitated and expedited the approval for payment of hospital bill. Second was very recently when the Insurance co. had proposed a top up "Enhancer" policy for our existing policy. When I talked to Neha she immediately told me not to take this policy being offered without any medical test as it will not be beneficial to us and may create problem later on account of recent hospitalization. If I had I not consulted Neha, I would have into a big trouble with the insurance co. These two instances speak very high of sincere advice and timely help rendered by the SMC Staff, Ms. Neha Khanna which helped us a lot in time of need.Show More

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