Moneylife Foundation’s 246th event was conducted by Raj Pradhan, an insurance expert, who has written many cover stories for Moneylife magazine and was the expert associated with the insurance helpline. He discussed 10 ways of saving on mediclaim policies along with product intricacies. Moneylife does suggest a mediclaim policy for your health insurance needs. But, the product has its own restrictions and hence, it is also important to have emergency funds kept aside. Mr Pradhan gave insights to a packed audience, on how one could be better prepared to take the right health insurance policies for individual, senior citizens, pregnancy cover.
Mr Pradhan told the audience that one must take care when choosing an insurance product by studying its features, terms and conditions and, more importantly, fine print and see which one is suitable as each insurance policy is different. If the product feature limitation helps to reduce the premium, then it is actually a way of saving premium. You can learn to live with the product limitation so that the adverse impact can be softened. In short, the premium savings can outweigh the reduced benefits if you properly plan the mediclaim policy usage.
He gave an example of a concept known as ‘co-pay’ which most people are not aware of in which one must pay out of the own pocket even if he/she is insured. He also highlighted other fine print items, such as insurers levying as much as 1% of sum insured room-rent limit, pre-existing diseases (PED), outpatient procedures count that may be misleading and products which limits payments for surgeries/treatment to amount much lower than actual sum insured. He even talked about the nuances of cashless mediclaim. He advised participants to trust their family doctor as high-end hospitals may not be the best option in all cases.
Mr Pradhan also explained the concept of portability whereby you can move from one insurer to another with the same product. Does it work? Portability can work for young and healthy. It can help to reduce premium without having to restart the waiting periods. But, what if you are moved to a new product by your insurer? Is it allowed? What about policy changes during the middle of the policy year or at the end? Will you be able to prevent the insurer so that your benefits remain the same and hence the value of the policy is preserved?
Mr Pradhan is a columnist at Moneylife and writes extensively on all insurance products and also on fixed income. Stay tuned for the video, which will be uploaded shortly. He had recently conducted a programme on life insurance, the synopsis of which can be read here (If you would like to be informed about many more such events in the future, become a Moneylife Foundation member by clicking here).