Tuesday, February 19, 2013

3 Easy Steps to Ensure Your Loved Ones Get the Best Health Care :

If you have recently been to a hospital for medical treatment, or have had a loved one in hospital, you probably know exactly how expensive health care in India has become, thanks to inflation in medical costs. Also, with better quality medical care people are living longer, and old age brings with it it’s own health concerns.

At times of medical emergencies, you want the best care for your loved ones, and this comes at a price. So, what should you do to ensure that you don’t compromise on the quality of care your loved ones receive?

There are 3 things to do, and you should do them all.

  1. Make Sure You Have the Right Mediclaim Policy

    Most people arent aware of this, but the first and seemingly most harmless sub-limit (as they are called) in your health insurance policy is that of room rent.

    Room rent is typically restricted to 1% of the Sum Assured in most cases, or 2% in others. So if you have a cover of Rs. 5 lakhs and you are allowed 1% room rent per day, you can avail a room of up to Rs. 5000 per day, and this amount will be covered by your insurance provider. If your room costs Rs. 8,000 per day, you can straightaway know that the Rs. 3000 ‘surplus’ cost will not be borne by the insurance company, but by you.
    But the full impact of the room rent sub limit is much larger.

    Just like the same treatment can cost you less in one hospital but more in another, similarly, rooms have their own slabs as well.

    So if you choose an expensive room as compared to a regular room, all your hospital expenses will go up, not just your room rent. Even the doctors visits will be more expensive. For the same sort of treatment, a general ward patient will pay much less than a deluxe room patient.

    Now suppose you have a Rs. 5 lakh policy which gives you 1% room rent sub limit. You choose a room that costs Rs. 10,000 per day, that is double the admissible room rent limit.
    What this means is, not only will you have to bear half your room rent costs from your own pocket, but you will have to bear the same proportion i.e. in this case, half of all your other costs as well.

    So, your first step in ensuring you can afford the best health care available, is to get a policy with no room rent sub limit.

    Now for the next thing you need to do.

  2. Get a Critical Illness Policy

    Most people are under the impression that for all health related expenses, all you need is a health insurance policy, aka mediclaim, and once you have a mediclaim policy, you have done all you need to do on the health insurance front. This isnt correct.

    A very important policy that you and your loved ones should also have is a Critical Illness Policy.

    While mediclaim will cover all hospital and medicine related costs, a critical illness policy serves a different purpose. Under this policy, if you are diagnosed with a critical illness, your insurance provider will pay out the full Sum Assured on diagnosis, whether or not you have opted for medical care yet, or even been hospitalized.

    Additionally the full Sum Assured is paid, irrespective of the cost of treatment, on the condition that the claimant survives atleast 30 days from the date of diagnosis of the disease.

    Though the number and type of diseases covered under this policy can vary across different policies from different insurers, there are a few common diseases which are likely covered covered in all critical illness policies. These are:

    • Cancer
    • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
    • First Heart Attack
    • Kidney Failure
    • Major Organ Transplant
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Stroke
    • Aorta Graft Surgery
    • Paralysis
    • Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

    Once the diagnosis is made, and the claim is put in and received, the policy lapses, as this is a one time payment policy.

  3. Build a Medical Contingency Fund

    This is from a financial safety perspective. There are always going to be out-of-pocket expenses, and the more expensive the treatment required, the higher these out-of-pocket expenses are going to be. Depending on the age of your loved ones, build up a medical contingency fund of anywhere between Rs. 2 lakhs and Rs. 5 lakhs, or more depending on your comfort level and your family’s health history.
    Keep it in a safe liquid or liquid plus fund, and use it only in case of a medical emergency.
  4. Source : personnalfn
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