7 Points to Consider Before Renewing Your Health Insurance Plan

Since we are about to talk here about things to consider before renewing a health insurance policy, let me first congratulate you on having got yourself a health insurance cover. You have taken a right step in opting for health insurance, especially at a time when the medical costs are rapidly rising.

Here are 7 things to consider before renewing a Health Insurance Plan:

1. Changing the insurance provider under policy portability

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Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has now provided the right to the policyholders to port their policy to any other insurance provider of their choice. In case you are not happy with your current insurer in terms of service benefits, you can safely choose to port your policy to another company without losing benefits like waiting period for existing diseases etc. The request to port however can only be given at the time of renewal and not any other time when the policy is in force. Further, the policy holder must communicate the same to the existing insurance company, at least 45 days ahead of the scheduled policy expiration.

 2. Review the health insurance requirement

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At the time of renewal of health insurance policy, you should also consider reviewing health insurance requirements of self and your family. This may become important in cases of new additions in your family like birth of your child or discovery of a new disease. Similarly, your employer may now be providing you additional/reduced medical benefits, thus calling for review of medical insurance coverage.

3. Check for changes in policy

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It may be possible that between the issue of policy and its renewal, the insurance plan’s standard terms and conditions may have got changed. IRDA prescribes that any such changes in the existing policies cannot be made, except with prior approval of IRDA. Accordingly, once you receive the renewal notice, check out the renewal notice in detail for any changes in the policy terms, especially adverse changes.

4. Declare any new illnesses

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While it is a general tendency to hide things and further, remain complacent at the times of policy renewal, one must ensure that the material changes in health conditions are always disclosed with the insurer. Renewal time is the best time to be honest with the medical details at the time of renewal to avoid any issues at the time when a medical claim is made in future.

 5. Renew ahead of due date

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One must always take care to renew the health insurance policy ahead of the due date. In case the insured fails to renew the policy in time, a grace period of fifteen days is also allowed by the insurance company to pay up the policy’s renewal premium. Renewing the policy before it lapses provides you with the continuation benefit and you may not be asked to get your medical examination done again. Further, the renewal premium is relatively lesser than the new policy premium.

6. See if you need a top up plan

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While renewing health insurance policy, one must also assess the future healthcare needs. For example, if a couple is planning to have a child, top up rider like maternity benefit may be considered to be added to the policy. Similarly, in case there is a history of critical illness in the family, considering the genetic continuation, one may consider adding a critical illness cover to the policy. Similarly, to cover the family as a whole, family floater policy may also be considered.

7. Increase Sum Assured under policy

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One must consider enhancing the health insurance coverage, at least in line with the inflation and with the rising healthcare costs. As such, it becomes necessary to assess present and future health insurance needs especially at the time of renewal.

You must consider the above points before renewing health insurance plan and stay stress-free on this front. After all, ‘Health is Wealth’.