All of us likes to pay less or avail the discounted price for any product or service. In today’s scenario discounts are active 12 months round the year. Also, we all strive for innovative ways to save money in one way or the other. Does it hold valid for a Health Insurance Plans too? Most of us tend to pay the premium for our insurance policies which are either suggested by friends and family, agent or as specified by the insurance company.
But the fact of the matter is that there are ways and techniques by which you can save your money by acquiring knowledge on various hacks which will let you know the mechanism of saving money on your Health Premiums.
Save Money with Health Insurance Plans
Let the HACKS be unveiled and known to you, based on the different parameters which will enable to save money on your Health Insurance Premium:
Parameter 1 # Co-payment Health Insurance Plans
Co payment, health plans, as the name suggests, requires you to pay the predefined part of the total claim expenses under your health policy. Here your insurance company and you will be sharing the claim as per the policy contract. Usually, co- pay percentage ranges from 15% to 30%. This defined percentage is to be borne by you.
- It is a smart way to opt for a co-pay health plan. Insurance companies offer good discounts on health premium up to the percentage of co-payment chosen by you.
- Higher the co payment amount or percentage, higher will be the discount on the health premiums. If you are young and healthy, then the co-payment clause will suit you the most.
Example: An individual can avail 10%-20% off on a health insurance policy taken from a health insurance company which has a co-pay clause, as compared to non co- pay clause health plans.
National Insurance Co. Ltd. has a co-payment clause under their health plans that offers 10% discount on premium on acceptance of a 2% co-payment clause.
The simple fact behind it is that the insurance companies are assured of not, getting unnecessary claims from your end as some part of the claim will be serviced by you. So, the probability of getting a claim narrows down for your insurer which allows the insurer to offer premium discounts to you for choosing a higher co-payment.
Parameter 2# Tenure of the Health Insurance Plans
Usually, health plans have a term of one year just like your car insurance policy and it needs to be renewed to avail uninterrupted benefits from the insurance company.
Hack # There are health plans offered by some companies which offer discounts if you opt for 2 year or 3 year policy term. The discounts on health premium range from 10% to 20% as compared to an annual health plan.
Example: ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance Policy offers 10% discount on a 2 year term health plan. Religare’s Care – Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan offers 7.5 discount on a 2 year term health plan and 10% discount on a 3 year term health plan.
Parameter 3# No Claim Bonus (NCB)
No claim bonus is an advantage under your health plan. If you do not file a claim during the policy term, your insurance company will offer you a no claim discount regarding reduction in premium or elevation in health coverage. It is like a reward for keeping yourself healthy and hearty, and not filing a claim.
- Preserve your no claim bonus. Don’t claim for an expense which is affordable at your end or can be borne by you under your budget.
- Unnecessary small claims will dilute your no claim bonus which can offer you a maximum upto 50% discount on your renewal premiums.
- No claim bonus accumulates cumulatively over a period. It is important to assess what you will get (as a claim amount) over what you will lose (as a no claim bonus).
Example: Religare’s Care – Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan offers super increase of 50% bonus in your health cover every claim free year in addition to 10% extra. Your bonus keeps building up to 100% of Sum Assured in their Super No Claim Bonus Plans. And for every other health plans, Religare offers an increase of 10% Sum Assured succeeding the claim free year, every claim free year attracts bonus which keeps accumulating upto the 50% of Sum Assured.
Parameter 4# Employer’s Group Health Insurance Plans
Many of you would be covered under a group health insurance or a corporate health plan by your employer. Most of the group health insurance covers the dependants too. The premiums charged are comparatively much lower and cheaper as compared to an individual health plan or family floater health plan.
- Get yourself enrolled under the group health policy, even if you have to share some part of the premium with your employer.
- Group health premiums are 20% to 30% lower than the individual health plans.
- Also, it is an important hack to claim first from your Group Insurance Policy as the susceptibility of admitting the claim is higher and also it preserves the No claim bonus of your individual health plan.
- Most of the Group health plans also cover pre-existing diseases and maternity related expenses.
Parameter 5# Covering Your Family under one Policy
There are family floater health plans which will enable you to cover yourself, spouse, kids and parents under one plan. The health cover is shared among the insureds under the health plan subject to the health cover.
- In most of the plans, the premium for family floater health insurance plan is calculated basis the eldest member in the health plan.
- The basic thumb rule for an insurance premium is higher the age; higher will be the premium. So, if your parents are of advanced age, it is better to get them a separate health cover and avail premium amount based on your age, which will turn out to be lower.
- Also, with growing age parents are more prone to illnesses and surgeries which will attract numerous claims and exhaust the health cover for a policy term.
Example: Cigna TTK Pro health plus costs Rs 21,126 for a health cover of 4.5 Lakhs insuring a family where Husband is aged 34 years, Wife 32 years, Kid 5 years, Parents 67 & 65 respectively, assuming that the family members do not suffer from any pre-existing diseases. The eldest member in the policy is father aged 67 whose age will serve the basis of premium calculation.
If you remove parents from the health cover, the eldest member would be the husband aged 34 years, for the same plan Cigna TTK Pro health plus the premium amount comes out to be Rs 12,551 for the same health coverage of 4.5 lakh husband, wife and the kid..
Don’t be emotional, act smart and make your parents buy separate health cover for a win-win situation.
Parameter 6# Online buying of the Health Insurance Plans
These days where everything is available on the internet at just a few clicks. Buying insurance also has become a cake walk in this digitized era.
Do you know that buying insurance online will save 20% to 30% of your money?
- Because of the fact that online health plans are cost effective and cheaper in terms of premium as compared to offline plans.
- The reason being insurance companies have to give commissions to the intermediary( be it an insurance agent or insurance broker) who is selling the plan where as in case of online buying you are directly buying it from an insurance company.
- The company saves on the commission cost and other administrative cost which it transfers to its customers in terms of offering lower premiums on online health products.
Parameter 7# Top up Health Insurance Plans
Top up health plans are just like a recharge coupon which provides an add on advantage to the policyholder. A top-up health plan comes into play when a certain threshold is reached. A top-up health policy provides additional coverage to those who have a running health plan. This plan covers the medical expenses that may arise due to an illness/injury over and above the limit of the actual cover.
- It is better to buy a health plan of an average cover or ticket size, which will be available at a lower premium cost.
- To enhance your health cover further, opt for a Top-up Health Plan, which will offer you wider additional coverage at a very low premium cost.
Example: New India Assurance (NIA) company has the cheapest top-up cover, where a hospitalization expenses ranging between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh can be covered by paying Rs 3,500 a year for someone aged 44 years.
Parameter 8# Gender Price Differential
There is a price differential between the genders in the life insurance plan basis the statistics that females have higher life expectancy than males. So, most of the insurers offer discounts, but in the health insurance parlance, it is not common.
Hack # (Applicable for Women only) Look for health plans which give you a privilege by offering special premium rates for the health plan.
Example: There are companies like Bajaj Allianz and Reliance General which have introduced lower premium for women, encouraging them to get a health cover at a lower cost. Bajaj Allianz also offers 10-15% discount to their women customers.
Parameter 9# Free Annual Health Check Up Feature
Many health plans offer a free health check up at the time of renewal or in a claim free year.
- We all love to have freebies, and it is all the more vital when it is related to our health. Opt for plans offering such facility and feature.
- A regular health check will cost you about Rs 1500 to 2000 which you will save, if you opt for a health plan offering a free health check up feature, or health check up at discounted cost.
Example: Insurer’s like ICICI Lombard,Bajaj Allianz, Religare Health offer free Medicalhealth check ups which cover the medical tests like blood sugar, blood count, urine test, cholesterol check, PPBS (postprandial/lunch blood sugar), ECG, complete blood count, etc. Also, some insurers offer a bundle of value added services such as second opinion, online advise from a doctor, consultations and follow up sessions and meeting with diet and nutrition consultants.
Parameter 10# Ideal time to buy Health Insurance Plan
Does it matter if I buy a plan at an early age or at a later age? There are numerous benefits attached to buying a health cover at a young age.
- It is a known fact that if you buy an insurance be it life or health at an early age, you will have to pay lower premiums as age is the key determinant of the insurance premium.
- As the age advances, the premium also increases and the eligibility to purchase insurance declines.
- Therefore, buying a health plan at a younger age can substantially save on the premium and reduces the probability of rejection from the insurer.
Parameter 11# Your Physical Health
“Health is Wealth” we all have heard of it, but do we actually preserve this wealth by ensuring that we are healthy. Your health does affect your life expectancy, your family, your business/service and your health premium too. The last parameter, but not the least which is in your hands “Keeping yourself fit.”
- Inculcate healthy habits within yourself.You can save considerably on the medical expenses and the health insurance premium by keeping yourself fit through exercise regime or yoga.
- What is the harm in quitting bad habits when it will give you a healthy life and also be profitable to your pocket by saving on health premium cost?
Example: Non Smokers, BMI within the range, no pre-existing disease or never been hospitalized, such points will offer you a rebate on your health insurance premiums by the insurers.
(Disclaimer: Comparepolicy.com is not biased towards any insurance company. Examples given in the blog are for the knowledge of users only)
Harjot Narula is founder and CEO of comparepolicy.com, an IRDAI approved insurance web aggregator focussed on selling online insurance for companies like HDFC Life, Aegon Life, Max Life, Bajaj Allianz and others. Harjot has more than a decade of experience in software development and has also spent 5 years in US working for the mortgage and risk management industry.