Health care inflation has gone up to 18%
leading to significant rise in medical care costs and making health insurance premiums
expensive as well. Also, as healthcare expenses rise, the real value of the sum assured
decreases. It is important to take necessary measures to protect the sum assured as well
as to keep the soaring premiums in check.
Says Arun Balakrishnan, CEO,
BerkshireInsurance.com, "The first step is to review your plan at periodic intervals
and assess whether any changes are needed. For instance, a single professional may need to
include cover for his spouse and children after marriage. Changing health conditions of
the family also need to be taken into account."
One of the foremost steps to ensure
lower premiums and better coverage is to get a health policy at a young age.
Says Balakrishnan, "At a young age,
while one is healthy, it is common to ignore health insurance. However, with advancing age
one becomes more prone to medical problems. This, coupled with a poor medical history
makes the premiums on new policies more expensive. Policies taken at a young age when one
has a good medical record are usually cheaper."
Lifestyle habits like smoking can have
an impact on your premium. Changing your lifestyle can bring you benefits in terms of
reduced health insurance premiums. Smokers usually have to pay more as face higher risk of
health problems. Moreover, if you are a smoker, it is crucial to disclose this information
as non-disclosure may lead to claim rejection. Corporates can avail reduction on group
health plans by implementing corporate wellness programmes for their employees.
You can also reduce your premiums by
means of the No-Claim Bonus, a discount given on the premium for having a claim free
One cannot emphasize enough the need for
thorough research before selecting a policy. This will ensure you get the best deal and
also avoid forking out extra due to terms and conditions of which you are unaware. For
instance, some policies have a clause for increase in renewal premium if a claim is made
in the previous year. If you do not understand the terms beforehand, this can come as a