Last Updated on 1 year by Mohit Pareek
There are a lot of myths about health insurance. One common myth about health insurance is that health insurance is not for young and healthy people and the other myth is that it is only a tax-saving tool. That is why most people never think of buying health insurance policies. As a result, in India where the medical cost is very high, health insurance penetration is very low.
Before starting any long-term investment, one must purchase health insurance policies to cover himself and family member in case of medical emergencies. A medical emergency may force you to sell your investments and consume all your savings. In India, the majority of people depend upon their savings in case of such medical emergencies.
At the same time, there are certain myths about health insurance which might deter from purchasing the right insurance policies.
Myth 1- I don’t need health insurance because I am young and healthy.
Most people think that health insurance is for old people but actually, the right time to purchase a health insurance policy is when you are young and healthy. When you are young and healthy, there is very little chance of having any critical illness; therefore policy premium amount is also low for young people. As your age increase, the premium amount will also increase.
There are certain diseases which remain undiscovered in your young age but start showing symptoms when you cross a certain age limit. As per health insurance regulations, pre-existing diseases have a waiting period of altleast 48 months of holding an insurance policy. Therefore, buying health insurance policy when you are healthy to help you to ride this waiting period without any worry and you can claim the benefit of health insurance at the time when you genuinely require it.
Further, health insurance not only covers illness and diseases but it also covers accidents. Accidents may happen any time and at any age, so having health insurance policy at an early age is necessary.
Myth 2- The benefit of health insurance starts from Day 1
Most policyholders believe that health insurance companies reject their medical claims by citing non-coverage of medical expenses. But in reality, claims are rejected on the ground of waiting period.
Insurance companies don’t cover medical expenses within the first 30 days of buying insurance policy except for the accidental hospitalisation expenses. Further, the waiting period of pre-existing disease of most insurance companies is 4 years. It means that your insurance company will not cover your medical expenses of pre-existing diseases in the first 48 months of buying the policy. Therefore, it is always advisable to purchase the health insurance policy at a young age, so that, you can ride the waiting period without any concern.
Myth 3- There is no health insurance policy for smokers and drinkers
According to the survey, more than 49% of smokers and drinkers are not sure whether there is any health insurance policy for them or not. These people are more prone to health hazards. But the good news is that smokers and drinkers are also eligible for health insurance policies.
Since the risk associated with them is higher than the non-smokers, they have to pay a higher premium and also have to go medical test before getting an insurance policy.
Myth 4- Health Insurance pays the entire hospital bills
Generally, policyholders think that their whole medical expenses are covered by their health insurance policy. But the reality is different. Insurance companies pay only a partial amount of your medical costs. The reason is that most insurance companies have sub-limit on medical expenses.
For example, most insurance companies cap 1% of the insured amount for the hospital room rent. In this case, the insurance company will pay your hospital room rent only upto 1% of the insured amount. The excess amount if any is to be borne by the policyholders. Further, there are many medical expenses which are not covered by insurance companies like any specific medicine. These expenses are to be borne by the policyholder.
Myth 5- There is no need to disclose pre-existing diseases.
Every health insurance company cover pre-existing disease after completion of the waiting period ranging from 36 months to 48 months. Policyholders can disclose the pre-existing disease at the time of purchase of health insurance policy.
Many times policyholders hide their pre-existing disease at the time of purchasing a policy. The reason is that by disclosing pre-existing disease increase the premium amount of the policy.
If you conceal your pre-existing disease intentionally then the insurance company will reject your claim request. This is the reason that you need to disclose pre-existing disease if any for smooth settlement of your claim in future when you need it.
However, there may be chances that the insured person was unaware of that disease at the time of purchasing the policy. Many times it happens that a person is suffering from any disease but it takes time to show symptoms. In this case, the person was unaware of that disease and thinks himself as healthy. In this situation, the insurance company cover the pre-existing disease after the requisite periods and honour the claim of the insured person.
Myth 6- 24-hour hospitalisation is required.
Another common health insurance myth is that 24-hour hospitalisation is required to avail the benefit of health insurance. But this is not true. With the advancement of medical sciences, many treatments and surgeries require less time and patients get a discharge on the same day. Such treatments are called daycare treatments which include cataract surgery, dialysis, lithography etc.
Therefore, most health insurance plans have started covering claims for daycare expenses.