Whenever we decide on buying a health insurance policy, the first question that pops up in our mind is ‘Which is the best available health insurance plan?’ We spend a lot of time trying to look for the perfect plan that would fit the bill in terms of our requirement.
With an increase in health insurance industry in India, there are a variety of health insurance plans to choose from which makes it difficult to select the most suitable plan.
Further to this, health insurance plans are sold by agents who work for a particular insurance company. So the agents first meet the clients, understand their requirements and then recommend different health insurance plans that are limited to their company offering. This can further complicate the selection process while choosing a plan that would suit the requirement of the customer.
With technology growing at a rapid pace in India, almost everything is now available online at the click of a button, and health insurance is no different. We are seeing an increase in popularity of online health insurance plans. So the question occurs, how different is an online health insurance plan from the traditional face to face interaction with an agent? Does it make sense to go for an online health insurance plan rather than an offline health insurance plan? In order to get the answers to all these questions, we first need to understand the difference between buying an online health insurance plan against an offline health insurance plan.
So what exactly is an online health insurance plan and how is it different from an offline one?
An online health insurance plan gives the buyer flexibility in terms of viewing all the plans available in the market. Based on the research of the available plans, the buyer can identify plans online that are as per his/her requirements and accordingly choose the most suitable plan. Buying health insurance plans online also gives the option to compare plans that different companies have to offer. Once the buyer finalizes a plan, he can directly make the payment online using a credit card or debit card. This gives buyer the transparency that offline plans do not provide.
Furthermore, one major advantage of going for an online health insurance plan is that it completely removes the role played by the agent, hence eliminating any commission aspect as well. This makes online health insurance plans cheaper than offline health insurance plans.
So now that we know the difference between online and offline health insurance plan, let us have a look at the top 10 online health insurance plans in India:
Max Bupa Heartbeat Health Gold Plan:
The Max Bupa Heartbeat Health Gold Plan is one of the best health insurance plan that offers comprehensive health coverage for the insured at the time of any illness or accident. It provides coverage for both, pre and post hospitalization expenses and also provides medical checkup expenses which do not require hospitalization. It also covers any pre-existing ailment that exists at the time of buying the health insurance plan. This pre-existing ailment will be covered only after 2 years as against the usual 4 year international standard duration. It provides the option to insure the sole individual or choose the Family Floater option.
The Family Floater option is suitable for a nuclear family as it covers up to 2 adults and 4 children. There is also a Family First option that can cover up to 14 relationships. There is no specific age limit for an individual to buy this plan and he has the option of getting himself insured for 5 lakhs, 7.5 lakhs or 10 lakhs. It also provides several maternity benefits and provides cover for the newborn baby. It also offers additional benefits such as 24x7 support for all your policy related queries as well as a separate relationship manager to manage all claims and settlements. The company has in house claim service team which makes it easier to process the claims directly.
Apollo Munich Easy Health Exclusive:
Just like the Max Bupa plan, the Apollo Munich Easy Health Exclusive plan can also be purchased either for the individual or the family. Both the individual and the family plan can be insured for 3 lakhs, 4 lakhs, 5 lakhs or 7.5 lakhs. Apollo Munich has over 4000 enlisted in their network. It provides cashless hospitalization feature for all enlisted hospitals and for hospitals that are not in their network, the expenses are reimbursed within a period of 14 days from the date of submission of documents. Unlike Max Bupa Heartbeat that takes 2 years, Apollo Munich’s Easy Health Exclusive provides coverage of pre-existing illness after a period of 3 years. Any expense incurred 60 days before hospitalization is covered, whereas post-hospitalization expenses are covered from 90 days of relevant medical hospitalization. However, accidents are covered from the day 1 itself. It also provides maternity benefits which are covered after a period of 4 years for Family Floater plan and 6 years for individual plan. For every year in which a claim is not made, a cumulative bonus of 10% and maximum of 50% is provided on the basic insured amount.
Religare Care offers a "recharge” of the sum insured, when the existing sum insured and no claim bonus is exhausted. the reinstatement of Sum Insured is an excellent feature, which makes the family floater plan a perfect long term solution, for a family. The plan gives free annual health check-up for alll adults in the policy. On the customer’s request, Religare Health Insurance will arrange for Second Opinion from a Medical Practitioner for select 15 major illnesses like Cancer, Bypass, Coma, End Stage Renal Failure, Paralysis.
This policy provides coverage for hospitalization abroad for Cancer, Benign Brain Tumour, Major Organ/Bone Marrow Transplant, Heart Valve Replacement, and Heart Bypass Surgery - for the sum insured 50 and 60 Lakhs. Religare Care proves to be a great product for Senior Citizens. For sum insured ess than or equal to Rs. 4 Lakhs, you will have to bear only the room rent limit. There are no other copays or sublimits like other senior citizen mediclaim plans in India.
Bajaj Allianz Health Guard:
The Bajaj Allianz Health Guard plan is another health insurance package for individuals or families. It offers a wide range of features and is one of the first health insurance plans to offer an insured sum of Rs. 10 lakhs. It comes in 2 variants, individual and Family Floater and the sum insured ranges from 1 lakh to 5 lakhs and 2 lakhs to 10 lakhs respectively. The minimum period of required hospitalization is 24 hours. In case of hospitalization, the medical expenses incurred 60 days prior to the hospitalization and 90 days post hospitalization are covered. It also covers any ambulance charges which are limited to a maximum of Rs. 1000. Any pre-existing illness at the time of buying the plan is covered only after 4 years of continuous renewal. It provides cashless facility which can be availed in over 2400 hospitals all over India.
In case the insured chooses a hospital which is not listed, the reimbursement for the expenses incurred is done within a period of 14 days. The minimum age required for entering this policy is 18 years and goes up to the age of 55. The maximum age for renewing the policy is 80 years. It does not require any medical tests until the age of 45 and is mandatory once the insured is 46 years old. The insured is entitled for a no claim cumulative bonus of 5% if no claim is made during a year. Tax rebate of up to a maximum of Rs. 15000 can be availed on the premium paid under section 80D of IT Act.
Star Family Health Optima Insurance Plan:
The Family Health Optima from Star Health is another plan that provides complete protection for the entire family. Family can comprise of 2 adults and maximum of 3 children. The payment of a single premium can be used for any family member that is insured within the plan. The age group in order to be eligible for this plan is from 5 months to 60 years. The individual can opt for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 lakh as the insured amount. Any expenses incurred before the hospitalization are covered up to 30 days and expenses up to 2 months are also covered post discharge from hospital, which is limited to a maximum of Rs. 5000. Hospitalization expenses include room rent, nursing expenses, surgeon fees, cost of medicines, etc. Ambulance charges of a maximum of Rs. 750 are also covered during an emergency. Any ailment existing at the time of buying the plan is covered only after 2 years of continuous renewal of the policy. A bonus of 10% is offered in case no claim is made in a year.
However, this claim is not cumulative. It offers cashless feature for hospitals that are included in their network and payments made in hospitals not in their network are reimbursed upon submitting of the documents.
Reliance Health Wise Family Floater:
Reliance Health Wise Family Floater provides comprehensive cover for your entire family from any expense arising through hospitalization namely room rent, doctor fees, medical tests, nursing expenses, etc. The minimum and maximum age in order to be eligible for this plan is 3 months and 55 years respectively, and the policy can be renewed till the age of 75. It has over 4000 hospitals under its network where the insured can take advantage of cashless feature.
In case the individual decides to get treatment from a non-network hospital, the reimbursement for the expenses incurred is done after submitting all the documents, which should be done within a period of 30 days of discharge. Medical tests are only required after a member reaches 46 years old. The insured sum ranges from 2 lakhs to 5 lakhs. Any pre-existing illness will be covered only after a period of 2 or 4 years, depending on the plan chosen. The individual is also eligible for tax benefit under section 80D.
Oriental Happy Family Floater:
The Oriental Happy Family Floater plan is a 1 year plan that is further categorized in 2 categories: Silver and Gold for which the sum insured ranges from 1 lakh to 5 lakh and 2 lakhs to 10 lakhs respectively. Family may include 2 adults and their parents and children as well as the parents-in-law of the individual.
The eligibility age for an individual to enter this policy is 18 years and maximum of 55 years and the policy can be renewed till the individual is 65 years old. It covers various hospitalization charges such as room charges, nursing expense, doctor fees, etc. In case of hospitalization, both, pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization charges are covered for a period of 30 days and 60 days respectively. The individual is eligible for tax benefits and can get exemption for the premium paid under section 80D of IT Act.
National Insurance Varishtha Mediclaim:
As the name suggests, National Insurance Varishtha Mediclaim particularly targets the senior citizens of India. It basically covers all critical ailments which include stroke, cancer, organ transplant, etc. The sum insured for this plan is 1 lakh for hospitalization and 2 lakh for any critical illness. The age bracket to enter this plan for an individual is 60-80 years and can be renewed yearly till the insured reaches the age of 90. Hospitalization charges are only covered partly i.e. 25% of the sum insured, where as for medical bills, only 50% of the charges are covered. Ambulance expense up to Rs. 1000 is covered under the plan. Any pre-existing illness that might exist at the time of buying the health insurance plan is covered after 1 year.
New India Mediclaim:
The minimum entry age for New India Mediclaim plan is 3 months which goes up to the age of 60. Children that are more than 3 months old and less than 18 can be covered under this policy only if their parents are also covered. This policy offers an insurance sum of 1 lakh and 1.5 lakhs. It can be extended till the age of 80 upon continuous renewal. The individual is eligible for 5% bonus if no claim is made during a year. Any pre-existing illness will be covered after a period of 18 months only. However, pre-existing diseases like Diabetes and Hypertension will only be covered after a period of 2 years. The individual is eligible for tax benefit under IT Act.
United India Family Medicare:
The United India Family Medicare plan covers the entire family on the payment of a single insured sum. Family can comprise of 2 adults and dependent children. Children between 3 months to 18 years are covered only if parents are covered under the plan. If parents are not covered, the minimum entry age is 18 years which goes up to 80 years. The individual can buy insurance beginning from 1 lakh up to 5 lakh in slabs of 50,000 and from 5 lakh to 10 lakh in slabs of 1 lakh. It provides coverage for pre-hospitalization as well as post-hospitalization period apart from hospitalization for relevant illness. Pre-existing illness will only be covered after a period of 4 years of continuous renewal of policy.
These are the Top 10 Online Health Insurance plans which you should consider while purchasing an online health insurance plan. Make sure you do a thorough research and accordingly choose a plan that is the closest to your requirements.
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Disclaimer: Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. The article contains only an indication of cover offered. For more details on risk factors, terms, conditions and exclusions, please read the sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale. The above mentioned Health Insurance Plans are not ranked in any particular order. These plans are selected by the author and reflects author’s choice. The buyers are however, suggested to use their discretion or speak to Medimanage expert before selecting any particular product.