With the value of money dipping to all time low of Rs.73/- against the U.S Dollar, it is not surprising that inflation has reached a sky-high level. Health sector expenditure, in such a scenario, can mark a serious dent in your best laid plans of saving and investment and a few nights of compulsory hospitalisation can set you back by many lacs. Health Insurance, in today’s day, is not something you can afford to undermine while planning your Investment Portfolio.
Unfortunately, however in India, this is one sector which is yet to get its due importance. With only 17% of India population, putting aside their saving in Health Insurance as per than IRDAI (Insurance and Regulatory and Development Authority of India), Health Insurance is still in its stage of incubation.
What is the urgency to opt for Health Insuarnce?
- The NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) highlights that in the last 10 years, medical inflation has risen by over 30%, which means a sharp spike in the amount of money we are shelling out towards doctor consultation, diagnostic tests and hospital reimbursement. Though , medicines, in itself, are regulated by the Drug Price Control Order issued by the FDA and Department of Pharmaceuticals, surge in inflation caused by non-negotiable factors like the value of Indian currency, rising fuel process and others are compelling the medical fraternity to upscale the process of essential medicines.
- Private Hospitalisation is exorbitantly priced and even though government hospitalisation costs are kept at the bare minimum level, the additional cost of medicines and diagnostic tests can make you acutely feel the pinch.
- In such a scenario, where lifestyle diseases due to adulterated food and polluted air , too is on an all-time high, it becomes prudent to plan out and avail a health insurance for you and your family before allocating your resource towards other funds. These Health Insurance Companies prove a protective shield to save your hard earned money from the onslaught of rising medical expenditure.
- It is an added bonus that it will help you to save on your taxes, as well.
What is Health Insurance?
It is a medical policy that provides you financial support in times of medical emergency by reimbursing your complete cost on medical expenditure. A monthly or yearly premium is deducted against the amount agreed upon and the same can be reflected as tax exempted under Section 80 D.
Health Insurance can either be an Individual plan which is best suited for singles or a Family Floater Plan and the best of the Health Insurance plans go cashless, meaning the benefiter does not have to shell a single penny from his pocket, in cash and the whole amount is directly settled between the hospital and the Insurance Company.
How to make the Right Choice?
When it comes to choosing the right Health Insurance for your family, one needs to be extremely cautious and well-informed. Since a sizeable portion of your salary goes towards filling the premium, which you would like to recover in terms of emergency, it makes sense to go for the most trusted names in the business. After considerable deliberation, we have arrived at the lists of the top Health Insurance providers in India based on their market reputation, volume of sales, claim settlement feedback and overall customer satisfaction report.
Every year, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) publishes the list of best health companies, based on their performance with regards to Companies Incurred Claims Ratio (ICR) or their ability to settle claims and their overall financial report. The top five name s are:
Best Health Insurance Companies in India
1. Apollo Munich Health Insurance
A joint venture between Apollo Hospitals and Munich Health, founded in 2007, this company provides coverage to more than 4000 hospitals for cashless treatment. They have a track record of authorizing payment within 2 hrs of intimation in more than 90% of the cases.
- The Incurred Claim ratio is 63.03%. (2014-15)
- A family of 6 having 2 adults and 4 children can be covered under their family schemes.
- Offers the benefit of portability from any other existing health insurance company.
2. Max Bupa Health Insurance
A joint venture collaboration between Max India Limited and Bupa Group, set up in 2010. This company provides insurance in more than 3500 hospitals across India on a cashless basis.
- Incurred claim ration is 55.16%.(2014-15)
- A family of 4 is covered having 2 adults and 2 kids.
- No limitation on the maximum age for enrolment.
3. Religaire Health Insurance
A joint collaboration between three companies Religaire Enterprise Limited, Corporation bank and the Union Bank of India. It provides cashless treatment facility in over 4500 hospitals across the country.
- Incurred Claim ration is 61.3%
- A total of 6 member family comes under the purview, having 2 adults and 4 kids.
4. Star Health & Allied Insurance Company
It is one of the biggest standalone Health Insurance companies, formed in 2006 by M/s ICICI Ventures Funds Management, M/S Tata Capital Growth Fund, M/s Oman Insurance Companies, UAE, M/s Sequoia Capital and M/s Alpha TC Holdings Pte Ltd, Singapore. More than 7000 hospitals are covered under its spectrum to provide cashless service and has been rewarded as the best in the category in the year 2015.
- Incurred Claim Ration is 63.96%(2014-15)
- A 4 person family if provided coverage having 2 adults and 2 children.
- Provides Direct and hassle-free Claim Settlement facilities.
5. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited
This is a joint venture between ICICI Bank Limited and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. It has consistently been lauded for its brilliant service in the field of health sector. It provides cashless service across 4500 hospitals in India.
- Incurred Claim ration is 87.38% (2014-2015)
- No restriction on maximum age eligibility
- Not only reimbursement on hospitalisation but also on wellness and preventive health care options
- No pre-policy medical check-up for party below 46 years of age.
Apart from these top names the other prominent names in this category of Health Insurance Providers in India who are rendering effective service are Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited, New India Assurance Company Limited, Oriental Insurance Company Limited and National Insurance Company Limited, out of which the last three are government owned entities in India providing trusted service to the customers since last many years. Browse online and compare the listings of different companies to find one that best provides complete protection to your family at optimal cost.