Friday, June 9, 2017

Best Health Insurance Plans for Family in India - LIC vs ICICI Lombard vs Bajaj Allianz Policies

I was searching   for a good health insurance plans for my family recently when I come to know about this "family floater health insurance plans". I have not heard this term before, so I did a bit of research about family floater plans and benefits of taking this type of medical insurance and surprised to know that now you can cover almost all members of your family with just one health insurance plan. This is a big relief because you don't need to buy and maintain separate health insurance plans for different family members, in just once insurance policy you can cover yourself, spouse (wife or husband), children, parents (mom and dad) etc.


Some plans even cover your extended family members e.g. siblings (brother and sisters) and in-laws, that's really what I wanted. Since my parents is aging now and even though I have insurance cover from my company, I thought to buy a family floater health insurance plans to cover my parents.



How to compare Family Floater Health Insurance Plans

When you decided to buy a health insurance plan for your family, the next task is to research and find the best health insurance plan for your family. Everybody has different need e.g. some wants to cover their parents, which is I guess the most important reason many of my friends and colleagues are buying health insurance plans as they are the one who needs the cover most, but not all insurance company provides cover if your parents are aged more than 65 years. So you need to find a plan which not only provides cover to your aging parents but also extend the cover for either life-long or up to 80 to 90 years.

Since buying a family floater health insurance policy is a big decision in your life and also you have stuck with for many years, it's important that you must do some research before purchasing a health insurance policy. Following are some of the important things you should look while buying a health insurance policy for your family.


Age
Entry age for health insurance as well as how long they will cover you and your family members.

Sum Assured
Does the premium justify the sum assured you need to cover your entire family? Remember, anyone in your family member can use the sum assured but you have to be mindful that the sum assured is for your entire family and it should be enough to cover multiple members falling ill in same year.

Pre and Post Hospitalization
How many days before and after hospitalization insurance company provide cover. It's also an important point to note.

Cashless Coverage
This is the most important because you would likely to buy a family floater health insurance plan where you can avail essential medical services e.g. day care by just presenting your medical card and go cashless instead of going through the hassle of filing for claims and attaching receipts.

Pre-existing Disease
Most   coverof the Insurance companies doesn't cover Pre-existing disease until two to four years but you should opt for one wcovers it sooner than others e.g. in 2 years instead of 4 years.

Claim Ratio
The higher the better. In the worst case where you cannot go cashless, you would likely to submit claims to get the reimbursement for your medical expenses. In this case, you want your Insurance company to pay as much as possible and quick.

Co Payment
Many health insurance providers in India insists on co-payment which is not good because you are buying insurance to avoid money hassle during the critical time. It's better to choose a plan where co-payment is not required or its bare minimum e.g. 1 to 5 percent.

Thankfully, there are a lot of good health insurance plans available in India and due to increased competition and awareness, many companies e.g. LIC, ICICI Lombard, SBI General Insurance, Bajaj Allianz, and New India Assurance are providing good family floater plans suitable for different needs of different family.

In this article, I'll share my findings and experience with you guys and try to find the best health insurance policy for families. I'll compare some of the popular family floaters health insurance plans on these parameters.




LIC's Jeevan Arogya Family Floater Plan

When it comes to buying insurance I always look for LIC because of the trust it has built among the Indian community. Many of us and our parents has life insurance policies from LIC and now the company is also providing the much-needed health insurance policies for families.

LIC's Jeevan Arogya is one of the best health insurance plans for families. It provides valuable financial protection in case of hospitalization, surgery etc, Increases Health cover every year to counter inflation and provides lump sum benefit irrespective of actual medical costs.

You can insure youself, your spouse, your children, your parents and parents in law in this one health insurnace policy. The maximum entry age is also pretty relaxed. You can buy it until you are 65 years old and you can include your parents and parent in law until they are 75.

You can also include your children in this scheme if their age is less than 17. Each of the insured is covered for Health risks up to age 80, which is not best but still good enough. Children are also insured up to age 25 years.   You can get a sum assured of 4 lakh in just under 4000K INR year premium depending upon your age. The younger you are, the lesser premium you need to apy.




Bajaj Allianz's Family Floater Health Guard Insurance

This is another good health insurance policy for families. You can enroll in this policy from age 18 to 65 years and your children can be insured from 3 months to 25 years as a dependent. Which means it more relaxed than LIC's Jeevan Aarogya policy when it comes to insuring children.

The minimum sum assured is 2 lakhs and maximum can be 10 lakh but for that entry, age must be less than 55 years. If you are more than 55 years old then maximum sum assured can only be 5 lakh which may not be enough considering the high cost of medical treatment in India.

It covers pre-hospitalization charges up to 60 days and provides 90 days post hospitalization coverage, 3 month is good enough for most of us. The pre-existing diseases are only covered after 48 months of waiting period which is too long in my opinion.




ICICI Lombard's Complete Health Insurance Policy

The ICICI Lombard's Complete Health Insurance Policy is one of the best in the market for providing comprehensive coverage for you and your family. It provides flexibility to choose from a wide range of options on premium, plan and Sum Insured ranging from Rs.2 Lac to Rs.10 Lacs but most importantly it provides guaranteed lifelong renewability and there is no restriction on Maximum entry age, which means you can easily cover your parents which are older than 65 or 70 years as opposed to other family floater plans in India.

It also gives you options of choosing 1 or 2 year policy period as per plans offered and offers a discount of 10% on a 2-year policy. Another good thing about this policy is that it can cover pre-existing illness in two to fours years depending upon the plan chose. I suggest you to chose a plan which covers pre-existing diseases in 2 years.

Best Health Insurance Plans for Family in India - LIC vs ICICI Lombard vs Bajaj Allianz Policies


It is also flexible and provides lots of add-on covers apart from Hospitalization coverage e.g. Critical Illness, Donor Expenses, Hospital Daily Cash and Convalescence Benefit. Another best part of ICICI's family floater insurance policy is a network of cashless hospitals. It has over 4000+ network hospitals across India where you can simply use your Health ID Card avail Cashless service. In past, I have bought travel insurance form, ICICI Lombard, when my parents traveled to overseas and I was happy with their coverage, guidance and support.

Few more things why I consider ICICI's family floater plan best in the market is:
  • No co-payments for any disease or any hospitalization expenses.
  • No health check-up up to the age of 45 years (age as on last birthday)
  • Provides additional Sum Insured for every claim free year 

That's all about what is family floater health insurance plans and some key benefits of this type of health insurance policy for your family. The biggest benefit of family floater insurance schemes is that you can cover you entire family includes wife, mother, father, and children in one single policy. If you are ready to pay more you can even cover your in-laws and your siblings e.g. brother and sister as well. This means you don't need to go through hassle of buying separate health insurance for each of the family members.

I have tried to find the best health insurance policy for your family by comparing popular family floater plans from India but only compared handful. There are many good policies in the market e.g. LIC's Jeevan Arogya, ICICI Lombard's iHealth Complete Health Insurance, Tata AIG's MediPrime, Bharti AXA's Smart health insurance plan, Oriental Insurance's Happy Family Floater Silver Plan, Max Bupa's Health Companion Family Floater, and Apolo Munich's Optimal Restore plan.

There are also some tax benefits of buying health insurance plans for your family. The Insurance premium paid in any mode other than cash is eligible to get tax relief under section 80D of income tax. You can get up to 55K INR tax deduction which includes Rs 25000 for yourself and Rs 30000 for your parents and other senior citizen members of your family.

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