Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Health Insurance Plans in India
When it comes to health insurance providers, the market in India is diverse and has a variety of options available to cater to your specific needs. But with so many plans available, how do you decide which one is the right fit for you?
While buying a health insurance plan, you need to know about the two types of health insurance providers in India: Standalone Health Insurance Providers Vs General Insurance Providers. Let's understand the difference between these two types of providers and which one is more suitable for you.
As the name suggests, standalone health insurance providers focus solely on providing health insurance. Whereas, general insurance providers offer a wide variety of different insurance products, including health insurance.
Now, some may wonder, "Does this difference really matter? Can't I just choose any provider as long as they offer health insurance?"
Well, we beg to differ!
You should not assume that a standalone health insurer will automatically provide a superior experience just because they specialize in this area. Based on our observations, sometimes general insurance companies outperform standalone health insurance companies on multiple occasions.
However, standalone health insurers are more likely to offer an extensive range of products suitable for a broader audience. On the other hand, a general insurance company may not have a diverse selection of products for health insurance. Therefore, if you have very particular criteria and are looking for a policy tailored to your specific requirements, it is wise to opt for a standalone health insurance company.
However, when buying a health insurance plan, you must consider several other factors before you finalize one. Let’s look at other important aspects that you should consider before finalizing an insurance plan.
- IRDAI Approved Companies
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is the governing body that regulates health insurance companies in India. Check whether the health insurance providers you have shortlisted are approved by IRDAI. This will help ensure that you're dealing with a legitimate and reliable company that complies with regulations.
- Product Portfolio
A good health insurance provider will offer an expansive range of plans to cater to different needs and budgets. Whether you're looking for basic coverage or a comprehensive package with add-on benefits – an expansive product portfolio can give you the flexibility to choose from a variety of options.
- Network of Hospitals
Consider the insurance company’s network of hospitals. If you get access to a familiar hospital, since they are in your plan’s network, it will give you a sense of comfort and peace of mind, especially during medical emergencies. Besides, the larger the network, the better your chances of finding a hospital of your choice for treatments.
- Hidden Terms & Conditions
Have you ever signed any documents without reading the terms and conditions? It’s time to let go of that habit. While selecting an insurance plan, skipping the fine print is not an option. It may later cause problems such as higher out-of-pocket costs. Look out for any hidden clauses or exclusions that might affect your coverage. For instance, check the waiting periods for specific treatment or pre-existing conditions and any limitations on coverage.
- Customer Support and Reviews
A robust customer support team is a valuable asset for health insurance providers, and they can change the whole experience for you. Check online for reviews, ask friends and family, and try to look out for advisors and insurers who are readily available to address your queries, provide guidance, and assist you throughout your policy terms.
Now that we know what to consider before buying a health insurance plan, it is time to look at some of the best health insurance plans in India. This listing has been prepared on the basis of our extensive knowledge and experience in the healthcare insurance business.
- Niva Bupa Health Insurance
It is a standalone health insurance company with an excellent record in customer service and claim settlement. Besides, the company provides unlimited restoration benefits in some of its top plans and promises to pre-authorise your cashless claims within 30 minutes of claim intimation.
- Care Health Insurance
This standalone health insurance company is known for offering affordable insurance plans. The Care Insurance Care plan even has an option to automatically increase the cover amount based on the previous year's inflation. This insurance company has 21,100+ network hospitals and 10+ different insurance plans for you to choose from.
- Star Health Insurance
It is one of the top health insurance companies in India, with a record of settling an impressive 90% cashless claims within 2 hours. This health insurance company provides plans that also cover a wide range of non-medical expenses, including the cost of consumables. However, some of Star Health’s policies are a little more expensive, and they don’t have any options for monthly premium payments.
- Manipal Cigna Health Insurance
This standalone health insurance company in India offers a wide range of plans for you to choose from. This company is tied up with 4500+ hospitals in India for cashless claims settlements, and some of their plans cover alternative treatment options and wellness care up to a certain limit. However, according to our evaluation, Manipal Cigna lacks seamless post-purchase support.
- Aditya Birla Health Insurance
With 10,500+ network hospitals and a wide range of policy options, Aditya Birla is one of the most consumer-centric insurance companies. This insurance company offers affordable options, a lifelong renewal facility, wellness-oriented benefits, and an excellent claim settlement record.
- HDFC Ergo General Insurance
If you are looking for flexibility and customization, you have come to the right place! HDFC Ergo is a general insurance company known for its excellent customer service. Its expertise lies in quick policy issuance and 24X7 post-purchase support. With HDFC Optima Ergo's Secure Plan, you can even get 2X coverage from day one. The policy cancellation and refund process may take longer than expected if you have already purchased a policy from HDFC Ergo.
- ICICI Lombard General Insurance
This is a general insurance company where you can find health insurance policies that provide good coverage at competitive premium rates. Almost every health insurance plan from ICICI Lombard comes with the in-built benefit of a free health check-up. Plus, most of their plans also cover the expenses of AYUSH treatments, daycare procedures, domiciliary treatments and other medical expenses.
If you are trying to find the best health insurance plan in India, worry not! We are here to help you navigate the process.
- Step I: Visit the Beshak website and schedule a 1-to-1 free call with an expert advisor.
- Step 2: Get unbiased and personalised advice on health insurance plans based on your goals, requirements, and budget from a professional with a minimum of 5+ years of experience.
- Step 3: Receive a free, 100% unbiased recommendation report that caters to your unique requirements. Now you can compare the policies and get detailed information about the same with our Plan Decoder.
- Step 4: Discuss the report with your advisor and buy a plan with no extra charges or fees.
You can also leave your questions about health insurance on Beshak’s Expert Forum for quick and helpful advice!
Whether you are young and single, starting a family, or entering your golden years – getting the right health insurance plan plays a key role in assuring safety during unforeseen circumstances. Health insurance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. So, always focus on choosing a plan that offers flexibility and the ability to customize coverage according to your specific requirements. Understanding the complexity of health insurance can be overwhelming, especially when you're trying to match your evolving needs with the right plan. That is where a knowledgeable and experienced advisor can be a trusted guide.
- There are two types of insurance providers that offer health insurance - standalone health insurance providers and general insurance providers.
- Standalone providers sell only health insurance products while general providers sell various types of insurance products including health insurance.
- To get the best health insurance plan, ensure that the company is IRDAI-approved, has a wide product portfolio, and has an extensive network of hospitals.
- Also read through the policy documents for hidden T&Cs and check their customer support and reviews.
- To make this process easier, you can talk to an expert advisor at Beshak and understand the plan using our Plan Decoder.
- You can also post your question on the Beshak Forum!
We are a group of young members of the Beshak community. We come together to brainstorm, write relevant and useful content for people (just like us) who want to figure insurance on their own. If you too want to share inputs/write for us - send us a "hey" to firstname.lastname@example.org