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Health insurance: Compare convenience and premium, then choose the right health insurance


In the last 12 months, the premium amount of 52 percent of the people who renewed the insurance increased by more than 25 percent.

Health insurance: Health insurance premiums are constantly increasing. LocalCircles spoke to 11,000 people who have health insurance, and it was found that in the last 12 months, the premium amount of 52 percent of the people who renewed the insurance increased by more than 25 percent.

Insurance distribution platform PolicyX created an index by taking the average premium of the five largest health insurance companies in the country.

The index shows that in the April-June 2024 quarter, premiums for new policies have increased by 5.54 percent compared to a year ago.

Treatment getting expensive

One of the major reasons for the premium increase is also the continuous increase in the cost of treatment. In the last few years, treatment has become costlier by an average of 12 to 15 percent, due to which the amount of health insurance claims is also increasing.

Reliance General Insurance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rakesh Jain says, 'Due to advancement in medical technology and better health facilities, the cost of treatment is increasing.'

Sometimes, some life-saving operations have to be done which are expensive and due to which the total hospital bill increases.

According to Manish Dodeja, Head of Claims and Underwriting at Care Health Insurance, hospital bills are also increasing due to the cost of medicines, implants, and other materials. A major reason for the increase in insurance claims is also lifestyle problems and other diseases, some of which are caused by environmental degradation. Shilpa Arora, co-founder of Insurance Samadhan, says, 'India has so many cases of diabetes that it can be called the diabetes capital of the world. Diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, etc. are also increasing continuously.

The number of patients admitted to the hospital increased a lot during and after the global pandemic Covid-19, which also led to a huge increase in the number of claims coming to the insurance companies. This also increased the burden on the insurance companies.

Ajay Prithi, founder of PLNR, says that due to frequent claims and the amount in them being very high, the expenses of the insurance companies also increased a lot. According to Shilpa, the premiums are also high due to the limited scope of insurance. He feels that if the scope of insurance increases, then the expenses or costs of the companies will be distributed among more customers. The 18 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) levied on the insurance premium also makes it expensive.

Vishal Dhawan, board member of the Association of Registered Investment Advisors, says that the premium of group insurance policy is kept low. This is compensated by increasing the premium of the individual insurance policy.

Expensive lifestyle

There are also personal reasons for the premium increase. Dodeja says, 'Even if there is no increase in the premium rates of the policy, the premium increases as the person grows older.'

An expensive lifestyle also has an impact. As prosperity is increasing, people also prefer to go to expensive hospitals in metros and get treatment by staying in air-conditioned rooms. Some patients even take suites. The cost of the entire treatment package also depends on the type of room the patient is staying in.

Port after weighing carefully

One should not buy health insurance and then forget about it. Jain thinks, 'Keep comparing health policies of different companies so that you get the best premium and coverage.'

If you get such a policy, if you are getting the same or better coverage than the existing policy at a lower premium, then you can port it, that is, you can change the policy.

Buying a super top-up along with the original policy can also be a better option. Dhawan suggests that the deductible in the super top-up should be equal to the sum assured of the original policy. If a young person has a health insurance policy, he should convert it into a floater policy after marriage and add his wife and later children to it. This will be cheaper than buying separate insurance for each member.

For those who take great care of their health, Shilpa advises buying a policy that offers discounts on exercise. For example, a policy with a policy that offers a discount on walking so many steps a day.

According to Dodeja, the policy should be bought for many years as it does not increase the premium and also provides relief from the increase in premium as the age increases. Dhawan advises to buy a good group insurance policy.