Shopping for an individual health care plan (a plan that is not provided through a group) requires a comparison of the many options available. You should focus your attention on three areas: (1) the cost, (2) the company, and (3) the plan itself.
A sound health insurance plan, when purchased outside of a group, can easily cost more than Rs 1,000 per month for a typical family of four. Obviously, comparison shopping is essential. When you apply for an individual health care plan, the company’s decision whether to accept you is based on a number of underwriting factors, including your age, gender, occupation, family and personal health history, and physical condition. Each of these factors has a bearing on the likelihood of health-related expenditures and, therefore, the cost.
It is important to choose a financially sound health care company. One may check the percentage of premiums collected by an insurance company that is subsequently paid out to reimburse the losses of the participants.
The claims ratio (payout ratio) formula is Claims ratio = losses paid / premium collected. Top companies typically have claims ratios that exceed 90 percent.
The smart way to compare health care plans is to set some criteria for judging whether a policy provides the needed coverage. The plans that do provide the needed coverage (and have high claims ratios) can then be compared on a price basis. No plan should be purchased “sight unseen.” If an agent or company will not allow
you to study a plan for a few days, buy your policy elsewhere.