Premiums Grew 25 Per Cent For Over Half Of The Health Insurance Policyholders: How To Keep It In Check?

There are several ways to bring down the cost of health insurance premiums. Read on to find more.
Premiums Grew 25 Per Cent For Over Half Of The Health Insurance Policyholders
Premiums Grew 25 Per Cent For Over Half Of The Health Insurance Policyholders

According to a survey by LocalCircles, the premium for 52 per cent of health insurance policyholders was increased by over 25 per cent over the past year. The survey gathered responses from 11,000 people in 324 districts in India. This is important for those getting a new health insurance policy or servicing an existing policy to consider possible future premium hikes before committing to long-term health coverage. According to the survey, 21 per cent of policyholders saw health insurance premiums increase by 50 per cent or more. Moreover, 21 per cent reported an increase of 50 per cent or more in the last 12 months while 31 per cent indicated an increase of 25 to 50 per cent. The survey also noted that for 15 per cent of people, the insurance premium remained the same as last year.

The survey researchers also conducted a comparative study with their 2022 survey about personal health insurance. This study found that the percentage of personal health insurance policyholders who had seen an increase in their premium by over 25 per cent has dipped from 62 per cent in 2022 to 52 per cent this year. Also, according to the survey, 15 per cent of people experienced no increase in health insurance premiums in the last 12 months.

In a situation like this, according to experts, there are ways policyholders can keep their premiums in check:

How To Keep Premiums In Check: The rise in medical expenses and hospital bills has become one of the major reasons for the increase in health insurance premiums. Medical expenses tend to rise due to various reasons, such as increased awareness of health, high demand for healthcare services, advances in medical technology, rising prices of medical supplies, and much more. The occurrence of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, is on the rise. Treating these conditions requires ongoing medical care and treatment, which contributes to higher healthcare spending. These are a few reasons for the inflation of health insurance premium costs. But there are ways to manage these rising premiums.

Rakesh Goyal, Director, said, “To keep your health insurance premiums from skyrocketing as they've been lately, there are some smart moves you can make. First, it's worth checking out different insurance companies now and then to see if you can snag a better deal. Plus, staying healthy not only feels good but can save you money since some insurers offer discounts for healthy habits like staying active and not smoking. If you're up for it, opting for a higher deductible can help lower your premiums, but just make sure you can handle the extra costs if you need medical care. It's also wise to review your coverage needs every year to make sure you're not paying for things you don't need anymore.”

“Looking for preventive services like regular check-ups and vaccination can help bigger medical bills at bay down the road. Lastly, ask your insurer about any discounts or special deals they might have going on. Taking these steps can help you keep your premiums under control while still making sure you've got the coverage you need,” Goyal added.

Here are some ways you can manage your premiums:

Begin Early: “There are many advantages of buying a health cover at a younger age, one – lower premiums, as insurance companies typically charge premiums based on age. The younger you are, the lower the premiums, reflecting the lower probability of illness. Second – insurers tend to incentivize early entrants through various benefits such as early entry discounts, bonuses at renewals, and access to wellness services. Thirdly younger individuals are less prone to chronic medical conditions, reducing the likelihood of medical loadings due to health issues,” Bhaskar Nerurkar, head- health administration team, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said.

Empower Yourself With Policy Knowledge: Begin by delving into the intricacies of your current health insurance policy. Grasp the coverage specifics, consider your age and family history for potential ailments, and understand deductibles, co-payments, and any limitations or exclusions. This comprehensive understanding allows you to tailor your plan to your unique needs, eliminating unnecessary components and potentially reducing your premium.

Use The Power Of Comparison: If you're experiencing significant premium increases every year or two, it's time to explore other insurance providers and policies in the market. Seek out plans with similar coverages but at more competitive rates. This proactive approach can help you find the best value for your health insurance and potentially save on premiums.

Think About Buying A Two-To Three-Year Health Policy: When you buy a policy for more than one year, you lock that price for the said time. This means that if you have booked a health insurance policy for three years, then for the entire period, the price will not increase, and you won't be affected by the price hike. In addition, usually, insurers provide a 10 per cent to 15 per cent discount for buying a long-term policy.

Co-Pays And Deductibles Could Be Your Saver: “Let's understand the difference first. A co-pay is a cost-sharing requirement under a health insurance policy that provides that the policyholder will bear a specified percentage of the admissible claim amount. In contrast, the deductible is the amount you're required to pay before health insurance starts to cover defined benefits. Having either a co-pay or deductible will help you to reduce your premium. It could be cost-effective if you're generally healthy and don't anticipate frequent medical expenses,” Nerurkar said.

Consider Telemedicine Options: Telemedicine services can provide convenient and cost-effective healthcare access for non-emergency medical issues. Some insurance plans offer telemedicine benefits at reduced rates, so explore these options to lower your overall healthcare expenses.

Review And Update: Health insurance needs can change over time due to age, lifestyle, and family dynamics. Review your policy from time to time and adjust as necessary to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Family Members With Pre-existing Conditions: “In case you have family members with pre-existing conditions, you must try to cover them under a separate health plan. This is how you can manage costs efficiently,” Pooja Yadav, Chief Product Officer, Zuno General Insurance said.

Claim Section 80D Benefits: “You must be aware of tax benefits under Section 80D while filing taxes. It would be useful for you if you are opting for the old tax regime,” Yadav added.

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