Health insurance policies are rapidly becoming a critical component of financial planning for any burgeoning family. The accelerating cost of health care combined with increasing inflation rates is squarely putting the burden of medical costs on families belonging to the low and middle income bracket. In all, health insurance serves as a game changer in such situations, allowing families to invest in coverage policies over years and then drawing on the benefits guaranteed by the insurer.
Among the many turning points in life, the birth of a child may be one of the most important events. As such, planning ahead is of utmost importance. Apart from the basic costs of raising a child and providing for a quality education, one of the major areas that you’ll need to financially ensure is that of the child’s health care. The fact is, from birth and up until preteens, children need special care. Given how the cost of health care is spiraling out of control, it would definitely make for a good idea to invest in a children health insurance policy.
Children Health Insurance – What does it Cover?
Broadly speaking, when it comes to children, most insurance carriers tend to focus on the cost of raising a child through education insurance and endowment plans. Some insurers even sell life insurance products specific to children. However, none of these instruments focus exclusively on the cost of health care directly attributable to the child. Investing in a children health insurance policy specifically meant for your child will cost you little on a regular basis but the potential benefits you can derive from it in the long run are immensely useful.
However, in case you are looking for a more comprehensive solution to cover your child, the best option by far would be to opt for a family health insurance plan which doubles up as a children health insurance policy. Such plans generally cover anywhere between 4 and 7 members of the family, including children. Insurers also provide cashless claims, reimbursements and tax benefits through these policies.
The sum assured for each member of the family per year usually ranges between INR 2 lakhs to INR 10 lakhs or more, depending on which insurance carrier you choose to go with. Going for a comprehensive health plan, even for your child is a much more financially feasible option as compared to individual mediclaim children health insurance because that would limit the maximum coverage per individual to only 1 lakh. Anything over and above that amount will have to be paid out of pocket.
You may also like to Read: How to Get Health Cover for Your New Born Baby?
Choosing the Right Children Health Insurance Policy
Family floater policies, or what is more commonly known as a comprehensive health care plan, provides multiple benefits in terms of you child’s health. Under such policies you are likely to find value added benefits like health risk assessment, health related counseling and primary consultation with qualified physicians and experts. Critical illnesses are also covered under such comprehensive policies, as is maternity care which forms a big part of expenses related to your child. However, coverage for maternity costs usually has a waiting period attached to it, somewhere in the vicinity of 4 years or less.
While selecting a comprehensive health policy for the family, there are certain criteria you should look for, including but not limited to
Policy offering coverage for your child aged 5 years and upwards.
Children younger than 5 years should be covered under the policy (if both parents are already) from the 91st day onwards.
Policy offering the maximum renewal ceasing age (should ideally be a lifetime renewable policy)
Policies offering the highest amount of coverage for your child, both treatment and copay wise.
Although not applicable in case of children, opt for policies which cover preexisting conditions.
However, the most important thing before you choose to buy into a children health insurance policy is to read the fine print in detail. Understanding the policy wording is key to figuring out how effective your children health insurance policy is and exactly what is covered and/or excluded from being covered.