Here’s how you can pick the right health insurance policy

We rated 60 insurance policies from 23 insurers and crunched the data to look at the policies in terms of their price, key product benefits and claims experience -- so you don’t have to.

Policies with most of the essential features that we have pointed out in the rating scale have been rated A.
Policies with most of the essential features that we have pointed out in the rating scale have been rated A.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It is not easy to find a health insurance plan that is suited to your needs. Not because there aren’t enough plans out there but because there are too many. To help you pick a policy that’s best suited to your needs, Mint has published the 2017 edition of Mint SecureNow Mediclaim Ratings in association with our knowledge partner SecureNow Insurance Broker Pvt. Ltd. In MSMR we rated 60 insurance policies from 23 insurers. We crunched data to look at the policies in terms of their price, key product benefits and claims experience — so you would not have to.

Our ratings cover 18 different categories of individual and family floater segments. A family floater considers the entire family as one unit, so if one member makes a claim, the insurance cover reduces by that much for all the members in the policy year. For both individual and floater policies we rated products across three sum-insured categories: Rs 10 lakh, Rs 20 lakh and Rs 50 lakh. In the floater segment, we have taken a family of three where the eldest member is 30 years old and a family of four where the eldest member is 45 years old. In the individuals’ segment we have four age categories: 30 years, 45 years, 60 years and 75 years.

This year we have also created a separate rating score for individuals up to 60 years of age and individuals in the 75 years category, as we believe that the relevant product features for a senior citizen are different to those for non-senior citizens. In each of these rating scores, policies are rated across the three broad features of price, product features and claims experience.

Every year, we listen to you—our readers—to make the ratings more meaningful by adding parameters that we think are essential for health insurance policies. And the feedback is that our ratings did not reflect the sharp spike in premiums that you have to pay while renewing policies. We realize that this is an important factor—you can’t buy a policy that’s the cheapest when you are young but is among the most expensive as you age. So here is what we have done this time: we rated the premiums by averaging the future premiums for a particular age band, so that we could rate the policies on how well they aged. We also identified four new features that are important for a good health insurance policy. These are outpatient benefit, in-built critical illness cover, restore benefits and wellness programmes. In all, more than 400 policy combinations were rated.

Policies with most of the essential features that we have pointed out in the rating scale have been rated A and their score lies between 65% and 100%. Subsequently policies shift to B with a score of 45% or more and the rest get pushed to C category. ‘A’ rated products are policies that have done well broadly on all the three essential parameters of price, product benefit and claims settlement record, but we recommend you don’t stop at looking at the top-rated products alone.

Click here to look at the granular ratings. Here you can look at how policies have done on individual parameters and how the final score was arrived at. Keep the ratings scale handy with you to compare.
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