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When it comes to our loved ones, we try to choose the best of everything. Similarly, when it comes to taking health insurance for those loved ones, we must consider family health insurance. Family health insurance provides us with medical cover for the entire family at a single premium and allows two or more members of the same family to avail themselves of medical facilities at the same time. After taking a family health insurance plan, more than one member of the family can take advantage of hospitalization under the policy simultaneously if they fall ill at the same time.

We also consider it our greatest responsibility to take care of and protect the people we love. Family health insurance is suitable for all those people who are devoted to their family and consider it their first priority to keep them safe. Family health insurance covers everyone from small children to the elderly in the house.

  1. Types of family health insurance
  2. Who can be covered in family health insurance
  3. Benefits of family health insurance
  4. Best family health insurance plan
  5. Things to consider before buying a family health insurance policy
  6. Why it is important to have family health insurance

If you have made up your mind to purchase family health insurance, then the first thing to know is that it can be of two types.

Individual Family Health Insurance: In this kind of plan, all the members of the family are covered under a single policy, the premium is the same, but everyone gets a different sum insured. For example, if you buy a policy of a sum-insured amount of Rs 10 lakhs for your family of 4, each member of the family can spend up to Rs 10 on his/her treatment. This way, the total sum insured for a family of 4 people will become Rs 40 lakhs. For a family with more than one child or if you want to insure the parents, an individual family health insurance plan is considered best. In this plan, everyone has their own sum-insured, there is no risk that if one person falls ill, the entire sum-insured will be depleted and nothing will be left for others. However, the disadvantage here is that while 4 people in your family have a total sum insured of 40 lakhs, if the hospital bill of one member exceeds 10 lakhs, you will have to pay the excess amount.

Family floater health insurance: Even under family floater health insurance, all the members of the family are covered in a single policy and their premium is also the same. The speciality of this policy is that the entire family is covered with a single sum insured. If you take a sum insured of 20 lakhs, then all the family members get a cover of 20 lakhs. Now if we assume that one member of the family had to be admitted to the hospital and there was a bill of 5 lakhs, then now the entire family will have a cover of 15 lakhs. This type of policy is considered good for new couples and nuclear families. Taking the same example further, the sum insured of 20 lakhs for 4 people in family floater health insurance may be better in some cases as compared to the total sum assured of 40 lakhs for 4 people in individual family health insurance. In family floater health insurance, any member can get treatment up to 20 lakhs, whereas in individual family health insurance each member would get a claim of only 10 lakhs.

Generally, family health insurance covers your spouse and two children. Apart from these, if you have more than two children, then you can also include them in this policy. Parents can also benefit from the cover of this policy. Some companies also give the option of covering your mother-in-law. Apart from this, you can also include your siblings. However, with each additional member, you will also have to pay an additional premium.

(Read more: Difference between health insurance and life insurance)

The biggest advantage of taking family health insurance is that everyone, from small children to the elderly, can be covered under a single plan. There are many benefits associated with family health insurance, including:

Worry-free hospitalization cover: By purchasing a family health insurance plan, you get rid of the hassle of choosing separate health insurance for each member of the family and you do not have to pay individual premiums for everyone. You can avail of cashless claims just like individual health insurance in case of network hospitalization due to any reason. The entire family gets the cover of the same facilities under the same health insurance.

Easy to add a new family member: If you opt for individual health insurance then you will have to take another individual health insurance for new members, whereas in family health insurance you can easily add them to your old policy. If you are adding parents to your family health insurance, try to make the sum insured bigger. Even after the death of the eldest member, other family members will continue to get the benefit of health insurance coverage.

Cheap premiums: Under family health insurance, you have to pay one premium for the entire family. This is cheaper than the premium paid for the individual health insurance of each member. That is, in family health insurance, you can give insurance cover to your spouse and children as well as parents at an affordable premium. However, it would be considered a wiser move for senior citizens to opt for different health insurance plans that cater to their needs.

Advantage of addons: You can also avail various riders like critical illness, maternity cover, hospital cash for the entire family by marginally increasing the premium. For example, newly married couples can take maternity cover and newborn baby cover. While there is a waiting period for addon covers like maternity, the waiting period also varies according to the policy. So read your policy document carefully.

Tax benefit: Health insurance plans get the benefit of tax exemption under section 80D of the Income Tax Act. If you are paying the health insurance premium for your family and parents, then you can get a tax exemption based on this.

There is no one plan that is the best for all families. The one that is perfect for you would meet your and your family’s needs at the same time while still remaining affordable for you. We’ve shared the factors and aspects of the policy you need to consider to find the perfect plan for you in our other articles. If you’d like, you can log in to our website to know more about myUpchar Insurance Plus policy.

You should do thorough research before deciding which family health insurance plan to buy as the terms and conditions of health insurance policies are quite complex. If you buy a policy in a hurry, you may have to face difficulties in getting treatment later. Therefore, it’s best to keep the following things in mind when making a decision:

What and how much cover will I get: Make a list of basic coverage when you compare different family health insurance policies from different insurance companies. Generally, all health plans cover day-care, hospitalization expenses and ambulance fees. Get clarity on how much ambulance cover will be available and how much can be claimed if admitted to the hospital room or ICU. If you are young and want to have children in the future, then you should go for maternity cover as well as newborn baby cover. You should also check whether your pre-existing diseases are being covered or not; and, if they are, after how long a waiting period.

Option to increase the sum insured in future: Inflation is increasing day by day, and so is the cost of medical treatment. Most insurance companies offer the option to increase the sum insured in the future. Many times companies not only give the option of increasing the sum insured but also increase your sum-insured themselves if you do not make claims for the whole year.

Cashless hospitalization facility: When comparing different family health insurance policies, check which one has the largest network of hospitals. The more and better hospitals the company has in its network, the easier it will be for you to make a cashless claim. Along with this, you should also check whether the hospitals near your residence are on this list or not.

Lifelong renew: Some health insurance companies offer the option of renewing the policy only till 60-65 years of age. However, nowadays, some companies give assurance of renewal of the policy for life (as long as you are alive). As you get older, you may need more health insurance, so go for a plan that can be renewed for as long as you live.

Easy claim settlement: All companies operate under the rules of IRDA; however, there may be a slight variation in the claim process. Try to choose a company where the claim process is easy, where the claim ratio is good (close to 100%) and that maximum people trust the company.

(Read more: Cheapest health insurance policy)

If you have read the above article carefully, then by now you must have understood why getting a family health insurance policy is important for you. Despite this, if there is any question left, you must read our other article written about family floater health insurance.

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