Private Health Insurance

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Private health insurance can be defined as healthcare policies provided by companies and organizations that are not owned by the government. The term is used more often in the western countries such as the US and in Europe where the governments fund such services and there are insurers existing outside that framework.

It has often been seen that the private healthcare providers are more effective than their government owned counterparts. They need to be more innovative than them especially in areas like branding their products on television to create a positive image - this is more essential in a country like India where the government backed savings instruments are trusted more.

Why take private health insurance?

One of the major advantages of private health insurance policies is that these plans often enable the holders get the best services at the top hospitals or be treated by the leading doctors who may be a bit too expensive for people with the public health plans.

A major advantage of the private healthcare plans is that they often cover several lifestyle services that might not be there with the public policies. Secondly it is a much better option than self insurance which could prove to be extremely expensive in case of people with very active lives like pilots and soldiers.

The insurance policies come in handy, especially in critical cases like surgeries, which are normally a more expensive process if not covered. Since these health plans have agreements with the leading private hospitals, the insured need not wait in queues for long hours to get treated or checked up.

With these plans an insured might also be able to avail the services of a doctor or a hospital that is already treating them. In the public plans, most of the times, the hospital allots a doctor who might not have checked them before.

Different types of private health insurance

With regards to cover there are two types of private health insurance plans - the hospital cover plans and the general treatment cover plans. The general treatment cover plans were previously known as extras or ancillary cover plans.

The hospital cover plans deal with the following:
  • Medical facilities and treatment like accommodation at hospitals
  • Doctor's fees

These policies cover both private and public hospitals. The plans can also cover benefits payments for treatments - these facilities are provided as per the agreement between the insurer and the insured.

Even with regards to hospital cover there are different types of health insurance that can be availed. There is a type of health insurance policy that provides comprehensive coverage for medical expenses incurred within the hospital and expenses for staying at the hospital.

There are certain private plans that require lower premiums but these plans only cover a certain part of the expenses. Normally, if a proposer feels that he or she may not suffer certain ailments then that individual might opt out of certain areas covered by the plan and this will bring the premium down.

However, the downside of all this is that the amount of benefits being provided is lower than in cases where the plans with usual premium are being availed. Following are the different types of private health insurance plans with low premiums:

  • Ones where certain conditions are excluded
  • Ones with a limitation period on benefits
  • Ones with front end deductibles
  • Ones with public hospital tables
  • Ones with co-payment
  • Ones with hospital substitute treatments
  • Ones with restricted benefits
The general treatment cover plans can help in meeting the expenses of the following treatments:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Disease management programs
  • Optical treatment
  • Disease prevention programs
  • Dental treatment

How to buy private health insurance?
Following are certain factors that need to be kept in mind while buying a health plan from a private insurer:
  • Premium - could be more than the public insurers
  • Coverage - if it less than the public insurers or not
  • Deductible - how much will have to be paid and if can be avoided or not
  • Insurance for already existing health issues - will they be covered and if yes then will there be any extra premium needed

Private Health Insurance Premiums
Following are some factors that can affect premiums of the private health insurance policies:
  • Present increases in benefit outlays
  • Long term viability
  • Predicted increases in benefit outlays
  • Sufficient net underwriting margins
  • Treatment expenses
  • Enough capital
  • Service expenses
  • Balancing increasing expenses that are related to increasing age of the policyholders
  • Better usage of services and treatments
  • Increasing cost of payments being made towards risk equalization pool

Top private health insurance companies
Company Product
Bajaj Allianz
  • Individual Health Guard
  • Silver Health
  • Family Floater Health Guard
  • Star Package
  • Extra Care
  • Health Ensure
  • Critical Illness for Women
  • Tax Gain
  • Personal Guard
  • Critical Illness
  • Hospital Cash
  • Insta Insure
ICICI Lombard
  • ICICI Lombard Complete Health Insurance
  • ICICI Lombard Personal Protect
  • ICICI Lombard Health Advantage Plus
  • ICICI Lombard Health Care Plus
  • ICICI Lombard Critical Care
IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance
  • Individual Medishield
  • Group Personal Accident
  • Swasthya Kavach (Family Health) Policy
  • Critical Illness Policy
Reliance General Insurance
  • HealthWise Insurance
  • Personal Accident
  • Critical Illness Insurance
Royal Sundaram General Insurance
  • Master Product - Total Health Plus
  • Hospital Cash
  • Family Good Health
TATA AIG Insurance
  • MediPrime
  • Secured Future Plan
  • Wellsurance Executive
  • Secured Income Plan
  • Wellsurance Family
  • Maharaksha
  • Wellsurance Women
  • Individual Accident and Sickness Hospital Cash
  • Accident Guard
  • Criticare
  • Income Guard
  • Group Accident and Sickness Hospital Cash
Cholamandalam MS General Insurance
  • Top Up Healthline
  • Individual Healthline
  • Hospital Cash
  • Individual Health
  • Family Health
  • Family Healthline
  • Critical Healthline
HDFC ERGO General Insurance
  • Health Suraksha
  • Critical Illness
STAR Health Insurance
  • Star Comprehensive
  • Family Health Optima
  • Senior Citizen Red Carpet
  • Star Delite
  • Medi Classic
  • Super Surplus
  • Star Health Gain
  • Star Unique Health
  • Star Wedding Gift
  • Star Criticare Plus
  • Diabetes Safe
  • Star Netplus
Apollo Munich Health Insurance
  • Easy Health Individual
  • Insure Health
  • Easy Health Family
  • Maxima Health Insurance
  • Future Criti-care - For Individuals and Family
  • Future Health Suraksha Individual
  • Future Health Suraksha Family
Universal Sompo General Insurance
  • Individual Health Insurance
  • IOB Health Care Plus Policy
  • Group Health Insurance Policy
Bharti AXA General Insurance
  • Smart Health Insurance
  • Smart Health Essential Insurance
  • Smart Health Critical Illness Insurance
  • Smart Health High Deductible Insurance
Max Bupa Health Insurance
  • Heartbeat
  • Health@Companion
  • Health Assurance
L&T General Insurance
  • my:health Medisure Prime Insurance
  • my:jeevika Personal Accident Micro Insurance
  • my:health Personal Accident Insurance
  • my:jeevika Cash @hospital Micro Insurance
RELIGARE Health Insurance
  • Care

Last Updated on 28/08/2012

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