Guide to Basic Health Cover You Need to Know Before Getting a Health Insurance

Getting a health insurance policy that is right for you can be quite a task. There are so many terms and conditions you need to know about, with various options to choose from. Having to pick from those options isn’t just difficult, but sometimes unnecessary. If you are a young, healthy individual, you could benefit from simply getting basic health cover. 

Basic health cover is a simple health insurance policy that doesn’t offer a lot of benefits. If you have employee medical insurance, then it’s a great idea to get basic health cover as well.  Having such a plan is a good backup, that you can use even if you switch jobs. But what exactly is basic cover?  

We have you covered on that information. Here’s everything you need to know, and why it is a valuable investment to make.  

About Basic Health Cover

Basic Health Cover Explained 

Basic health cover is an entry-level insurance policy that many insurance companies offer. These plans usually have a very low premium, making them an affordable investment for almost everyone. It is better to get such a plan in your 20’s, since policies can cost up to 20% more by the time you are 30. 

A basic health plan will not cover advanced treatments for areas like the brain and nervous system, eye treatment, ENT, gynaecology, cosmetic surgeries, heart and vascular system, and many others. What is covered will depend on the insurer, so be sure to read the full policy document.  

That doesn’t mean it is not a good investment. If you are a young healthy individual in your first job, such a health plan is a good investment to make. Chances are you won’t need to claim the insurance, but if you do need to, you can be confident you do have health insurance.   

Here are some common things that a basic health cover plan does not cover:  

  • Pre-existing DiseasesMost basic health cover plans won’t over pre-existing illness like high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma. That’s because people with such conditions are more likely to claim insurance, costing companies. If you have such a condition, you can get additional cover by paying extra.  
  • Maternity Related Hospitalization: Maternity-related hospitalization is usually very expensive and therefore not covered by most basic health plans. There are some cases, where it can be covered if there is risk to the mother but be sure to check with the insurer. Otherwise, this is something you can skip unless you plan to have a child.  
  • Diagnostics Expenses: Even if you do have good employee health coverage, diagnostic expenses are unlikely to be covered by your insurance plan. That includes doctor consultations, pathological tests, diagnostics tests like X-ray, CT and blood tests. These are expenses you will have to pay for yourself.  
  • Other Charges: Any other charges related to hospitalization like admission charges, registration charges, service charges will not be covered by basic health cover.  basic policy will not cover hospital admission, registration, and service charges. Medication, if part of hospitalization, will be covered.  

Standard Health Insurance in India 

On January 2 2020, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued a circular making it mandatory to offer basic health insurance. Called Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, this basic health cover plan will offer insurance between ₹1 – 5 lakh.  

Since there are no additional offerings or add-ons, this is a simple and easy policy that you can get. It will help you understand how health insurance works. Of course, there are some things you must know about. The plans have a co-pay of 5%. Here’s our guide to co-payments in health insurance. Arogya Sanjeevani Policies also have a 24-month waiting period for specific diseases.  

But, as we mentioned above this shouldn’t be an issue if you are young and healthy. Getting such a policy in your 20’s will not only help you invest in your future, but also act as a good backup should you require. If not, you can always choose to upgrade as you age. Getting a personal health insurance plan, even one with basic health cover also offers another advantage – tax benefits. 

Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 you are eligible for tax deductions for the premiums paid for a health insurance policy. If you are paying just for yourself, you can claim up to ₹1 lakh for health insurance premiums. That does not apply to employee medical coverage, unless you are paying for a part of it yourself.  

Basic health cover is a valuable investment for individuals, the same way comprehensive employee healthcare plans are for companies. Even if you are a startup or SME, it is important that you provide healthcare benefits to your employees. Luckily, with Onsurity, you can do so at extremely low costs.  

Onsurity’s business health plans allow you to provide affordable employee healthcare to your team, with benefits like doctor teleconsultations, discounted medicines and health check-ups, fitness tracking and group health insurance for members.