In these times of rising costs and sky-rocketing healthcare, it's a given that one needs to buy a health insurance policy, not only for themselves but also for their family. Purchasing a policy is one thing, but knowing about the in and outs of the policy is another. One needs to understand all the various aspects of the policy structure before finalising over it. If one purchases a policy in a hurry and misses out on some of the key terms and conditions, they might receive unexpected and unpleasant consequences at the time of claim. Here are the top 5 mistakes that one should avoid while buying a health insurance policy.

1. Not understanding the terms in your policy
Most people skip out on reading thoroughly the crucial terms and conditions which are duly written over policy documents. This is one of the major mistakes that one can commit because, in such a case, they don't know about the terms that the company will enforce in times of a medical claim. Terms and conditions display important information such as duration of the waiting period, pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses etc. Make sure you read all the documents before purchase, and ask questions if you don't understand a few terms.

2. Hiding ones medical history
It's a given that insurance premiums rise if an applicant has ongoing medical conditions or a previous record. An applicant even stands to lose the possibility of gaining a health insurance policy due to their medical history. Due to such fears, some people tend to hide or conceal their previous medical records, but this will prove to be an extremely wrong move. Not only on the grounds of the good faith that the provider puts on the applicant but also due to the damage that will be caused when the insurer finds about such a fraud. They may be denied a claim on such grounds at times when they would need it the most - a medical emergency. Even worse, they might lose the entire policy and the amounts invested in it. It's better to pay a higher premium and stay true.

3. Ignoring the sub-limits
People tend to overlook the limits and sub-limits that are applicable to the coverage, which may lead to medical bills that exceed sub-limits, unexpected by the claimant. This would press one harder on the financial side. Make sure you know which coverage benefits have limits and sub-limits linked to them. It's better to buy a plan which has higher coverage limits or null sub-limits. Industry leaders like Reliance Health Insurance often provide null sub-limits to provide maximum benefits to the policyholder.

4. Focusing only on premium
Various factors like cover size, limits, sub-limits, possible inclusion of family members, their medical records and requirements, insurers claim settlement record, waiting period and many more are required to be taken into consideration before buying a policy. One major mistake applicants commit is to reduce the premium. This might make the policy inadequate for them in times of urgent need. As premium is lowered, the coverage is lowered as well. One needs to think about the members (family) included in the policy, their needs, and other financial commitments before fixing an appropriate premium.

5. Fully depending upon the employers cover
Fully depending upon employer coverage is an unintelligent idea, when there's no guarantee if the job is permanent. In case of one being dismissed from the company, they might stand to lose the cover. Porting option is provided by some companies in times of a job/company switch. It's better to be sure and to buy an independent policy regardless of company cover for personal health safety. One can also opt for a family floater as in most cases, only the employee would be given the employer cover excluding their family.

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