Well, most might not be aware, many health insurance policies have the built-in feature of free health checkup. This is one of the key attractions of such policies. It is always advised to get regular health checkups as it helps in early detection of ailments. A free health checkup with insurance policies helps a lot, especially in a country where people don’t go for regular checkups on their own.
According to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), health insurance penetration in India currently stands at 3.49 per cent, and according to industry data, less than 10 per cent of policyholders avail the free health check-up benefit from their insurers.
Experts suggest, with the rising healthcare costs and the increased occurrence of lifestyle-based ailments, it is advisable to undergo a health check-up at least once every year. Due to the growing age, the health needs of a body also change. Such regular checkups make you more aware of your health situation and allow you to make necessary changes to your existing health insurance policy at the right time, such as an increase in your sum assured with age.
The free health checkup features vary from company to company and the type of policy you hold. Most companies offer this feature with a waiting period. Such as HDFC Ergo General Insurance provides it after a waiting period of four years, whereas Religare Health Insurance offers it from day one. Policyholders should follow up with their insurance companies once a year or during renewal and avail of this benefit. All policies do not offer this feature annually. Some offer it only once every two years. For instance, Apollo Munich provides free checkup once after every two continuous years worth one per cent of the sum insured, up to Rs 5,000 per insured person.
|Insurer||Family Floater, SA Rs. 7lakh||Individual, SA Rs. 3lakh||Waiting Period|
|Star Health||Tests worth Rs. 1,500||Tests worth Rs. 700||3 claim-free years|
|CignaTTK – Plus||Tests are pre-determined||30 days|
|Max Bupa||30 days|
What’s the catch?
Sometimes especially in a family floater plan, the value of the free check-up offered can be quite inadequate for all the insured members of the family. For instance, a family floater policy by Star Health insurance, with a sum insured of Rs. 3,00,000, provides health check-up of a meager Rs 750 for all the members of the family. A full body check-up from a clinic or hospital generally costs around Rs 1,900 to 3,500. Also, the amount of free health check-up that insurers provide depends on your initial sum insured. In case of increased sum insured of the policy due to the no-claim bonus, it doesn’t reflect in the value of the free health checkup.
According to experts, though this feature might be essential to young families and aging elders who need regular check-ups, other features such as the exclusion of pre-existing diseases, claim process, waiting period, network of hospitals, pre- and post-hospitalization cover, and lifetime renewal should be considered while buying a policy.