7 Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Health Insurance Policy

4 min read

Felling ill has got to be one of the most unpleasant feelings in the world. The sudden inability and difficulty to do things that you ordinarily would do with ease can be frightening as well as annoying. And let’s not get started on the hospital bills which you are mostly unprepared for. Let’s face it, it would be easier on your pocket and mind if you had purchased a health insurance policy. Why, you may ask? Well, for one, it protects you from unexpected high medical costs. In Nigeria, there are majorly two types of health insurance policies:

  1. Out of Pocket Health Insurance Plan and
  2. Managed Care Health Insurance Plan

The out of pocket health care plan is where the insured gets to pay for every visit to the hospital out of his own pocket. The individual is charged a lump sum which he makes use of health care services. This type of health insurance plan is not recommended as it can be very expensive and may cause people to seek other means of medication.

The managed care health insurance plan is a plan that sees you only making use of selected health facilities. There are different types of managed health care organisations. But, the one that is most popular in Nigeria is the Health Management Organisations (HMO). Here, a monthly, quarterly or annual premium is paid to the HMO, which in turn gives the beneficiary, access to healthcare by selected healthcare facilities. The healthcare includes hospital visits, terminal illness, operations and emergency care.

Before you go purchasing a health insurance plan, here are 6 things that you need to consider:

Claim Process

insurance claims process

Find out how the process of making a claim is. The simpler the claim process, the better for you. Ask people who are making use of the same HMO. Talk to the HMO or health insurance officials to explain in detail, what making a claim would entail.

Details on Insurance Cover

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, check with the HMO or insurer that it is covered under the policy you are purchasing.  It would be a terrible thing to be denied healthcare when you require because the illness is not listed under your insurance coverage.

Waiting Period

health insurance waiting period

Most insurers would require a waiting period for pre-existing medical conditions. Check to see that you are fine with the waiting period. The waiting period is usually between two to five years.

Keep Your Family in Mind

family insurance

When shopping for health insurance plans, you should pay attention to plan and policies that are family friendly and provided the needed cover. Take the age of your family members into consideration including pre-existing medical conditions.

Location of the Network Hospitals

location of HMO network hospitals

Residing in Mushin and having the closest hospital to you on the insurer’s network at Yaba, isn’t ideal. You should put that into consideration before you purchase that insurance plan. Ask the insurer for a comprehensive list of its network hospitals. This way, you will be able to make informed decisions. It is recommended that network hospitals should be between 15-30 minutes’ drive from your place of residence.

Maternity Benefits

It is highly recommended that people with families especially young couples, pick a health insurance plan that provides cover for the medical expenses that come with pregnancy and child delivery. Asides this, also confirm the length of the waiting period before you can make a maternity claim. This will guide you on what insurer to go with as well as when to start a family.

Calculating Cumulative Bonus

Cash Naira

The insurance companies offer a cumulative bonus to individuals who make no claims for a whole year. The cumulative bonus is paid in form of a reduction in the amount paid as premium for the year. It could also come as an increase in the amount insured. Ask the insurer about his policy on cumulative cost.

It is not uncommon to hear Nigerians complain about insurance companies and list all the bad experiences they have had. This is mostly a result of little to no knowledge on how health insurance works. On the Vconnect platform, there are trusted and verified health insurance companies. They offer advisory services and also sell health insurance plans that are best for you and your family. Connect with health insurance companies on Vconnect . Buy Health Insurance Plans 

 

Blessing Oghota

Blessing loves good food, good books, and good music.

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