Committing to any financial product, particularly one as vital as health insurance, requires absolute certainty. This is not an investment in which you can afford to have buyer’s remorse later on. Your health insurance policy determines not only the kinds of coverage you receive and the ailments that you are protected against, but also the way you are treated. Find the latter hard to believe? Here are the biggest regrets of people who have invested in insurance without research:
1. Not researching relevant hospitals and doctors
Health insurance policies can sometimes behave the way exclusive club memberships do – either you can flash your card and walk in, or you can’t. Some insurance policies are accepted only at specific hospitals and clinics, or by specific doctors. If you or your family members have been seeing the same doctor for decades, chances are he or she knows your medical history and general tendencies as patients off the top of his/her head. This kind of rapport can be hard to establish with new doctors (and, of course, that does not reflect on their skills – it’s just about your comfort levels). Examining the list of hospitals or doctors your policy type can be applicable at can save you the trouble of seeing a brand new doctor later on.
2. Not going through the fine print
Many policies have a certain defined demographic that are considered ineligible for them. This demographic will not usually be highlighted in the bright brochure you receive but will be waiting for discovery in the fine print, hidden in plain sight. Not going through this information can lead to problems later on. For instance, many health insurance policies do not provide a sufficient cover (or any cover at all) for cancer if you are a smoker.
3. Not researching what health insurance doesn’t cover
Apart from specific ailments not being covered for set people, there are certain things that health insurance just does not cover. For instance, cosmetic surgery isn’t covered. That is something you should know beforehand if you are planning on having cosmetic surgery and rely on insurance for the funds. Similarly, travel vaccines and dental care are not usually covered. Another important element to understand before committing to any policy is what aspects of diagnosis are covered. This will range from policy to policy. For instance, a certain policy may cover indicative tests like mammograms, but may not cover prostrate exams. Knowing the surgical procedures that are covered under the policy you are selecting can also help make better decisions.
4. Not researching the options
Health insurance is a general term. When you invest in a health insurance policy, you will be offered various options to choose from so that you can insure yourself against specific ailments or types of ailments. Not conducting thorough research when it comes to these options can lead to the policy not meeting your needs as effectively as it could have. For instance, if there is an option to add a cancer care policy to the insurance, and you have a family history of cancer, then this policy will be beneficial for you. However, not adding it, and needing it later, will lead to certain pay outs or aspects of the illness being covered, while others are not. Suffice it to say that a policy option that is specifically designed for cancer will be more beneficial against the disease than general features.