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Nobody likes rate hikes, especially when you’re out to renew your health insurance policy. Things can get frustrating when health insurance providers suddenly raise the periodically charged premium rates at the time of health insurance renewal online. Seeing a renewal notice with higher health insurance premium quotations can force you to find other ways to work around the exorbitant rates. But before we delve deeper into this discussion aimed at finding solutions to mitigate the threats of hiked-up insurance premiums, it is important to understand the reasons behind these thwarting developments.
Why Are Insurers Continually Hiking Premiums?
With the claim sizes and frequencies going up during the 1st and 2nd phases of the COVID-19 induced lockdown, insurers feel that it is only appropriate to ramp up the insurance premiums to accommodate the increased payouts.
One of the reasons forcing insurers to amplify the rates and overall charges is the increasing loss ratio as a result of increased claim settlements. Not just that, most insurers are also adding the IRDAI base standardization rates to the policies, thereby increasing the overall costs, further. While this doesn’t actually impact the sum assured, it is simply a strategy used by insurers to minimize the loss.
How Much is Too Much for You?
Indeed, health insurance premium figures have skyrocketed in the last few months. It wouldn’t be wrong to state that the lowest hike happens to be in the 30 percent ballpark whereas some insurers have even resorted to 100 percent rate hikes.
However, the higher rates and charges asked for aren’t abrupt and are subject to policy renewals. Also, the reasons most insurers are giving for the amplified rates are usually the age, modifications in the existing ailment scenario, region-based ramifications, and more. But the real reason here is the higher claim ratio, something that every insurer had to face during the lockdowns.
Why Aren’t Policy Regulators Interfering?
Actually, regulators like IRDAI have already taken matters into their own hands, urging insurers to keep the premium rates affordable and transparent.
The norm ideated by them is not to append an existing insurance plan with newer benefits and justifying the price hike. Instead, newer coverage, health plans, and additional benefits like ones related to accidents, post-operative care, and more, must be included as optional riders.
This approach can be beneficial especially to female individuals and expectant mothers as they can select the insurance policy and relevant pregnancy, hospitalization, lab tests, and other riders by first ascertaining their vitals and stats via a BMI calculator for women and other available tools.
Do You Have a Way Out?
If you find that your existing health insurance provider has abnormally hiked the premium rates, it might be time for you to follow either of the two strategies:
A good thing about health insurance premiums is that if you pay multiple years’ worth of premiums at once, i.e. three years’ worth of premium amount at once, you will be charged at a flat base rate without any hikes. Also, paying upfront makes you eligible for additional discounts, which would then help you save more.
Port To Another Insurer
Alternatively, if you’re not comfortable or willing to pay multiple premiums at once, you can always shift to a new insurance provider who is willing to provide lower health insurance premium rates.
However, when you renew your health insurance policy with a new insurer, you must always ensure that the credit for the waiting period also gets transferred. This way, you won’t have to go through the waiting period under the new health insurance plan all over again. Also, by doing this, you can also rest assured knowing that your new insurer covers all of your existing ailments, if any, from the first day onward.
While porting your health insurance policy is a dependable and economical idea, it may not always play out well for senior citizens or individuals recovering from certain health ailments. This is because newer insurers may be skeptical when it comes to granting health insurance plans for such individuals.
That said, that’s not always the case and there are plenty of insurance providers who still allow such individuals to port their health insurance plans. So, before you choose to proceed with health insurance renewal online, it is a good idea to check for other health insurance providers offering plans with lower premiums. This way, you can keep your health insurance premium affordable and manageable at all times.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).
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