What is the Waiting Period for Health Insurance?

Health Insurance

In health insurance, do you know that there are certain exclusions in your policy which are not covered? Many times, people don’t understand these exclusions and think that health insurance will cover all diseases. In this blog, we’re going to tell you about the waiting period for health insurance.

What is the Waiting Period?

According to Investopedia – a waiting period is the amount of time an insured must wait before some or all of their coverage comes into effect. In this period, the insured may not receive benefits for claims filed.

Health insurance is a great way to protect yourself from the financial burden of medical bills. However, understanding how waiting periods work is crucial for a policyholder so that they don’t rely upon insurers completely if they are serving a waiting period for a certain disease.

Let’s understand the waiting period with these timeframes, where you need to wait after buying a policy before you can claim certain benefits.

We usually categorize the waiting period into three main types:

1. Initial Waiting Period:

“Initial waiting period” or “cooling off” is the time period where the policyholder has to wait for 30 days before claiming with the insurer. This clause prevents people from buying insurance for their pre-existing diseases. On the contrary, there’s a good exception in this clause: accidental cover. If you ever got hospitalized due to an accident within these 30 days, then your insurance will kick in and cover the costs of your hospital bills.

2. Pre-Existing Disease (PED):

This type of waiting period is applied only when you have any pre-existing disease such as diabetes, hypertension etc… Insurers typically have to wait for 2 to 4 years before they cover expenses related to these pre-existing conditions. Hence, it is advised by insurance advisors to opt for a health insurance plan which has a shorter PED waiting period, so that you don’t have to wait many years to get covered by a health insurer. Nowadays, many insurers are even offering riders and add-ons which can reduce this waiting period for an extra premium. But you don’t have to worry more about the waiting period if you’re young and healthy.

3. Waiting Period for Named Illnesses (Typically 2 Years):

This waiting period applies to specific illnesses which are usually chronic and grow slowly over time. Examples include hernia, piles, and kidney stones. Since these conditions can often be planned for in advance, insurers impose a waiting period (usually around 2 years) before covering treatment costs.

Health insurance plans usually come with a waiting period of 2 to 4 years for pre-existing diseases. But how good would it be if your PED gets covered from the time you buy the policy?

Now there are some health insurance plans in the market which cover certain pre-existing diseases from day 1. Yes, you heard it right! It could either be in the form of an inbuilt feature in the product or could be opted in the form of the rider by paying a little extra premium.

If you are suffering from a lifestyle illness like diabetes or hypertension and want to get a health insurance policy, you can check out the health insurance options where your disease can be covered from the beginning. So you don’t have to wait for 2, 3 or even 4 years to raise a claim if your hospitalisation is caused by your PED.

But remember that such options are not available for all illnesses and are limited to a few listed ones.

NOTE: It’s always best to read the policy document of your health insurance policy carefully.

Read our latest blog on “Difference between Mediclaim and Health Insurance Policy” here – https://algatesinsurance.in/mediclaim-vs-health-insurance-which-one-should-you-buy/

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