Individual Medical Insurance
Article Contributed by Deepak Cutting
Medical Insurance is also available to individuals, similar to any other type of insurance. The policies on offer may cover the individual or include his spouse and dependants also. If your employers don''t offer a medical insurance cover or if you are self employed, the individual medical cover would be the only available option, even though such a plan may cost more on account of the saving in administrative costs for group plans. Also, the employers may be contributing to the group insurance plans and the individual plan would appear more costly since there is no such subsidy available here. Commonly Available Individual Medical Insurance Plans *The Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plan: In such a plan, a designated Doctor of your choice from the panel of doctors available with the insurance company caters to your medical needs. He may refer the policyholder to a specialist, if required. *Hospital surgical policy: Under such a plan, only those expenses that may be directly related to surgical expenses, may be reimbursable by the insurance company. *Major medical policy: Such medical insurance policies cover hospital and physician services in the hospital and at home. This plan could also be offered as a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan. *Hospital indemnity policy: Such policies pay a maximum amount for each day of hospitalization. *Dreaded or specified diseases policy: This policy covers expenses incurred in connection with one or more diseases that are named in that policy. It could be Cancer or Aids or the like. *Short time policy: This type of policy is available for a short duration only, say a maximum of 12 months. Such policies provide cover when the long term pre-existing medical insurance cover may not be applicable e.g. a trip abroad. The medical insurance company has the right to evaluate your medical condition and consider your medical history while negotiating the policy. They may refuse the cover or apply certain ''exclusions'' to avoid their liability in case of pre-existing ailments or dispensations. It is best to buy a basic medical insurance policy. Conditions to cater to your peculiar or specific requirements can be incorporated in that policy as an ''add on''. Covering Dependant Children in Medical Insurance Children and grandchildren are eligible to be covered in your medical insurance policy till they reach the age of 25. Children who cannot support themselves financially on account of any mental or physical disability, can be catered for in your policy indefinitely. Policies that provide dependant coverage or maternity coverage must automatically cover children up to the first 31 days, after which the insurance company must be notified if the cover for the child is to be continued. Medical Insurance Benefits They vary according to the plan opted for. The two broad categories are the ''state mandated'' and the ''consumer choice'' plan. The state mandated medical insurance plan provides the minimum cover as necessitated by law. The premium in respect of these plans is low. The ''consumer choice'' plan is required to provide the customer with a list or disclosure of services which may not be covered in that specific plan. To be sure of a particular type of medical cover, you should look to the policy. Even when the consumer choice insurance plans are referred to as ''standard plans'', there is no standardization in these plans. The plans of one service provider could vary considerably from the plan of another service provider, even though the plans may share the title.
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