Health Insurance Terms You Should Know About — Part 2

Here we are with the second part of the blog series

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There are so many health insurance jargons to cover in one go! That’s why we are back with another set of health insurance terms you should be familiar with before you buy a health insurance policy. Read on as we simplify health insurance for you!

Free-look period

When you buy health insurance, you will have a free look period of 15 days. At this point, you are probably wondering what this means. Well, it’s simple! After paying your first premium, you are officially insured. However, within the first 15 days, if you are not satisfied with the plan, you can opt to cancel it.

This period of 15 days is known as a free-look period; if you cancel your policy within this timespan, you will get your money back. Of course, the insurance provider will deduct an amount for the period already covered plus any expenses it has incurred such as medical examinations, stamp duty charges.

Pre-existing condition

Any illness you suffer from before you buy the policy is known as a pre-existing condition. It’s important that you disclose any such condition when buying a health insurance policy as hiding the same might cause complications when you need to make a claim.

Waiting period

This is another common term buyers come across when purchasing health insurance. A waiting period is a timespan wherein your insurance policy will not cover any of the medical expenses you incur. There are two types of waiting periods – initial waiting period and pre-existing condition waiting period.

The initial waiting begins from the day you buy the policy and could last for up to 90 days (it varies from one insurance company to the next). During this timeframe, no medical expenses will be covered by your policy, with the exception of accidental injuries that require more than 24 hours of hospitalisation.

If you have any pre-existing condition, you will have a separate waiting period before any medical expenses for your illness are covered. The waiting period for a pre-existing condition varies from one to four years and depends on the condition and the norms of the insurance provider. When buying health insurance, you should always look for a policy that has the shortest waiting periods.


There are several costs associated with hospitalisation. For instance, if you are admitted into a hospital, you have to pay doctors’ consultation fees, ambulance charges, rent for the room and so on. Sub-limits are the maximum compensation the insurance company will provide for each of these expenses. They are predetermined, and are usually a percentage of your sum assured. For example, some insurance companies have a sub-limit of 1% on room rent. Therefore, if your sum assured is Rs 10 lakh, your sub-limit for room rent per day is Rs 10,000 . There are sub-limits for specific treatments as well. For example, insurance companies have a sub-limit on cataract, kidney stone removal, extraction of tonsils, knee ligament reconstruction and so on.

Grace period: It is plain panic when you find out that you’ve missed the renewal date of your health insurance policy by a couple of days. But don’t worry, every insurance company will allow you a few days to renew your policy. This is known as a grace period, and it usually lasts up to 30 days from the renewal date.

We hope you now have a clearer idea of health insurance, and are able to make sound purchase decisions. Good luck and take care!

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