January 23, 2014

Bought Health Insurance ? Here are 4 things you should do after that !

Have you bought health insurance? If you answer is NO, then you are lagging way behind the crowd and the best thing for you to do, is to get health insurance cover immediately. But if you have already insured yourself, then you have reached an important milestone and are probably feeling relaxed about your financial burdens. After all, if you are hospitalized, someone else will have to foot the bill, and not you.

Congratulations!!, But now, the question is, are you a 100% ready? The process of buying health insurance is very easy – you research the best policies, buy them online or offline and then the policy documents arrive at your home, and you feel – “I have finally taken health insurance, now I am done!”.

things to do after taking health insurance

The Real test is at the time of Health Insurance Claim

However, the real test arises when you have to finally claim health insurance benefits (here are detailed rules and procedure explained). It’s not a great time for you. Someone from your family (or you) has been hospitalized because of an accident or some major illness and every one is tense. You are in a hurry and do not have the time to “think” – this haste is almost always a BAD thing.

While at the back of your mind, you know you have health insurance; there are lot of things to accomplish in a short time frame to make that insurance useful. You have to search for the right hospital and contact the insurance company/TPA. The worst possible outcome is if you are the person hospitalized, and your family has no knowledge of these matters!

So why not plan beforehand and be fully prepared for bad situations. You may think it to be a waste of time at present, but in the time of a crisis, you will be thankful you took these steps. So today, let’s see a few things you can do after taking health insurance to fully prepare yourself for a crisis situation.

4 things to do after taking Health Insurance

1. Visit nearby hospitals

Imagine a situation where something bad has happened. You will probably be in a rush – you will call someone close and ask for good hospitals, maybe spend a few minutes thinking which ones are better and then head towards it. There is no TIME and your priority is on getting admitted somewhere first!. Even if it’s a planned hospitalization, your time for research is limited and there might be many surprises, which crop up at the last moment.

The best time to research hospitals to visit (in event of an emergency) is right NOW. You have all the time in the world at the moment. You can read all the reviews on internet, visit the hospital, make inquires related to charges and facilities, compare hospitals with each other, and finally jot down hospital names which are more preferred to others. You might realize that for OPD, Hospital A is better than B, C and D. You might come to know that Hospital C takes care of senior patients much better than others. You might realize that Hospital D is cost effective on its final bill amount, even though others give the feeling of being cheaper.

This will take you few hours or days, but if you have already done this, at the time of an emergency you will be a 100% mentally focused on the situation without having to worry about the logistics of treatment. Click Here to read some health insurance myths which you thought were true

2. Keep Health Cards in your Wallet and scanned version in Mobile

If you ask me how much time it takes to do this step, it takes exactly 1 hour. You open your mail where you have got the e-version of health cards, load it on a pen drive, go to the market to get a color Xerox, laminate the copy, cut it to match the size of a debit card and put it back in wallet – AND You are done.

If you already have the e-version of health cards in your email, put them in your mobile in images form (so that you don’t have to search your emails at the time of emergency). If you have the actual health cards in physical card format, it is very handy to have it ready with you. You can also keep a scanned copy of health insurance cards on your Google drive or Dropbox account, so that you can access them from anywhere if needed.

3. Keep emergency contacts on phone

In times of emergency, every minute counts. Why rely on Justdial or Google at the last minute – all you need to do is to save numbers of nearby hospitals (including alternate numbers) to your contacts list. The numbers can easily be found through Justdial or from the hospital’s website. Saving the numbers in your email (as drafts) is a good idea too.

Add these numbers to the list of contacts in your family’s phones as well. And while you are at it, keep a printed copy of this data in a common area that all family members have access to.

4. Keep a “emergency folder” for health insurance

I am willing to bet, that in the event of an emergency, your family members will not be able to access your health insurance policy, health cards, emergency contact numbers of the health insurance company, phone number for hospitals nearby or your other identity documents – especially not in a 5 minute time frame.

Why not make it easy for them to do this by preparing an “emergency folder” for health insurance. Keep a folder which has your health insurance policy document copy, your health card copy, a paper which has emergency contact numbers such as the doctor’s phone number, hospital phone numbers, TPA contact numbers, Health Insurance company customer care numbers, and a “guidance sheet” which sets out, step by step, all that needs to be done in case of an emergency or even planned hospitalization. I am so happy to share with you all, that we just completed our online investors bootcamp> last week batch and they all had awesome time arranging their documents, they felt so relaxed when they reported it on our bootcamp facebook group.

Note: Even if you have health insurance from your employer and not your own policy, these steps still apply to you. Follow them.