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

POSTED BY Jagoinvestor ON January 23, 2014 COMMENTS (36)

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.

36 replies on this article “Bought Health Insurance ? Here are 4 things you should do after that !”

  1. sharmaankur says:

    what if , if we buy online medical insurance policy like i buy few days back…

    1. Did not get your question !

      1. Ankur Sharma says:

        Hello Manish,

        I have taken online family floater medical insurance from oriental insurance, so what all points we should keep in mind while taking such products online.


        1. Its just paying the premium online.. anyways you will be getting documents and might read their brochure .. so just make sure you read all their features and terms and conditions !

  2. Mohan says:

    I want to buy a health insurance for my elder brother age 32. He is likely to have below taxable income. I will be paying his premium for whole life either as proposer or by just gifting money to him. Is it possible for me to get tax benefit if I become proposer or by any other method?
    I already have 10 lakh cover for myself from Religare.

    1. Hi Mohan

      I dont think you will be able to get any tax benefit, because its only given in case of self + parents . Not for siblings !

      1. transhem says:

        Hi Manish,

        I have purchased a health insurance for my grandmom, I am the proposer.
        Will i be eligible for tax benefit.

        1. I dont think so , its only for parents as far as I know

  3. Krishnan says:

    hi Manish,

    Could you please let me know on a doubt about health insurance for parents.
    Does a parent getting pension can come under the category of “dependent parent”.
    My father is a pensioner but the pension amount is very less. So will the health insurance company tell that since he gets pension, he can not be a dependent parent.

    thanks, krishnan.

    1. He can be dependent parent even if he has income,. No issue in that !

      1. Krishnan says:

        Thanks a lot Manish.

  4. Priya says:

    Hi Manish,

    Recently my dad underwent an heart surgery- Angioplasty.He is 59 years old. He never had any prior health conditions and we always thought he was the most healthiest of all due to his well managed diet, exercise, No BP, No Diabetes etc.
    Currently as he is employed at a private company medical expenses were covered by this co. as well as by the parental insurance bought by me through my co.

    But he will retire next year (May). Currently he doesnot have any private insurance for himself. Now I have understood that with a pre-exsisting heart condition No insurance company will give him an insurance.

    Are you aware of any insurance companies which might give us an insurance (May be at a higher premium, or cover his heart related expenses after 2 years if not immediately?)

    I am aware of the Star Health Cardiac Care Insurance. I am going to go for it, but the insurance cover is only 4 lacs.

    I am still wondering if we have a chance with other insurers or those doors are completely closed. Kindly share information on this if you have studied/came across such cases before.



  5. SK says:

    Excellent, Manish! That’s what I like about Jago Investor- Down to earth advice, without any philosofical write-ups or big jargons.

  6. gaurav says:

    can you please help me on health cards. I have a health insurance of National insurance and i have only papers sent by company and don’t have any cards

    1. They should have sent that , please ask them regarding the cards !

  7. Karthikraja says:

    Exactly. when i was living in pune, suddenly my wife has to hospitalize and we dont speak Hindi or Marathi. though i have very good Health cover via personal and Corporate, i cant suddenly find the right hospital. Somehow admitted, operated and she is fine now. But the expereince is very poor. So research local hospital and share all details of insurance provider is vital one.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Karthikraja

      That incident of yours validates what we advised in the article 🙂


  8. neet says:

    At what point is it best to hand over your health card ? My agent advised me against giving the information at Apollo hospital right in the beginning as he felt that the hospital then recommends unnecessary tests and this is what leads to disputes between insurance company and claimants. He recommended that info be given after the treatment has already been decided and started. Has this been observed by anybody ? what is the right way to go about this?

    1. Ratnakar says:

      @ neet:

      I completely agree with your argument. I would not have seen it coming if not for my practical experience in this particular issue. Let me go into the details:

      Once one of our family members met with an accident and we had to rush them to a hospital which is not “cashless”. In this case “CARE”. It being an emergency situation, although we had proper Health Insurance, we agreed to pay money for the treatment and then take care of the claims later. (This made us to be very careful about saving every document and getting the right kind of attention.)

      We were talking to the other patients who were admitted into the hospital (for various reasons) and found out that people who have insurance are given unnecessary tests and stuff like that. Also another startling fact is that, as the hospital is very busy with patients, they do not encourage people with health insurance as they lose instant money. (I had to think a lot about this “allegation” and though it made a little sense, I am not sure if this is the case always. Upon giving a lot of thought, I came to a conclusion that this could be a factor that plays only if there were more than enough patients and not true with all hospitals).

      We paid all the bills promptly and at the end we said we need a complete file for claiming medical insurance. The hospital staff were courteous and satisfied all our requests to the word. We claimed to the TPA and was successful within two weeks.

      I am sharing this story as to say that probably, the agent of Neet was right in mentioning about “the unnecessary tests”. I also wanted to add, the hospitals (if are very busy) would rather provide great services like special rooms, treatment and all if you pay money first and claim later.

      This way the TPA is not suspicious about your claim unlike all the other claims that come before them.

      1. Thanks for sharing that experience with all of us, I will make a post out of it 🙂

    2. Correct . There are lots of cases where once you share that you have health insurance, they then tell you all the things which are really not required, they blow up the cost and then if your health insurance company rejects the claim or does not approve cash less, it really becomes a big issue.

      So better share about it once most of the things are finalised.


  9. Deepak Jain says:

    Very Nice article only a person who practical experience can give this kind of advice.

    1. Thanks for your comment Deepak !

  10. Swaroop says:

    Hats Off!!!

    Thanks Manish.
    This is the nice article related to one’s life which shows preparation of any emergency.

    I want to share something.

    This happened to me. There was planned hospitalization. we had selected the hospital but never knew the claim will be cashless or not.

    Once she discharged, I got all the document to send to TPA for claim.
    Now the fight began. Hospital had its own set of forms for providing claim document and TPA rejected the same.

    At last it took 6 months to get the claim after answering TPA and many visits to hospital.

    After that I realized the difference in taking health insurance and claiming it.

    This article made me to think in different direction. I will now follow the steps
    Again Thanks a lot Manish.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Swaroop . I think its a good idea to have the list of all the major documents required by health insurance company handy with you in a file , so that you can just carry it over to hospital later and do the checks !


  11. jigar vora says:

    Nice Article as always.

  12. Ram says:

    Dear Manish,

    I have to say that you have exceeded yourself this time….I’m sure you know how I keep commenting that your articles are good, but take it from me, this is a better compliment than the usual! 🙂

    Reason??? Well, you’ve gone beyond the domain of just financial advice and have given very useful and important life advice! Thank you…even for a financial stalwart like myself (I think I am!) this is new info and something I will implement

    1. Thanks for those words . Good to know that I have exceeded expectations this time !


  13. Lakshmipathy G. says:

    I did this part “Keep Health Cards in your Wallet” from reading your second book on how to be your own financial planner in 10 steps.

    This one “scanned version in Mobile” did not strike me 🙂 Thanks.

    1. Great to hear that Lakshmipathy !

  14. Jyoti says:

    Something new to know. Thanx 🙂
    Me too urge you to write same for term insurance bought online.

    1. Will write on term plan soon

  15. Vaibhav says:

    Excellent article !
    Thanks a ton Manish!!
    Request to write similar article on life insurance.


    1. Yes, will write on life insurance part very soon

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