27 Oct 2016

When You're Pleasantly Surprised by the Fine Print

I read the fine print on my medical insurance policy, and I was pleasantly surprised to receive several benefits I wasn't expecting.

First, I'm covered for medical treatment abroad, should I fall seriously sick when I travel [1]. Second, I'm eligible for some free vaccinations. Third, there's a free annual check. Fourth, I'm eligible for a second opinion if I'm diagnosed with a serious disease.

Finally, I knew when I bought the policy that I'm eligible only for a single room [2]. However, the fine print said that if a single room is not available in the hospital that day, I'm automatically eligible for a higher class of room.

Usually, companies use the fine print to come up with ways not to pay claims, or to provide fewer benefits than they lead people to believe. Which is unethical. It's a pleasant experience to find the opposite, to find that I got more than I thought I was getting.

Religare did a good job.

[1] Except the US.

[2] I wouldn't want a higher class of room, or a suite, since it's not the time to splurge when we're sick.

More importantly, I'd want to keep the insurance in case there's a need again in the same year. I heard of someone who was hospitalised in Apollo Hospital, chose a suite costing ₹40K a day, and the insurance took care of the bill, but the cover was exhausted. However, he was hospitalised again the same year, and had to pay everything out of pocket.

To prevent such a situation, I'd always stay in the cheapest private room in a hospital.

So, an insurance policy that doesn't have any limit on the room is not helpful, and dangerous.

Further, with such a policy, I'm subsidising other people who splurge, which I don't want to.

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