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Any health insurance cover available in the market will broadly fall into one of the six categories of individual health plan, family floater plan, senior citizens’ plan, critical illness plan, daily hospital cash and unit-linked health plan (ULHP). Few insurers also offer plans related to specific aliments, such as cancer and diabetes. You can buy these from general, life or health insurance companies. While typically a health plan is sold as a stand-alone product, now you also have the option of attaching it to your life cover as a rider.

A. Step I: Getting Started

i) Individual Health Plan: If you are single buy this basic plan, which offers wide coverage with minimum restrictions. The amount of cover would depend on the age, lifestyle and choice of hospitals. Go for as much as you can afford.

ii) Nowadays, most employers provide group insurance to their employees. Take if it is available. Despite this you should also have individual plan for the following reasons:
  • In addition to supplementing the amount of cover, one stays covered in between jobs.
  • If you buy a cover at early age ,when you are not likely to suffer from any life-style or chronic diseases, then your list of pre-existing disease will be nil or minimal possible.
iii) Family Floater Plan: Switch from the individual health plan to family floater plan the moment you get married and try to get the cover for maximum number of family members as per the terms and condition of the policy. Increase the amount whenever it is financially possible. Try to continue with the earlier insurer, unless or until one gets much better options.

iv) Senior Citizens’ Plan: Acquire this plan as soon as you cross the threshold age.

B. Step II: Getting Critical Cover

Critical Illness Plan: Buy this plan as the second level of protection to meet higher financial contingencies. The treatment of critical illnesses is generally expensive, so do take adequate cover.

C. Step III: Adding Special Covers

Specific Plans: Your final level of protection could be in the form of specific plans, such as a cancer plan or a diabetes plan.

D. Step IV: Adding Cash Plans:

After the threshold age, opt for cash benefit plans and/or .Daily Hospital Cash Plan, which may supplement any incidental hospital expenses , if one can afford.
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