Medical treatment nowadays is becoming costlier day by day. The cost of a specialty treatment and most treatments involving surgery has already gone beyond the limit, most middle income group people can afford. Health / medical insurance is the only solution for those who do not get medical facilities/reimbursement of medical expenses from their employers.
Generally all health insurance policies cover expenses incurred during hospitalisation and also during the pre and post hospitalisation stages. The cover will be to the extent of the sum insured. The detailed list of reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses is provided in the policy.
Nowadays most insurance providers have a list of empaneled hospitals and the policy holder is not required to make any payment (up to the amount permissible in the policy) for getting treatment in such empaneled hospitals. This is called "Cash-less Hospitalisation". The Insurance company settles the bill directly with the hospital.
It is advisable that one goes through the list of diseases/ailments covered and the list of exclusions before buying a health insurance / mediclaim policy and also study the claim procedure to avoid any future complications.
Health / mediclaim policies also provide the tax benefits under Section 80D upto Rs. 20,000/- for senior citizens and upto Rs. 15,000/- for others if the premium is paid in respect of health insurance of the assessee or his family members. An additional relief for health/ medical insurance of parents, Rs. 20,000/- if parents are senior citizen and Rs. 15,000/- for others, is available w.e.f. Assessment Year 2009-10. Therefore. the maximum deduction available under Section 80 is to the extent of Rs. 40,000/-. This relief is in addition to the maximum relief of Rs. 100,000/- available for investments under section 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD.