All you need to know about the waiting period in health insurance
In today’s time, several elements are making you more prone to illness including own lifestyle, eating habits, and environmental factors, etc. The best thing to do in such a situation is to take up health insurance so that you are not burdened with all the expenses of treatment and related procedures. The number of people who are investing in health insurance is on the rise. While many people are turning to insurance for financial help, little do they know about the waiting period that is an integral part of health insurance. Companies also provide plans with no waiting period, but most plans do have one. You can click here to learn about Health insurance with no waiting period. If your insurance policy includes a waiting period, you should have thorough knowledge about it so that you are not surprised by the delays or denials of your claims.
- Meaning waiting period
Many people buy health insurance but are unaware of many clauses related to that. The waiting period is one such exclusion that often leaves people stumped and perplexed as they do not expect to pay full treatment expenses. Usually, your insurer does not start paying for your medical bills right after you buy the policy. You have to wait for some time to make your first claim. This time is called the waiting period. No claim during this period is entertained by your insurer. This length of this period differs based on the coverage and conditions. There are different rules to regulate and implement a waiting period and vary from one provider to the other. Irrespective of your policy, terms, and conditions, and insurer, you should not expect any benefit during the waiting period.
- Types of waiting periods
Waiting periods are of several types and are applied in different situations.
- Initial waiting period
This refers to the period between buying the plan and making the first claim. The initial waiting period is often 30 to 90 days long. Your insurer will not accept any claim until this period after buying the insurance expires. However, in some cases, insurers assist in case the insured meets an accident and need hospitalization.
- Waiting period for a specific disease
Often your insurance policy comes with a list of diseases and related waiting periods. Your insurer can implement different waiting periods for diseases like a tumor, ENT disorder, osteoporosis, etc. This can be as long as one to two years. The list and duration are different for a different insurer. You can also pick disease-specific plans.
- Waiting period for pre-existing disease
Pre-existing diseases are the ones that you declare while purchasing an insurance plan. There is an exclusive waiting period for such diseases. Generally is can range between one to four years and vary for different insurers and conditions.
- Maternity waiting period
This applies to the plans which offer exceptional maternity benefits. It is advised to buy such a plan early as the waiting period can vary anywhere between nine to thirty-six months. Your insurer may also provide a lesser waiting period on an additional premium.
- Need for waiting period in health insurance
This concept is implemented to evade unethical and fraudulent claims from the insured. It has been observed that people with specific illnesses buy a policy without disclosing it and then immediately claim benefits. To shun such mal-practices, the waiting period is added to the insurance plans.