When buying health insurance, you might have come across the term ‘waiting period’. Have you ever wondered what is meant by ‘waiting period’ in your health insurance plan? Also, did you know that there is more than just one type of waiting period? In this article, we will shed some light on what is meant by waiting period in your coverage and also take you through the various types of waiting periods. Let’s get started!
What is waiting period in health insurance?
The waiting period is a period that you have to ‘wait out’ before being able to make claims on your health insurance plan. The extent of the waiting period can vary between insurance companies. There are different types of waiting periods which we will look at in the next section of this article.
What are the different types of waiting periods in health insurance?
In a health insurance plan, you will mainly come across 3 types of waiting periods:
- Initial waiting period upon purchase
This is an initial waiting period that is applicable as soon as you buy a new policy. It generally lasts around 30 days, though for some insurers this period could be slightly longer. You cannot make any claims for hospitalisation during this time. You may, however, be allowed to make claims for accidental hospitalisation.
- Waiting period for pre-existing diseases
This is the waiting period that most of us are familiar with. All policyholders have to undergo a compulsory waiting period before they can file a claim for the treatment of any pre-existing illnesses. This particular waiting period is generally around 48 months or 4 years, though this can vary between insurance providers. A common example of a pre-existing illness is diabetes.
- Waiting period for certain illnesses
In addition to the waiting periods mentioned above, certain diseases have their own waiting periods mentioned in health insurance. This stands apart from pre-existing diseases. This waiting period is generally around 24 months, though it may also vary from insurer to insurer. Common examples of diseases that can fall into this category include osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
The presence of waiting periods helps promote the judicious use of a health insurance plan. It makes us responsible consumers too. Now, it is important to note that the specifics of the waiting periods can vary between insurance companies. It is advisable to read the policy’s fine print to get a better understanding of the waiting period that you will be subjected to. Alternatively, you may also call up your insurer to get the information over a call.
Given the situation with the COVID 19 pandemic, we have learnt that it is always important to keep coverage active as we never know when we can fall ill. Do buy your health insurance plan immediately to keep yourself covered when the need arises.
We hope that this article has helped improve your understanding of waiting periods in health insurance. Take care and stay safe.