In health insurance, a waiting period is a certain time before the start of the process of health claim. On the other hand, the survival period is the time during which the policyholder should survive after being diagnosed with the covered illness.
Factors related to ‘Waiting Period’ are as follows-
There are three types of waiting period:
Initial Waiting Period:
In case you fall sick or hospitalized within 30-90 days of the start of your policy, in that case, you cannot avail of any of the benefits from the issuer regarding your health insurance policy. The waiting period in the initial days is not counted only in the case when you are hospitalized or bear any kind of medical expenses due to an accident.
If you are suffering from a disease or adverse medical condition before taking a health insurance plan. In that case, also, you are not liable to get any health coverage for any hospitalization expenses that occur because of the same.
The waiting period for this clause varies from few months to few years based on the insurance company policies and guidelines. Secondly, it also depends on the kind of insurance cover you have chosen. A waiting period of 4 years for pre-existing diseases is a standard clause in almost all health policies. This is helpful for a policyholder as an insurance company cannot deny a claim after 4 years.
Disease-Specific Waiting Period
In this case, the insurer will provide you a list of the diseases for which you are eligible to claim as per the contract. This waiting period also lasts for around 2 years after the commencement of the policy. Common diseases in this list include (but are not limited to) hypertension, piles, hernia, ovarian diseases, and diabetes.
Is it possible to reduce the ‘Waiting Period’?
According to the guidelines of IRDA, employees who are a member of the group health plan offered by employers can convert their group covers into individual health policy, at the time of leaving the organization. In that case, the policy issued to the employee is without a waiting period because they already served the waiting time in the ‘Group Health Cover plan’ which is provided to them by respective health employers.
Factors related to ‘Survival Period’
Read and scrutinize all aspects of your policy documents and compare insurers before choosing a health insurance plan. Also, research the claim to settlement ratios and claim honor ratios of the insurers you are planning on taking a policy from.