Mr. Suresh was on a business trip to another city. Everything had been going well until he suffered a severe gastrointestinal problem and had to be rushed to the nearby hospital. It took him a few days to get recovered completely. However, he had not been carrying enough cash for the trip and was relying on his company’s hospitality for his everyday expenses. So, when the hefty bills came, he had no choice but to use his credit card. His health insurance provider would reimburse the amount only after a few days.
Now, if Mr. Suresh had cashless health insurance from a reliable provider, he would have been able to get treatment and would not have to pay large amounts from his own pocket. Let’s explore the benefits of cashless hospitalisation in detail.
What is cashless hospitalization in a health insurance plan?
Cashless hospitalization is a concept that allows the policyholder to avail treatments at certain network hospitals without having to pay the entire amount of the expenses. Unlike a regular health insurance plan, the expenses are not reimbursed but rather, handled directly between the insurer and the hospital. The policyholder has to pay only the deductibles and inadmissible charges.
A plan that offers such a facility is referred to as cashless health insurance and treatment that is done under this plan is referred to as cashless treatment. Needless to say, such a health insurance plan has several advantages for a policyholder. In this article, we explore the various benefits of cashless health insurance.
1. Increases your access to quality treatment
As explained in the instance of Mr. Suresh, a cashless health insurance plan can help you avail quality treatment when you are traveling to faraway places. When most people travel, they do so with a limited budget. They may also not have access to other forms of financing from friends and family so arranging cash for health contingencies becomes difficult. Besides, carrying large amounts of cash in a city you are not familiar with can be a bit unsafe. The assurance of a cashless health insurance plan can ease these worries and make your travel experience a bit more secure.
However, for you to be able to reap this benefit, it is important to choose a health insurance company that has a high number of network hospitals spread across the country. So, whether you are in the coastal city of Pondicherry or amongst the mountains in Dehradun, you can breathe easy regarding your finances when health emergencies strike.
2. Opens up an array of top range hospitals and medical centres
A health insurance company takes several factors into consideration when choosing a hospital to get affiliated with. From the medical infrastructure of the hospital to the qualifications of the staff, many things are looked into when a hospital is to be added to the list of network hospitals of the insurer. Moreover, the list keeps on changing periodically. Hospitals that are not up to the mark are removed from the list and new ones that meet the insurer’s standards are added. This is to ensure that the policyholders have access only to the best quality of treatment.
Therefore, you can rest easy knowing that the hospital you are going to get cashless treatments at will provide you with the most reliable services.
3. No need to pay cash upfront
Cashless health insurance plans eliminate the need to pay cash upfront at the hospital. When a patient is suddenly admitted to a hospital, the financial aspect of the situation can be a cause of worry to the patient as well as their loved ones. If the particular procedure is an expensive one, then the patient may also hesitate to get much-needed medical care.
Having the cashless facility in health insurance gives you peace of mind. You can say yes to treatment without worrying about the price of the procedures.
4. Fastens the claim settlement process for you
The claim processes for regular health insurance plans and cashless health insurance are different. The process for the latter is easier and gets completed faster as well.
When you raise a claim on regular health insurance plans, the process of getting things settled can take quite a bit of time. You would have to wait for several days before the amount is reimbursed to you. Though the duration may differ among the various health insurance companies, the process usually takes more than a week or two.
Now, in a cashless health insurance plan, this waiting is erased as the payment is done by the insurer in discussion with the hospital. As compared to the wait of several days, here your cashless claim will be approved within a day by most insurers.
Important things you should keep in mind when choosing a health insurance plan
1. Before you sign up for the policy, take a look through their list of network hospitals. Check if there are a good number of hospitals from your location. A plan that does not include hospitals in your area is not going to be helpful to you regardless of the other features it has.
2. Be aware of the cashless claim settlement process usually practiced by the health insurance company. The process may be slightly different for planned admission and emergency admission; do go through them during the purchase process so that you do not have to make any panicked hassles when raising claims. Also, be prepared with the documents in case of planned admission.
3. The Third-Party Administrator or TPA is an important functionary for cashless claim health insurance policyholders. They are the ones you will be contacting for a planned admission, so ensure that you have their contact numbers and other details handy.
4. Advisably, select an insurance provider that has a high claim settlement ratio. This ratio refers to the number of claims solved by the insurer as compared to the number of claims they received within a year. A high claim settlement ratio ensures that your claims are addressed and solved on time.
In conclusion, we can say that a cashless health insurance plan eases the whole health insurance process for you. Besides eliminating the waiting and the arrangement of cash, it also helps the patient breathe a little easier and makes their lives healthier in the process.