Things you need to know about waiting period in Health Insurance

The waiting period, as the name implies, is the period of time you will have to wait from the start of your health insurance coverage to be able to use its benefits. For instance, the time you must wait to use special benefits such as Maternity Cover is one of the most popular forms of waiting periods.; in this case, most health insurers will include a waiting period in health insurance of 2-4 years, implying that you must have your policy for at least 2 years before you can benefit from the maternity cover (the amount of time is dependent on the health insurance policy you buy). There are six types of waiting periods that are important for you to know:

  1. Waiting period at the start – It refers to the time you must wait from the date of issuance to begin actively using and profiting from your health insurance policy, commonly known as a cooling period in health insurance. All health insurance policies now feature a waiting period of up to one month as a norm in the industry.
  2. PED waiting period – Typically, while purchasing health insurance, you will be questioned about any pre-existing conditions and/or required to undergo a series of medical tests that may reveal the same. According to the IRDAI, a pre-existing disease is any ailment, sickness, injury, or disease that was identified during the previous 48 months of obtaining your health insurance policy. The waiting period for covering these conditions can be anywhere between 1 to  4 years.
  3. Specific Diseases waiting period – The title may be self-explanatory, i.e., waiting periods for certain diseases imply that you must wait the specified amount of time before claiming for treatment and hospitalization for a list of specific disorders. These depend on the disease and the insurer as well so make sure that you go through the policy document in detail.
  4. Maternity Benefit waiting period – For those expecting a family soon, there is an option to incorporate a Maternity Benefit and New-born Baby add-on in most health insurance policies for people and families. Apart from only planning for the baby, it is also wise to plan financially for the expenses that occur during and after labor. Most health insurance policies have a waiting period that runs from one to four years. The waiting period in health insurance for maternity coverage is two years.
  5. Waiting Period for Bariatric Surgery – Today, several health insurance policies include bariatric surgery. It is a procedure that involves surgery on the stomach and/or intestines to help someone who is suffering from severe obesity. It is normally only indicated for people who have a BMI of more than 40 and are suffering from various health problems as a result of it. While bariatric surgery is covered by a health insurance policy at no additional cost, there is a two-year waiting period.
  6. Waiting period for Accidental Hospitalization – Accidents can result in the most unanticipated injuries and medical issues. Because of the nature of accidents, none of the health insurers, including Vital, account for any waiting period in the event of an inadvertent hospitalization. This means that a person can file a claim for an unintentional hospitalization even if their new health insurance policy is only a few days old. The initial waiting period is also not applicable.

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