Citi Knowledge Center
Quick reads to keep you up-to-date on money matters.
8 things you need to know before buying health insurance

8 things you need to know before buying health insurance

As they say health is the only true wealth that gives you peace of mind. To ensure complete peace of mind, it is necessary to have the right health insurance as well, because, when a need arises, it makes it possible for you and your family to receive the best chance of getting well.

Many of us buy health insurance with the objective of saving tax but fail to consider the importance of buying a comprehensive medical insurance plan for the family. With increasing healthcare costs, it is compulsory to get health protection as early as possible.

The 8 things you need to keep in mind when you buy health insurance -

1. Individual vs corporate health cover

You must have an individual health insurance even if your company offers you a corporate group health cover. This is to avoid the possibility of being without a health insurance cover as most corporate covers cease once you leave your job or retire.

2. Selecting the right sum insured

While choosing the sum insured, you need to keep the current increasing medical costs in mind. Also remember to increase your health cover from time to time to take account for the medical inflation.

3. Right time to buy health insurance

The right time to buy a health insurance is now if you have not already purchased it. Buy a health cover as early in life as possible. As you are likely to make no or few claims in earlier stages of life, you can get the benefit of no-claims bonus and add up to the original coverage for every claim-free year.

4. Will it cover you for a lifetime?

All individual health insurance plans provide lifetime renewal, where your corporate cover provides you insurance only up to your employment. Your aim should be to have a health cover at an older age when you will have ailments and that is possible only if your policy offers lifetime renewability.

5. For contingencies beyond sum insured

Buy a policy which gives you a top up cover just in case you fully utilize your existing sum insured. This will act as a buffer to cover some unforeseen medical contingencies (like: fatal accident or treatment of critical illness) which may be very costly to manage. For example Rs 5 lakh plan with Rs 5 lakh top up almost gives you Rs 10 lakh cover for such unforeseen medical contingencies at minimal extra cost. However, it may be noted that in order to make any claims in Top up covers, there is claims based excess each and every time you register a claim. For eg, when you make a claim, you pay some part of the cost and the insurer pays the rest. Your part is called the excess.

6. Coverage for pre-existing ailments

If you have an ailment please make sure you mention it in the application form. Choose a plan which will cover the pre-existing ailment as well, after a waiting period. Today in most plans all pre-existing diseases also get covered post specific waiting period depending upon the plan.

7. Choosing the right waiting period

All health plans have a waiting period for pre-existing ailments. Waiting period generally varies from 2-5 years varying from company to company. Opt for a company that offers you minimum waiting period.

8. Check for sub-limits

Try to buy a plan with no or minimal sub-limit. Sub-limits means that your insurer specifies a limit for an expense and anything above that needs to be borne by you even if the amount being claimed is within the overall coverage limit, for example, room rent, diagnostics and doctor’s fees are the most commonly introduced sub-limits.

Health Insurance is one of the most important investments you make in life, so it is only fitting that you make the right choice.


Insurance products are obligations only of the Insurance company. They are not bank deposits or obligations of or guaranteed by Citibank N.A, Citigroup Inc or any of its affiliates or subsidiaries or any Governmental agency. All claims under the policy will be solely decided upon by the Insurance Company. Citibank, Citigroup or any of their affiliates and group entities hold no warranty and do not make any representation about the insurance, the quality of claims processing and shall not be responsible for claims, recovery of claims, or for processing of or clearing of claims, in any manner whatsoever. This document does not constitute the distribution of any information or the making of any offer or solicitation by anyone in any jurisdiction in which such distribution or offer is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to distribute such a document or make such an offer or solicitation. Investment products are not available to US persons and may not be available in all jurisdictions.

Participation by the bank's customers in an insurance product is purely on a voluntary basis.

*IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: Citigroup, Inc., its affiliates, and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to any taxpayer outside of Citigroup, Inc. and its affiliates. This document is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used or relied upon, by any such taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Tax benefits are subject to changes in the tax laws. Any such taxpayer should seek advice based on the taxpayer's particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Citibank N.A. is a registered Corporate Agent of Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Limited, New India Assurance Company Limited, Royal Sundaram General Insurance Company Limited and Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Limited under the composite license number CA0086 issued by IRDAI.

Life Insurance Policies: These policies are underwritten by Tata AIA Life Insurance Co. Limited (IRDAI Registration No. 110) CIN: U66010MH2000PLC128403 with its registered office at 14th Floor, Tower A, Peninsula Business Park, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013.

All guaranteed benefits are payable only when all premiums are paid when due.

Investment risk in the investment portfolio is borne by the Policy Holder. The premium paid in Unit Linked Life Insurance policies are subject to investment risks associate with capital markets and the NAVs of the units may go up or down based on the performance of the fund and factors influencing the capital market and the insured is responsible for his or her decision. Tata AIA Life is only the name of the Insurance Company and the funds offered are only the names of the funds and does not in any way indicate the quality of the contract, its future prospects or returns.

Non-life Insurance Policies

Policies are underwritten by New India Assurance Company Limited (IRDAI Registration No. 190) CIN: U99999MH1919GOI000526 with its registered office at No.87, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Fort, Mumbai – 400 001 or by Royal Sundaram General Insurance Company Limited (IRDAI Registration No. 102) CIN:U67200TN2000PLC045611 with its registered office at No. 21, Patullos Road, Chennai 600 002.

Specialist Health Insurance Policies: These policies are underwritten by Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co. Limited (IRDAI Registration No. 131) CIN: U66030AP2006PLC051760 with its registered office at Apollo Hospitals Complex, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad - 33.

For more details on risk factors, terms and conditions please read the sales brochure carefully before concluding the sale.

For any queries with respect to your Insurance Policies bought through Citibank N.A., kindly contact 24 x 7 CitiPhone, The updated numbers are available on


  • No person shall allow or offer to allow, either directly or indirectly, as an inducement to any person to take out or renew or continue an Insurance in respect of any kind of risk relating to lives or property in India, any rebate of the whole or part of the commission payable or any rebate of the premium shown on the policy nor shall any person taking out or renewing or continuing a Policy accept any rebate, except such rebate as may be allowed in accordance with the published prospectus or tables of the Insurer.
  • Any person making default in complying with the provisions of this section shall be liable for penalty which may extend to ten lakh rupees.