Swamped by over a hundred health insurance policies and products filled with frills, comparing health plans and bringing home a policy that works for you can be challenging. Often in the name of comparison, the most basic metric of price is used, which can turn out to be very expensive later. That’s because the cheapest may not be the best; in fact, it could mean that the policy is laced with caveats that force you to shell out more at the time of claim. The search for a good health insurance policy, therefore, goes beyond price and looks at the features that make the policy more comprehensive, and at the claims record of the insurer to ensure you are in good hands.

With the intention to drive the conversation away from price and shine the torch on other important aspects like exclusions, features and claims record, not just for customers but also for the industry and the regulator, we launched Mint SecureNow Mediclaim Ratings (MSMR) eight years ago. MSMR rates health insurance policies on three important aspects of price, product benefit and claims experience.

In the eighth edition of MSMR, we rated 117 health insurance policies from 25 insurers. We rate indemnity plans that pay for hospitalization expenses. However, we have excluded standard health insurance plans like Arogya Sanjeevani policy and the recently introduced covid-19 standard health insurance plan. Perhaps when public disclosures improve and get more nuanced, it would make sense to rate standardized products, as pricing will not be the only differentiating factor, and one could analyze claims data more carefully. We have excluded the covid-19 health plan primarily because we rate comprehensive plans and not those that cover only one ailment.

We have rated health plans for sum insured of 5 lakh, 10 lakh, 20 lakh and 50 lakh and for 30 years, 45 years, 60 years and 75 years of age. For the individual category, we rated health insurance plans for each age group and for all sums insured. For the floater category—that takes all members of the family as one unit, so a claim by one means the sum insured decreases in the same proportion for everyone in a policy year—we looked at a family of three for the 30-years age group and a family of four for the 45-years age group. We have not included the floater options for 60-years and 75-years age. For the 75-years category, there is a separate rating matrix on the basis of features we felt were more relevant to this age group.