Important things NRIs should know before buying health insurance in India
Indians living abroad will tell you how expensive healthcare gets in foreign countries. Most Non-Resident Indians opt to get their health treatments from India. This is why NRIs often buy health insurance policies in India, even if they are not currently residing in the country. Also, most NRIs eventually plan to return to their homeland. It, therefore, only makes sense to have a health insurance policy in place.
NRI health insurance is usually different in some aspects from the insurance policies given to Indian residents. Also, since NRIs do not mostly reside in the country, they might not be aware of certain guidelines essential to buy health insurance in the nation.
Here are a few important things that may help NRIs in deciding how and which health insurance policy to buy in India.
Have all the required documents
To buy a health insurance policy in India, you will need to fill out a form. NRIs will need to submit specific documents with their form. These include an attested copy of the passport, a copy of the PAN card, details of the bank account in India, and any additional information sought by the insurer.
Give special consideration to geographical coverage.
The insurance company will clearly mention certain geographical restrictions. This means that they will not be able to compensate for any treatments done beyond these restrictions. This essentially implies that if you get treatments outside India, you will not be compensated for the same.
Read the fine print carefully.
Insurance companies consider NRIs as high-risk candidates. Therefore, they lay out specific and pretty stringent terms and conditions for NRI policyholders. If you are going to buy health insurance online or offline, it is advised to read their terms and conditions and what benefits you can get as an NRI.
Be aware of the tax benefits.
NRIs are also eligible to get the same tax exemptions as residential Indians. This means that as per Indian laws, they are eligible for Rs. 25,000 deductions.
Know about government regulations.
NRIs must also be aware of the Government's Foreign Exchange Management Act or FEMA. As per FEMA, if you are living in India, you may continue to hold a policy purchased from an insurer outside India which you may have purchased while you were living abroad. However, in such a case, the claim payout can be repatriated out of India to the extent of the premium paid in foreign currency.
Decide if you should buy a policy in India or abroad.
It is a strategic decision of whether one should buy a health insurance policy in India, abroad, or both. This will depend on a number of factors, including how long you will be living abroad.
If you decide to buy an NRI health insurance policy in India, you can now buy health insurance online. It's also advisable to perform thorough research online before opting for a certain policy. Take into consideration the benefits you are seeking, when you plan to get treatments, and when you will return to India.