We’ve all made plans for our life and set some goals that we wish to achieve before we turn a particular age. We work towards it by planning and strategizing and eventually implementing those plans. Financial Planning is an integral part of this but most of us neglect or overlook planning for healthcare expenses.

A sedentary lifestyle and affinity towards unhealthy food are taking a toll on our health and youngsters are increasingly falling prey to lifestyle diseases. This means healthcare expenses are bound to become an inevitable part of your life and the wisest thing to do in such a scenario is to buy a holistic Healthcare Plan. However, Health Insurance Plans come riddled with conditions and clauses, one of them being a Waiting Period. Here we explain what a Health Insurance Waiting Period is and answer some often raised questions related to it.

What is a Waiting Period?

 It is a specific span of time that must be waited out till the policy holder can become eligible to avail the benefits as per their Health Insurance Plan. In simpler terms, Waiting Period is the duration when an insured must wait to get coverage for some disease or treatments. The insured may not receive benefits for claims filed during the Waiting Period. Here are some common waiting periods that most insurers comply by:

General Waiting Period:

A Waiting Period of 30 days from the date of commencement of the policy exists for all diseases. This Waiting Period is also known as a Cooling Period. Any claim arising due to condition for which appearance of signs/symptoms, consultation, investigation, treatment or admission started within 30 days from policy commencement date, except for the claims arising due to an accident.

Waiting Period for pre-existing conditions: 

There is specific Waiting Period mentioned for all pre-existing conditions declared and/or accepted at the time of applying for a Health Insurance Policy.

Waiting Period for listed illnesses and procedures: 

A Waiting Period of 24 months applies for certain illnesses and surgical procedures, a list of which you can find in your policy wording document.

Waiting Period for Maternity: 

For maternity benefits, some insurance companies have a Waiting Period varying from 9 months to 36 months from the start of the policy.

It is crucial to read the fine print and get into the details before you opt for a Health Insurance Policy. Learning about the Waiting Period for your Health Insurance benefits to start kicking in is an integral part of learning about Health Insurance terminologies. So go ahead and live life on your terms as per your goals but don’t forget to buy Health Insurance while you are still young and have age on your side. Doing so will allow you to avail the benefits of your Health Insurance Policy as early as possible rather than bearing medical expenses on your own because of a long Waiting Period clause.