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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4647 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on May 08, 2024

Ramalingam Kalirajan has over 23 years of experience in mutual funds and financial planning.
He has an MBA in finance from the University of Madras and is a certified financial planner.
He is the director and chief financial planner at Holistic Investment, a Chennai-based firm that offers financial planning and wealth management advice.... more
Srikanth Question by Srikanth on Apr 24, 2024Hindi

I'm an NRI. We're planning to return to India for my wife's health reasons - the family support and help needed at home will be better here in India for changes in her lifestyle due to multiple health challenges she's facing. The question in front of us is, health insurance for my wife. Initially she is returning to India in June/July 2024 and in one year, I will be shifting after sorting out transferring my job from my US company our Hyderabad office - takes time for approvals and official/legal/immigration/financial norms to comply for the transfer. Once I transfer to Hyderabad in June/July 2025, I will get company provided health insurance in Hyd and my wife will be on it. Till then, for next one year, I'm working in US and I've company provided health insurance in US but not in India, but my wife will be in India. Can we buy health insurance as individuals in India? I quickly scanned and found Tata AIG, HDFC, ICICI offering health insurance but it was not clear to me whether private individuals can buy it, will it cover regular hospital visits, medicines, medical equipment supplied and how good the coverage and how well the participating hospitals are across the country and in major city like Hyderabad? My wife is diabetic, needs insulin, has arthritis, has gluten issues. Please help us with any insight, guidance you can provide on health insurance access for my wife.

Ans: Hello,
It's understandable that you're concerned about your wife's health insurance coverage during the transition period before you relocate to India permanently. Here are some insights and guidance to help you navigate this situation:
1. Health Insurance for Individuals: Yes, private individuals in India can purchase health insurance policies. Many insurance companies, including Tata AIG, HDFC, and ICICI, offer health insurance plans that cater to individual needs.
2. Coverage: Health insurance policies typically cover hospitalization expenses, including room rent, doctor's fees, medical tests, surgeries, and medication costs. However, coverage for pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and gluten issues may vary depending on the policy terms and conditions.
3. Policy Features: When selecting a health insurance policy, consider factors such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, waiting periods, network hospitals, claim settlement process, and premium costs. Look for policies that offer comprehensive coverage and benefits suited to your wife's specific health requirements.
4. Network Hospitals: Most health insurance providers have tie-ups with a network of hospitals where policyholders can avail of cashless treatment facilities. Before purchasing a policy, ensure that there are network hospitals available in Hyderabad and other cities where you may need medical assistance.
5. Customized Plans: Some insurance companies offer customized health insurance plans for individuals with pre-existing conditions. These plans may provide enhanced coverage for chronic illnesses like diabetes and arthritis. Consider exploring such options to meet your wife's healthcare needs.
6. Consultation with Insurance Advisor: To make an informed decision, consult with an insurance advisor or agent who can guide you through the process of selecting the right health insurance policy based on your wife's health condition, budget, and coverage requirements.
By researching various health insurance options, comparing policy features, and seeking expert advice, you can find a suitable health insurance solution to ensure your wife's medical needs are adequately covered during the transition period.

Best Regards,
K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,
Chief Financial Planner,
DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information to be as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision.

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Moneywize   |123 Answers  |Ask -

Financial Planner - Answered on Feb 26, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Feb 25, 2024Hindi
I am an NRI from Dubai. My queries: Can I avail of any health insurance from India? I often travel to India for 30 days at a stretch and would like to cover myself for any medical emergencies. I am 48 now.
Ans: Yes, you can definitely avail of health insurance from India as an NRI living in Dubai.

Many Indian insurance companies offer health insurance plans specifically designed for NRIs. These plans provide coverage specifically for medical expenses incurred during your visits to India. Here's what you need to know:


• Coverage for medical emergencies: These plans typically cover hospitalisation expenses, including room and board charges, surgeon fees, doctor consultations, and specific medical procedures.
• Flexibility: You can choose plans with varying sum insured amounts (coverage limit) to suit your needs.
• Renewal options: These plans are usually renewable, allowing you to continue coverage over your future visits to India.

Things to Consider:

• Coverage scope: These plans are generally valid only within India.
• Pre-existing conditions: Some plans may have exclusions for pre-existing conditions, so be sure to disclose your medical history accurately during the application process.
• Renewal requirements: Some insurers might require you to be physically present in India for renewal.

How to Buy:

• Online platforms: Many insurance companies offer online application options, allowing you to compare plans, choose the best fit, and purchase the plan directly.
• Insurance agents: You can also get in touch with a trusted insurance agent in India who can guide you through the process, compare options and help you choose the right plan.

Given your situation:

Considering your 30-day visits and your age (48), a short-term health insurance plan (also called travel medical insurance) might be a good option. These plans typically offer coverage for shorter durations and are generally more affordable than regular comprehensive health insurance.

Research and compare different plans offered by different companies to find one that fits your budget and provides the coverage you need.

..Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4647 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Apr 30, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Apr 30, 2024Hindi
Which is the best health insurance policy in india? Self -39yrs, Spouse -38yrs,Son-13yrs, son-7yrs. I have thyroid.
Ans: I can guide you towards finding the best plan for your family based on your needs and medical history (thyroid). Here are some key factors to consider:

Family Needs:

Age: Consider your family's age and potential health risks associated with each age group.
Medical History: Disclose your thyroid condition to ensure the plan covers pre-existing conditions or offers add-on riders for specific illnesses.
Coverage Requirements: Think about the type of hospital you prefer (network vs. non-network), room type (single, double), and preferred treatments (Ayurvedic, homeopathy).
Policy Features:

Sum Insured: Choose a sufficient sum insured to cover hospitalization costs for everyone in your family. Consider factors like city tier (medical costs are higher in metros) and inflation.
Coverage Type: Consider a comprehensive plan that covers hospitalization expenses, pre and post-hospitalization costs, ambulance charges, and day care procedures.
Network Hospitals: Opt for a plan with a wide network of hospitals in your city to ensure easy access to quality healthcare.
Co-pay/Deductible: A co-pay or deductible involves sharing a portion of the hospitalization cost. This lowers premiums but increases your out-of-pocket expense.
Exclusions: Carefully review policy exclusions to understand what treatments or conditions are not covered.
Here's a roadmap to finding the best policy:

Compare Online: Use online insurance comparison platforms to get quotes from different insurers.
Shortlist Based on Needs: Shortlist plans that meet your family's coverage requirements and budget.
Read Policy Wording: Carefully read the policy wording (wording can differ between insurers) to understand inclusions, exclusions, claim settlement process, and renewal terms.
Customer Service Reviews: Research customer reviews to get an idea about claim settlement experiences with different insurers.
Agent vs. Direct Purchase: You can buy directly from the insurer's website or consult an insurance agent who can guide you through the process and recommend plans based on your needs.
Here are some additional tips:

Pre-existing Conditions: Disclose your thyroid condition clearly during the application process.
Some plans might have a waiting period for pre-existing conditions before coverage applies.
Some might offer coverage with exclusions or higher premiums.
Renewability: Choose a plan with guaranteed lifetime renewability to ensure coverage throughout your life.
Claim Settlement Ratio: Consider the insurer's claim settlement ratio to understand their record of settling claims efficiently.
Remember: The best health insurance policy is the one that caters to your specific needs and offers comprehensive coverage at an affordable premium.

..Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4647 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 12, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 02, 2024Hindi
Hello sir.I am 38 years, married and 1 child.Please help me with a good and wide coverage family health insurance policy.Also, shall I take a family or individual health insurance policy?? Kindly guide me on the same.I don't have any term insurance also.
Ans: Health and term insurance are crucial for financial security. Let's explore your options.

Understanding Health Insurance
Health insurance is vital for protecting your family's finances. It covers medical expenses and ensures you don't dip into savings. For a family of three, wide coverage is essential.

Family vs. Individual Health Insurance
Family Floater Policy
A family floater policy covers all members under one sum insured. This means if one member uses the coverage, the remaining sum is available for others. It’s cost-effective and easy to manage.

Individual Health Policy
An individual policy covers each family member separately. This ensures each person has a dedicated sum insured. While it can be more expensive, it guarantees full coverage for everyone.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance
Coverage Amount
For a family of three, consider a sum insured of at least Rs 10 lakhs. This covers hospitalisation, surgeries, and other medical expenses.

Comprehensive Coverage
Look for policies that cover pre and post-hospitalisation, ambulance charges, daycare treatments, and critical illnesses. Comprehensive policies provide peace of mind.

Network Hospitals
Check if the insurer has a wide network of hospitals, especially near your residence. Cashless treatment facilities make hospitalisation less stressful.

No Claim Bonus
Choose a policy that offers a No Claim Bonus. This increases your sum insured without additional premiums if you don't make any claims.

Additional Benefits to Consider
Maternity Coverage
If you plan to expand your family, consider a policy with maternity coverage. It should cover prenatal and postnatal expenses, delivery charges, and newborn care.

Preventive Health Check-ups
Some policies offer free annual health check-ups. This helps in early detection and prevention of diseases.

Critical Illness Rider
Critical illnesses can drain finances quickly. A rider covers diseases like cancer, heart attack, and stroke. It provides a lump sum amount on diagnosis, helping with treatment costs.

Term Insurance: Protecting Your Family’s Future
Importance of Term Insurance
Term insurance provides financial security to your family in your absence. It pays a lump sum to your beneficiaries if something happens to you. It's essential for safeguarding your family's future.

Choosing the Right Term Insurance
Sum Assured
Choose a sum assured that covers your family's expenses, outstanding loans, and future goals. Typically, 10-15 times your annual income is recommended.

Policy Tenure
Select a tenure that covers you until your major financial obligations are met. Ideally, this should be until your child's education or marriage is complete.

Riders for Enhanced Protection
Consider adding riders like accidental death, disability, and critical illness. These enhance the coverage and provide additional security.

Benefits of Mutual Funds
Mutual funds are excellent for wealth creation. They offer diversification, professional management, and potential for high returns.

Types of Mutual Funds
Equity Funds
Invest primarily in stocks. They offer high returns but come with higher risk. Suitable for long-term goals.

Debt Funds
Invest in fixed income securities like bonds. They are less risky and provide stable returns. Ideal for short to medium-term goals.

Hybrid Funds
Invest in both equity and debt. They balance risk and return, making them suitable for moderate risk-takers.

Power of Compounding
Investing in mutual funds harnesses the power of compounding. Reinvesting returns over time leads to exponential growth. Starting early maximises this benefit.

Disadvantages of Index Funds
Passive Management
Index funds are passively managed. They replicate a market index and do not attempt to outperform it. This limits potential returns.

No Active Strategy
Index funds lack active management strategies. They cannot adjust to market changes, potentially missing opportunities to maximise returns.

Benefits of Actively Managed Funds
Professional Management
Actively managed funds have experienced managers who make investment decisions. They aim to outperform the market by selecting high-potential stocks.

Managers can adjust portfolios based on market conditions. This flexibility can enhance returns and reduce risk.

Disadvantages of Direct Funds
Lack of Guidance
Direct funds require investors to manage their investments. Without professional guidance, making informed decisions can be challenging.

Limited Support
Direct investors may not have access to the same level of support as those using a Certified Financial Planner. This can impact portfolio performance.

Benefits of Investing Through a CFP
Expert Advice
CFPs provide expert advice tailored to your financial goals. They help you choose the right funds and create a diversified portfolio.

Regular Monitoring
CFPs monitor your investments regularly. They make adjustments based on market conditions and your changing needs.

Comprehensive Financial Planning
CFPs offer comprehensive financial planning. They consider your entire financial situation and create a plan to achieve your goals.

Final Insights
Choosing the right health and term insurance is crucial for your family's financial security. A family floater health policy is cost-effective and provides wide coverage. Ensure it has a sufficient sum insured and comprehensive coverage.

Term insurance safeguards your family's future. Choose a sum assured that covers your expenses and future goals. Adding riders enhances protection.

Investing in mutual funds is an excellent way to grow your wealth. Consider equity, debt, and hybrid funds based on your risk tolerance and goals. Actively managed funds offer professional management and flexibility.

Investing through a Certified Financial Planner provides expert advice and regular monitoring. They help you create a diversified portfolio and achieve your financial goals.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


..Read more

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DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related document carefully before investing. The securities quoted are for illustration only and are not recommendatory. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information and as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision. RediffGURUS is an intermediary as per India's Information Technology Act.


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