When should you opt for OPD?

Everybody visits the doctor at least once a year. But the doctor you visit — Her consultation fee is off the roof. A routine inspection could set you back thousands. So you come up with a genius plan. You decide to buy insurance and opt for a policy that reimburses all expenses incurred during these visits. You look for options that include outpatient consultation benefits and you find one after a couple of minutes of search.

You exclaim — “Genius.” And you give yourself a pat on the back.

But alas... Nothing in this godforsaken world is as it seems.

For starters, the insurer knows for certain that they’ll have to pay you something each year. Just ask yourself. Have you been to the doctor this year? Have you paid over ₹1,000 in consultation fee? Have you paid more? Do you think this trend is likely to change?

Yeah... It’s not going to change. So it’s quite likely that the insurer will be forced to reimburse you some amount each year. And that’s why many companies simply don’t offer this benefit. The ones that do will make sure they are adequately compensated. So they’ll push the premiums way higher. Or they’ll tell you they’ll only cover a small part of the expense.

There is no free lunch in this world. And while OPD benefits look good on paper, it's possible that you’ll actually end up paying more in premiums. Believe it or not, it might actually be more cost-effective to not opt for this benefit, in most cases.

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