Best Health Plans in India
We did this based on our subjective assessment and according to us, these are the best health insurance companies in India in 2024.
There are 31 health insurance companies in India that market over 100 health insurance policies in total. So picking out the best health insurance plans can be challenging.
This is why we put together this list to help you shortlist the best health insurance policies in India for 2024.
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Now, we compiled this list using two broad criteria.
The first one is our assessment of the insurance company marketing a given policy. Any company can float a health insurance plan whose features look amazing on paper. But if customers have trouble buying the policy, making a claim, or resolving issues, then ultimately the product features don’t count for much. So we’ve taken into consideration several operational and financial metrics, like claim settlement numbers, track record, and solvency ratios to rank every health insurance company in India.
We then took each product and compared their features. Now bear in mind that most insurance companies will have a basic affordable product, a comprehensive product, and a premium product. The basic product doesn’t offer a lot of protection. And the premium products are too expensive and have features that often don’t add a lot of value for most people. So while compiling this list we’ve only considered comprehensive products that offer significant protection while not burning a hole in your pocket.
With that introduction out of the way, let’s look at the top health insurance plans in a little more detail.
Best Health Insurance Plans
HDFC Ergo Optima Secure Health Insurance
HDFC Ergo Optima Secure takes the top rank this year. It was introduced to replace the company’s best-selling product - Optima Restore. In just 2 years since its launch, it has done just that – exceeding expectations from all corners and emerging as our top recommendation for the best health insurance plan for the year 2024.
Product Feature Rating
Why Optima Secure is our top recommendation
Optima Secure is an extremely comprehensive policy. It has no room rent restrictions, no co-pay clause, covers Ayush treatments and has reasonable waiting periods for pre-existing diseases. It also has a bunch of industry-first features that will excite a lot of people.
- Secure Benefit: Secure benefit instantly doubles your cover the moment you buy the policy. So for instance, if you buy a a policy with a sum insured of ₹10 lakhs, you get the ₹10 lakhs as base cover and an additional ₹10 lakhs as “Secure” benefit. Effectively you get double the cover without having to pay more.
- Protect Benefit: Usually, insurers don’t cover non-medical expenses that could include things like bandages, syringes, gloves, and masks. Even if they do cover it, they ask you to pay extra. But Optima Secure covers these expenses at no additional cost.
- Plus Benefit: Usually insurance companies will offer you a bonus if you don’t make a claim any given year. However, Optima Secure has completely remodeled the bonus feature and is now offering 50% bonus cover every year irrespective of whether you made a claim. The bonus could go as high as 100% if you renew your policy for 2 consecutive years.
On a stand-alone basis, these features may not mean much. But when you compare it against Optima Restore, you’ll see why this is a huge leap.
Optima Secure also comes from HDFC Ergo’s stable, an insurer whose claim settlement numbers and track record are pretty robust.
Read our full comparison report of HDFC Ergo Optima Restore vs HDFC Ergo Optima Secure.
Drawbacks to Consider: While the premiums may be reasonable for some profiles, Optima Secure is generally more expensive when compared to similar plans on the market. So if affordability is a concern, it’s best to look at other plans on this list.
Care Supreme Health Insurance
Care Supreme is second on our list as it is now the best-selling health insurance policy within Care’s stable. The company launched this plan to compete against the likes of HDFC Ergo’s Optima Secure and Niva Bupa’s Reassure. And considering the features on board and the price point at which it sells, Care Supreme can be a very attractive option for a lot of people.
Product Feature Rating
Why Care Supreme is No.2 on our list
It’s a comprehensive plan, that offers pretty much every health insurance add-ons you need, and it is perhaps one of the most affordable plans in this category. Some of the top features include:
- Unlimited Automatic Restoration: Care Supreme will automatically refill your cover every time you make a claim. So if you have a policy with a cover of ₹10 lakhs and you make a claim totalling ₹2 lakhs, it will restore your cover back to ₹10 lakhs the moment you make the claim.
- No Bonus clawbacks: Usually insurance companies will offer you a bonus if you don’t make a claim any given year. However, they will usually clawback a part of the bonus if you ever make a claim. Care Supreme however has no such clause and you will have your bonus intact even if you make multiple claims.
- Affordability: This isn’t a feature as much. But it’s still worth noting that the difference in price point between Care Supreme and other similar plans is substantial. For instance, Optima Secure (our top recommendation) is nearly 30% more expensive when compared to Care Supreme for the profiles listed below.
Read our full comparison report of Care Supreme vs HDFC Ergo Optima Secure.
Drawbacks to Consider: There is a 4-year waiting period for pre-existing diseases and the only way to cut this down is to buy separate add-ons. There’s also another insurer-specific reason why we aren’t ranking this plan higher. The claim settlement and complaint numbers for Care aren’t that amazing.
Niva Bupa Reassure 2.0 Health Insurance
Reassure 2.0 is 3rd on our list and it’s the much-awaited successor to one of Niva Bupa’s most popular insurance plans in the last few years - Reassure. Also, Reassure 2.0 builds on the success of Reassure by offering 3 variants of the same plan with extremely comprehensive features at very competitive price points. For the purpose of this list, we are considering the Platinum variant of Reassure 2.0 which sits right between the Bronze variant and the Titanium variant.
Product Feature Rating
Why Reassure 2.0 is third on our list
It is one of the best policies in its class. It's economical. It covers most bases. It doesn't have outrageous conditions. And it offers a whole host of benefits at a very attractive price point. Here’s a select few features that we like:
- Forever Restoration: Your cover is restored in full the moment you make a claim. And you will have the extra cover throughout your policy term. Also, the restored sum will be added on top of your existing cover and you can claim the full amount (what's left of your base cover and the restored sum) while making a claim.
- Age lock benefit: Your premiums will not increase until you make a claim. However, once the claim is made, the premiums will increase based on age, inflation etc.
- Carry Forward Bonus: Every year the policy will calculate the unutilized base cover and transfer it to the next year. So if you started with ₹10 lakhs and you made a claim totaling ₹2 lakhs, the remaining ₹8 lakhs will be added to your cover next year and you will have ₹18 lakhs (₹10 lakhs base cover + ₹8 Lakhs unutilized base cover + bonus) for the next year.
Read our full comparison report of Niva Bupa ReAssure vs Niva Bupa ReAssure 2.0.
Drawbacks to Consider: There’s nothing to complain about the features. But there are a few issues with the insurer. After the change in management (Max Bupa to Niva Bupa), we have seen a general rise in the amount of complaints. Our own experience working with the insurer on the claim settlement process has left us a bit frustrated. So we can’t possibly place them any higher despite the attractive price point and the industry-first features on hand.
Aditya Birla Activ Fit Health Insurance
Aditya Birla makes our list at number 4 because most people we tend to fall between the ages of 18 and 45. And this policy is designed specifically for them. It offers significant discounts if you’re healthy, it has no outrageous restrictions, a very good restoration benefit, supercharged bonus feature and it sells at a very attractive price point.
Product Feature Rating
Why Aditya Birla Activ Fit takes the 4th spot
As we noted already it’s a comprehensive policy and it offers some very nice benefits for people who keep healthy:
- Upfront good health discount: You get an upfront 10% discount on your first policy premium by simply undergoing a successful health assessment.
- 100% Binge Refill: Your cover will be restored in full every time you make a claim. It offers unlimited restoration.
- Maternity and OPD Coverage: You also get some coverage for maternity-related expenses and outpatient consultations. And while we don’t usually recommend these features (since it can burn a hole in your pocket), Aditya Bira offers all of this and more without asking you to pay a bomb.
Drawbacks to Consider: While the product features are decent and the insurer does okay on most fronts, the maximum entry age for the product is capped at 45 years. So if you’re older than 45 you can’t buy this policy, which could be frustrating for those who are above the ages of 45.
Bajaj Allianz Health Guard Gold
Bajaj Allianz Health Guard Gold makes our list at no 5. The plan does what you would expect from a comprehensive health policy. It’s not very expensive. And Bajaj Allianz has been posting very respectable claim settlement numbers so far. All things considered, this is a solid plan from a solid company.
Product Feature Rating
Why Bajaj Allianz Health Guard Gold takes the 5th spot
As we noted earlier, it’s important to look at product features. But it’s even more important to evaluate the insurer. And when we compare Bajaj Allianz’s claim settlement numbers over the last 3 years against other insurers on this list, you will see why this is one of our top 5 recommendations.
|Claim Settlement Ratios
Drawbacks to Consider: All the other products that make our list offer significant protection by way of extending features like unlimited restoration, supercharged bonus features and unique benefits that you may not find anywhere else. The problem with Health Guard Gold is that it does what you expect it do, but there aren’t any shiny features to boast of. So that should explain why we didn’t place the plan higher on the list.