Healthcare discount cards: What are these?

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Most of the health insurance polices that primarily serve or meet hospitalization related expenses, fail to provide for other medical expenses which account for a considerable portion of the total healthcare cost for an individual or a family.

To fix the gap, some of the companies with a novel healthcare discount card have sprung up in the not so distant past and with workability similar to any other loyalty card. The card can be availed by the provider at a cost and the company then offers some health care related benefits on the card. The offers are more commonly in the form of discounts which the card provider may offer anywhere in the range of 30-50 per cent depending on the test, diagnostic procedure etc. Patients can also save money in ambulance, hospitalization and non-hospitalization expenses.

Few Do's and Dont's in respect of such cards

Know about the provider's network: To avail prompt healthcare service, you need to confirm the network of the provider with which it maintains association so that when requiring healthcare you get it conveniently.

Ensure that providers offer assured benefits: As the sector is a new one, providers of healthcare discount cards are new entrants and it shall be best to choose providers who hold prior experience in the healthcare segment. Further, to confirm the genuineness of the company, do check if its registered with the MCA.

But, before selecting such a discount card for your healthcare needs and supplement your health cover you should ensure that the cost of the chosen card is not more than the benefits it guarantees to offer. Also, the optimal use of the card can be made in the case when you or your family member needs frequent medical care. Else, it can be at best to avoid the card.

Though, such cards can help us save immensely against expensive healthcare treatments, nonetheless without any regulator in place, an individual in case of any default by the company can go for resolution only to the consumer court.

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