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Evaluation of waiting period in Health Insurance policy

Evaluation of waiting period in Health Insurance policy

What is the waiting period?

Waiting period means your coverage of certain listed ailments in your health insurance policy starts only after a certain amount of time. It is an inbuilt feature which is present in almost every health insurance policy. It is also referred to as a ‘cooling period’, which begins at the time you enter into the policy. After the completion of a specific period of time, your complete coverage starts. For instance, your claim may get rejected by the insurance company if it has been initiated within the waiting period. This article will cover every essential aspect of the topic, prominently the types, features and other crucial points which need to be considered for better understanding of waiting periods in health insurance plans.

Main types of Waiting Period in Health insurance plans

  • Pre-Existing disease (PED): This term has been extensively emphasized by the Health Insurance Companies. It means that, if the potential buyer has got any existing disease at the time of taking the policy, it shall be covered in this type . As per the IRDAI, ‘a pre-existing disease refers to any condition, ailment, injury or disease that has been diagnosed up to 48 months before buying your health insurance policy’. Insurance companies will definitely ask for information about the presence of pre-existing disease with proper medical evidence. Usually the waiting period for pre-existing disease ranges from 2-4 years in almost all Health Insurance plans. Diabetes, thyroid , Hypertension etc are commonly mentioned ailments which have a waiting period.
  • Waiting period for specific ailments: This term is used for a list of such specific diseases where you need to wait for the prescribed amount of time . Generally it has a 2 years of waiting period. Some of such ailments falling in this category includes: osteoporosis, hernia, ENT (ear, nose and throat) disorders.
  • Initial waiting period: In all health insurance policies, you will have to wait for 30 days fro the issue date of the policy for complete coverage. Only accidental hospitalization will be covered in this waiting period.
  • Waiting period for maternity benefit: Maternity cover is indeed considered as a pre-existing condition by most health insurance companies, that's the reason not every health insurance company includes this rider. This rider basically deals with delivery(childbirth) related expenses up to a certain period till predefined limit. On average Waiting period for this rider extends from 9 months to 36 months.

Note* If the policyholder has been diagnosed with a disease within the waiting period for the first time, then it won't be considered as a pre-existing disease rather the policy will cover that ailment.

Are there any Health Insurance policies with less waiting period?

Yes, some health insurance companies come up with minimum waiting periods for pre-existing diseases(PED). With the help of this chart, let's understand about the 5 best health insurance policies providing this advantage.

Health Insurance Company Name of Health Insurance Policy Waiting Period for PED
Bajaj Allianz Silver Health 12 months
Star Health Red Carpet 12 months
Max Bupa Heartbeat 24 months
Oriental insurance Senior Citizen Hope 24 months
Bajaj Allianz Health Care Supreme 24 months

If a long waiting period is bothering you, then this chart shall surely assist you to make suitable decisions in order to get a desired health insurance plan.


No one desires to wait unnecessarily, but will have to accept this inherent feature of health insurance. So, it's advised to opt for a plan with a minimum waiting period in order to avail the benefits sooner. Don’t worry, you can compare and buy the best health insurance plan on MyInsuranceClub.

Jay Vasa
Jay Vasa is a content writer, who has got his core emphasis on insurance related information. The sole motive of writing articles is to spread appropriate information to the people regarding one of the important and discussed topic in today's time.

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