Difference Between Grace Period and Waiting Period in Health Insurance


Medical inflation is on a rise and it has seen a tremendous rise in treatment costs of illnesses. If no coverage is sought for these uncertain expenses, it can quickly burn a hole in your pocket. However, a health insurance policy is the one that can help you avoid these financial hiccups and avail of treatment without worrying about finances.

Various types of medical insurance covers can be bought depending on your requirements. An individual policy is suitable for someone who has just started their career while family health insurance is suitable for people with ailing parents or expecting parents. Similarly, a critical illness policy ensures coverage against life-threatening diseases like cancers of varying degrees, heart ailments, and more. The right plan must be selecting factors and your family’s medical requirements. In this process, there are a few jargons that might confuse you. Grace period and waiting period are the ones that sound similar but are vastly different from each other. This article explains the differences between these terms for you. Continue reading to know more.

Grace period: At the renewal date, you can choose to either renew your medical insurance plan or change to a different insurance company. In this process, at times you might miss the renewal date. You missing the renewal date is a contingency that your insurance company has already accounted for which an extra duration is provided known as the grace period. Whilst the insurance plan is active for a predetermined period, its renewal can be made even after the due date within the grace period. This way, your accrued policy benefits continue to be available in the subsequent policy period. The duration of the grace period is generally 30 days but it is always better to verify the same with your insurance provider.

Waiting period: Unlike the grace period, the waiting period differs fundamentally. This duration kicks in as soon as you purchase the policy and not after the policy period ends. The waiting period is applicable for all health insurance plans purchased. It signifies the duration you have to wait to use the policy benefits. Any claim filed during this period is rejected by your insurer. Waiting periods are applicable for pre-existing diseases, maternity expenses, annual healthcheck-ups, and more. There are different durations between insurance companies and their plans.

Difference between waiting period and grace period: As mentioned above, the grace period is the extra duration provided to renew your policy after its coverage ends whereas the waiting period is applicable when you purchase the insurance cover. Since they are poles apart terms, not getting confused between them, and selecting a policy with a lower waiting period and a higher grace period is advisable.

Take away: Not waiting for a medical emergency to impact you is critical and thus purchasing medical insurance is necessary in today’s day and age. Although the waiting period is a crucial factor in deciding your purchase, it is essential to consider it with other factors like the coverage offered, the premium of your plan, the additional riders available, the renewability of your policy, and more. So, make sure you read the fine print of your policy. A health insurance premium calculator is a nifty tool that can aid you in choosing and purchasing that health insurance plan. So be wise and use these tools to get a suitable insurance plan that checks all the right boxes.

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