Health Insurance Cooling-Off Period

Health Insurance Cooling-Off Period

June 14, 2024

Health insurance plans are an integral investment in securing one’s assets against medical emergencies. Various medical insurance policies, such as individual policies, family floater plans, and health insurance for parents, are available in India based on your medical requirements.

However, before buying any plan, it is best to compare health insurance based on coverage and the medical insurance premium. When purchasing a health insurance policy, certain terms, such as waiting period, cooling-off period, and more, can leave individuals confused.

In this blog, we will understand one such insurance terminology – the cooling-off period for health insurance plans.

What is the Meaning of the Cooling-Off Period For Health Insurance?

The meaning of the cooling-off period in health insurance may vary depending on the insurance provider. However, the general meaning is the time taken by an individual or patient to recover from a medical illness, only after which do they become eligible to avail insurance benefits.

It is generally referred to as a delay period to approve the health insurance application for individuals suffering from medical illness. During this period, policyholders can not avail of any health insurance plan benefits until they are fully recovered.

The cooling-off period for medical insurance in India usually lasts between 15 to 90 days, depending on the policy terms.

Why is the Health Insurance Cooling-Off Period Important?

The cooling-off period in health insurance plans gives insurance providers time to assess the person’s health conditions. Certain diseases, like COVID-19, can have long-term effects on patients.

The cooling-off period gives individuals time to fully recover before buying a health insurance plan. If the person is considered healthy, the insurance provider is exposed to limited risk, otherwise the risk from the point-of-view of the insurance provider widens. It must be noted, higher the perceived risk by the insurer, the higher will be the medical insurance premium charged.

Hence, some insurers also require disclosure of any health conditions along with submission of the medical records. This measure aims to ensure the individual’s health status is evaluated from a risk assessment perspective.

How Cooling-Off Period Works in Health Insurance?

It is crucial for insurance providers to determine a person’s health condition when purchasing a health insurance policy. The cooling-off period in health insurance plans gives an actual assessment of the individual’s health.

During this period, insurance providers also ask individuals to go through medical check-ups. Individuals need to present the medical report of all the tests. This gives the insurance provider clarity that the person is fully fit and eligible for purchasing a medical insurance plan.

In some cases, insurance providers ask individuals to present their medical history for the past 6 months or 1 year. Based on their assessment, the insurance provider either approves or rejects the individual health insurance plan request.

Are the Cooling-Off Period and Waiting Period the Same?

The cooling-off period and waiting period are two different terms used in health insurance plans. The cooling-off period is applied before purchasing the plan. It is time given to individuals to fully recover from the disease before purchasing a health insurance policy.

On the other hand, the waiting period is the time applied after purchasing a health insurance plan. During this time, policyholders can not raise any health insurance claims. The waiting period usually lasts between 15 and 60 days.

However, the waiting period may vary from insurance provider to provider. There are different types of waiting periods, such as the initial waiting period, pre-existing disease waiting period, waiting period for specific diseases, waiting period in maternity insurance, etc.

Can Health Insurance Cooling-Off Period be Waived Off?

Individuals who are healthy with no ailment or medical condition can ask health insurance providers to waive the cooling period. However, it totally depends on the insurance provider. If this is something listed in their policy, then individuals can not waive the cooling period.

Some insurance companies do not have cooling periods when issuing health insurance plans to healthy individuals. When purchasing a health insurance plan, check the documents carefully to learn about the cooling period.


Health insurance plans are essential in today’s changing lifestyle. These plans not only secure individual finances against various illnesses but also offer peace of mind.

However, understanding different health insurance jargon, like the cooling-off period, is also crucial to availing of the policy benefits on time.