With novel illnesses directing the courses of our lives and healthcare costs standing in the way, leading a happy and healthy life is becoming exceedingly challenging. Medical costs are among the highest in India and unless you have health insurance, it becomes practically impossible to keep yourself and your family safe against the expected, as well as unexpected, health-related misfortunes. Thankfully though, health insurance is affordable and widely available in the country. Keeping your health secured is thus an easy thing to do.
Health inflation has taken place at an alarming rate in India. The inflation grew at double the pace and was recorded at 7.14% in 2019, as compared to just 4.39% in 2019. Everything from a consultant’s fee to the cost of medicines saw a surge and this has been worrisome for the common people. At such a time, paying hospital bills out of one’s own pocket becomes very difficult. The solution is simple - get a medical insurance cover and let the insurer take care of your healthcare costs!
Private Healthcare is Expensive
Private healthcare is very expensive in India. Whether you get admitted for a small procedure such as an appendectomy or a more complicated matter such as a stroke, you will have to shell out a lot of money. As per a research conducted by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Program, private healthcare is six times more expensive in a private hospital than a government or state-run facility. In such a scenario, buying a good health insurance plan with sufficient coverage becomes crucial, as paying a fat hospital bill out of your own pocket may not be feasible at all.
What About Government Healthcare?
While the Indian government has taken many steps to improve the healthcare facilities in the country, we all know the system is lagging behind. Everything from the hygiene factor to the infrastructure needs a lot of work and you may find it difficult to entrust your health in the hands of the government healthcare workers. This is why you need health insurance. Once you have the best health insurance plan, you can get treated at the best private hospital and get nursed back to health in no time.
At times, medical emergencies strike at the least expected moment. You may feel confident knowing you have saved enough money in your bank account, but being hit by a pandemic or being involved in a serious road accident can cause havoc to your financial status. Often, private hospitals are free to fix rates. Did you know that a seven-day COVID 19-related hospital stay can cost you more than INR 4 lakh in a private hospital in Mumbai? Yes, that’s correct! Your bank balance can get wiped out in just a week unless you plan ahead and get a mediclaim policy in advance.
Health and Wealth Correlation
Let us understand this with an illustration. Mr Gujjar, a healthy and financially sound lawyer was very pleased with the wealth he had created at the age of 41. He had worked hard for almost two-decades and created a good financial portfolio. Unfortunately, though, he once got into a road accident along with his wife and 5-year-old son. The three were rushed to the hospital where Mrs Gujjar and the child were discharged after a few hours. But Mr Gujjar required a longer hospital stay. By the end of the fortnight, his wife was handed over a bill of INR 15 lakhs, and she had no option but to break several investments prematurely. Had they invested in the best family health insurance plan, this could have been avoided and today, their wealth wouldn’t have been wiped off.
Important Reasons for Getting a Health Insurance Policy
- Lifestyle Disorders
Lifestyle disorders such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity, among others, are common lifestyle disorders prevalent in the present day. Lack of proper sleep, incorrect food habits and a sedentary lifestyle are some of the reasons why these ailments strike. Most people these days are affected by one or more of these disorders. A recent study has even shown that by the end of the year, lifestyle disorders will increase by a whopping 57%! And since these disorders can lead to serious health complications such as cardiac arrests and strokes, you need to get a good mediclaim policy and stay protected.
- The Surge in Health Costs
As mentioned above, healthcare inflation is almost spiralling out of control. You thus need the backing of the best health insurance plan to remain one step ahead of the inflation.
- Tax Benefits
You can get tax benefits up to INR 1 lakh per annum when you invest in a mediclaim policy from one of the best health insurance companies in India. The provision is available under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act.
- Comprehensive Coverage
The best health insurance plan will offer you a comprehensive health cover. From taking care of the hospital bills to offering pre and post-hospital care, from covering domiciliary costs to daycare expenses, the best mediclaim policy will cover all your medical requirements.
Keep these factors in mind and you will not have any more doubts about why getting a good health insurance plan is vital.
Getting Health Insurance at an Early Age
It is common knowledge that getting insurance at an early age is beneficial. The case is no different for a health plan either. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting health insurance early on in life:
- You are Fitter
A younger person, in general, is fitter than an older person. With age, you develop various ailments such as hypertension, blood sugar, heart problems, etc. This is why you need to buy health insurance when you are young. A fit person gets health insurance easily and at a very economical cost.
- It is Cheaper
As stated, you will have to pay a lot more for the same mediclaim policy if you have some health problems. Even if you are fit at the age of 40, you will find the premium is higher when compared to what a 25-year-old person pays. Health insurance is needed, so do not wait till later to buy it.
- Beating the Waiting Period
Many health covers such as maternity coverage, diabetes coverage, pre-existing illness/disease, etc are included in health insurance after a waiting period. You cannot make immediate claims and have to wait for a few years before you do so. Buy the health cover when you are young and let the waiting period end before you actually need to make a serious claim.
- Lifetime Renewal
The best health insurance companies offer the option of health insurance renewability until the ages of 60 or 70. However, when you buy health insurance as a youngster, you have a higher chance of finding a plan that offers the option of lifelong renewability.
- Lower Risk of Rejection
An older person applying for health insurance may face rejection due to various factors related to his health or finances. However, a younger person is almost guaranteed of getting the health insurance plan approved as young people are seen as the ideal customers by most health insurance companies.
These are the factors that tell you why you must get the best health insurance policy as early on in life as possible.
Important covers to consider while buying a health insurance
It is not enough to simply buy mediclaim. When investing in health insurance, you need to have the best health insurance policy for yourself. To ensure it is the best, the following covers must be a part of your individual or family health insurance policy:
- Adequate Sum Insured
Be extremely careful when selecting the sum insured for your health plan. Unless you have sufficient coverage, your health insurance plan will become redundant. Keep factors such as your income, your overall health condition, your choice of medical facility, etc in mind and get an appropriate sum insured.
- Room Rent Capping
Look for plans that offer a reasonable (or unlimited) room rent capping. Commonly, you get 1% of the sum insured towards room rent capping. Try to opt for a plan without a room rent cap so that it does not hinders your options to choose your ideal hospital room.
- Coverage for Pre-existing Disorders
The medical insurance plan you choose should ideally have provisions for pre-existing health conditions. This will make it smoother for you to get treated properly and make health insurance claims easily.
Almost every mediclaim policy has the copay component. You need to opt for a co-pay only to reduce the premium, not otherwise. Thus, try and choose the health plan carefully without a co-pay, if possible, and ensure you do not end up paying an unnecessarily large copay amount.
- Duration of Waiting Period
Look for plans that have a reasonable or low waiting period. Do not buy a health insurance policy that has extremely long waiting periods.
Your ideal health insurance policy must have all the above-mentioned covers.
To sum it up
As you can clearly see from the points mentioned above, health is your greatest and most precious wealth. You need to protect it with the best health insurance plan. Thankfully, there are many good medical insurance plans to choose from. Find your ideal coverage and stay secured in a wholesome manner.