Health Insurance: Are you sure you have a sufficient cover?

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    Health Insurance: Are you sure you have a sufficient cover?

    Covered only under a group health insurance from your employer??

    You and your family are covered (health) for Rs. 5 lakhs or less and you feel that you’ve done enough???

    If your answer to any of these two questions is ‘YES’ then you are in great trouble as the satisfaction that you have done enough for yourself and your family is misplaced.

    Remember you cover your health and life for the bad times in life and not the good times. And what are the bad times:

    • You are working for a corporate and have a cover of Rs 2 – 5 lakhs:
      • You may lose or leave your job or may be in between jobs
      • You may have a health problem where in the expected cost of treatment is between Rs. 10 -20 lakhs.
    • You are self employed and are under insured. So, at a time when you fall ill arranging additional funds for treatment while at the same time running your business will be challenging as well as problematic.

    Are you aware that 1/5th of deaths in India are from heart disease? Soon this figure will be 1/3rd and the situation is even worse in urban India. There are close to 4.5 crore heart patients and 5.1 crore diabetics in India.

    Most of us are susceptible to lifestyle diseases in urban India and the cost of quality medical care is both very high and is rising at a very fast pace as well.

    The cost for an angioplasty procedure to put in a stent in the heart can cost around Rs 3-4 lakhs. Other complex cardiac procedures can cost anywhere between Rs. 5-10 lakhs. An orthopaedic surgery costs around Rs 5-12 lakhs at a good hospital. The costs of tests and medications are constantly on the rise as well.

    Taking into account the increasing concern of lifestyle diseases, constantly rising costs of quality medical care and the lack of sufficient health insurance cover, having an adequate health insurance plan in action is of the utmost importance. If the existing cover you have is insufficient then you may have to eat into your long term funds kept for retirement or other goals such as children education or marriage which is not a desirable scenario.

    The most significant factor for having an ample health insurance cover is the ever increasing costs of medical treatments. Between 2004 and 2014, the average medical expenditure per hospitalization for urban patients increased by 176%. These costs will only increase further in the future. Depending only on the employer’s group health insurance will be a huge fiasco if you leave or lose your job or are in between jobs.

    Thus, it is not only important but necessary to have an additional and appropriate health cover for self and family over and above the group insurance cover provided by the employer.

    For self employed people it is very important to have a significantly large cover of at least Rs. 10-20 lakhs for self and family.

    Other Benefits of going for Health Insurance?

    • Most of the policies are cashless, making it easy for the individual to settle bills while he/she or some family member is hospitalised.
    • Buying a health insurance policy also helps you in saving taxes. Under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961 the premium paid for health insurance by a taxpayer for self or dependents is eligible for deduction.

    Conclusion No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most of us still are prone to diseases especially lifestyle diseases. Most individuals do need medical care at some point in their life. Health insurance covers the cost of this medical care and provides other necessary benefits as well.

    • Health insurance covers essential health benefits which are critical to maintaining your health and treating illness and accidents.
    • Health insurance protects you from unexpected, high medical costs.
    • You also get free preventive care, like vaccines, screenings and medical check-ups.
    • You should check the amount of health cover once in three years and revise it the very moment the number of family members changes.

    “Buy health insurance when you don’t want it, because you may not get it when you need it.”




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