Let’s face it – medical treatment is expensive. In this age of escalating medical inflation, health scares have become reality. In fact, opting for a health insurance has become imperative now. While health industry as a whole has undergone a massive transformation, most consumers are opting for medical insurance plans with the sole motive to cover the high cost of medical treatment that encompass expenses related to pre and post hospitalization, day care and the ambulance charges. Without a medical cover, people end up losing their earnings and assets to cover the treatment cost for themselves and their loved ones. Most Indians reel under financial pressure and a trip to the hospital only enhances their financial burden.
If you are one of those who is still not convinced on a health plan, here’re a few reasons why you should buy a health cover with no further delay.
Curtail out-of-pocket expenses
When a consumer is hospitalized or visits a doctor for post treatment, your health insurance cover will be responsible for paying a part of the cost. In the absence of an insurance, you can end up paying the complete cost. These days even a normal hospitalisation costs nothing less than a lakh of rupees, therefore health insurance becomes very important. For example, a normal bypass surgery in India costs around Rs 5-6 lakh. There are some hospitals which offer low-cost surgery, but in any case it will cost you no less than Rs 3 lakh. This type of amount is not available instantly with a middle-class family, and hence in cases like this your health Insurance comes to your rescue. In fact, all sorts of surgical medical emergencies cost round Rs 5 lakh. As such, it’s important to buy a health policy, even if you feel healthy, active and fit, because emergencies never give any advance notice.
Manage OPD expenses
As per traditional health insurance products, consumers were needed to be hospitalised for a minimum of 24 hours to claim reimbursement. However, as few of the existing insurance players have started to offer cover for the OPD expenses, you don’t necessarily need to be hospitalized these days to avail insurance benefits. There are many insurance plans available in the market that cover OPD Expenses. Insurers such as Religare Health Insurance, Bajaj Allianz Health Insurance, Star Health & Allied Health Insurance offer these policies.
In the past few years, insurers have come forward and enhanced their offerings to cover a wide spectrum of products to meet all kind of requirements. Many companies provide family floater policies that offer complete cover to the insurer’s family under one single umbrella. As a result, the family members also share the sum assured and are able to avail a host of benefits if any untoward occurrence occurs during the policy term. If you are a 40-year-old person, at the cost of mere Rs 12 a day, you can avail a Rs 10 lakh cover for your spouse and two young children under the age of 10.
“New time and new rules”. Gone are the times when traditional insurance policies didn’t consider maternity cover as part of the required health insurance policy. Now, many insurance companies have started giving maternity cover. They even cover the vaccination charges for your new born. You can choose from variety of insurance plans that provide maternity insurance covers. A maternity cover feature worth Rs. 50,000 (Rs 30,000 in case of normal delivery) costs an incremental sum of Rs 3,500 and above yearly when you buy the same against a standard plan.
Cashless hospitalisation services
Let’s admit it – we never keep enough cash in our bank accounts for emergencies. While we always think of holding a buffer amount in our bank accounts for such a scenario, but we end up either investing the same for long-term value creation or spending on immediate unavoidable items. With a health insurance policy in hand, you don’t have to think of immediate cash in an emergency, as most insurers boast of a network of prominent hospitals that are capable of providing cashless hospitalisation services to you and your family members in case of any unforeseen hospitalisation for immediate treatment.
In today’s day and age, health insurance is a must and plays a key role in providing a financial safety net in need of your crises. If you are still delaying buying a health plan, then you are taking too big a risk for your long-term well-being. Ignore only at your own peril!
The author is Dhruv Sarin, is Head of Health Insurance, PolicyBazaar.com