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  1. Buy health insurance early; here’s why

Buy health insurance early; here’s why

Let’s say you are young and have recently started working. You are broadly aware of this product called health insurance. But you feel you don’t need this.

New Delhi | Published: October 11, 2016 3:00 PM
Ill health and misfortune could strike anyone, any time. Hospitalisation, especially a prolonged one, would cost tens of thousands (if not lakhs) of rupees.  (Reuters)

Ill health and misfortune could strike anyone, any time. Hospitalisation, especially a prolonged one, would cost tens of thousands (if not lakhs) of rupees. (Reuters)

Let’s say you are young and have recently started working. You are broadly aware of this product called health insurance. But you feel you don’t need this. “I’m young and healthy, and there are others ways I could spend my money,” you think. But think again. Here are some arguments to persuade you to change your views.

Hospitalisation Is Expensive: Ill health and misfortune could strike anyone, any time. Hospitalisation, especially a prolonged one, would cost tens of thousands (if not lakhs) of rupees. Sure, there’s a low probability you’ll need expensive healthcare in your youth. But in the off chance that you do need it, why pay for it through your own pocket when you have health insurance to cover you?

Premium Costs Lesser: A 25-year-old male with no prior health cover or pre-existing diseases can get a health cover of Rs. 5 lakh for an annual premium between Rs. 5,000 and 10,000. The same cover would cost a 45-year-old anywhere between Rs. 7,000 to 14,000. So why wait when it’s cheaper when you’re young?

Lifestyle Diseases Rising: Sedentary lifestyles, stressful careers, rich diets, and pollution are all contributing in a rise of lifestyle diseases and cancer. Vector-borne diseases such as dengue are widespread too. Youths in their 30s are now suffering from diseases that people in their 50s once had. It’s important to protect yourself from the rising risks of such diseases – risks, not just to your physical health, but also to your financial health.

Lower Rejection Rates: As you age, your chances of having a medical episode increase. Trying to get health insurance after having a health event such as cancer is extremely difficult. A young, healthy person, however, would face a far lower rate of rejection of his insurance application.

No Waiting Periods: Insurance plans come with built-in waiting periods for pre-existing diseases or certain kinds of medical procedures (such as child birth). But getting insurance young means there’s a high probability you would sail through these various waiting periods and have a comprehensive health cover in place whenever you actually need it.

Article by Parag Mathur General Counsel and Head of Compliance, BankBazaar.com

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