Health insurance tax benefit: Here’s all you need to know

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Updated: January 07, 2019 10:37 AM

As we are nearing the tax saving investment season for the current year there is a rush to make investments before the predestined date, especially for the salaried people to save on TDS

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Health insurance plays a crucial role in financial planning. With the country witnessing disruptive lifestyle changes, constantly increasing medical inflation and rapidly-spreading chronic diseases, it has become imperative for us to opt for an insurance policy.

Prasun Sikdar, MD and CEO, Cigna TTK Health Insurance, says, “Health insurance provides assurance of financial support in times of unforeseen medical and health-related exigencies. In such situations, a person who is insured is less likely to dip into their life savings. Thus, ‘Health Insurance Zaroori Hai’ for safeguarding your long-term financial goals, to enjoy lifetime access to quality healthcare, and to help you live a healthier life.”

Another benefit of health insurance is that it also qualifies for tax deduction. As we are nearing the tax saving investment season for the current year, there is a rush to make investments before the predestined date, especially for the salaried people, to save on TDS (Tax Deducted at Source). Under Section 80D, an individual can claim a tax deduction of up to Rs 25,000 on the policy taken for self, spouse, and children. Another tax deduction up to Rs 50,000 may be availed for the premium paid on policies if the policyholder’s parents are covered. A maximum deduction of Rs 1,00,000 may be availed if both individuals, as well as their parents, are senior citizens.

Experts suggest, in such scenarios, policyholders have to choose the correct type of investments not only to save taxes, but also to achieve their long-term financial goals. Health insurance acts as an excellent option in attaining both of these goals. A health insurance policy helps in tax saving and also in building long-term wealth as well as safeguarding it against medical emergencies.

Though most people take health insurance to save tax, it also comes with enormous riders and health benefits. Even after having an employer group health insurance, you always need a separate health insurance plan that covers you and your family, because the former is insufficient to meet today’s requirements.

However, with so many insurance products in the market, we often get confused while choosing the best health insurance policy.

While buying a health insurance plan, look for the following in a plan:

  1. Choosing the sum insured and the coverage amount – Always try to opt for a plan that offers maximum health coverage and treatment.
  2. Family Floater Plan – Instead of opting for an individual health plan, choose a family floater if you are a family person, which provides cover for the entire family. You can also cover senior citizen parents in the same by paying a slightly higher premium.
  3. Choose plans with minimum waiting period – Especially for pre-existing illness, every health insurance plan has its own set of terms and conditions regarding pre-existing diseases. Choose a health policy with less waiting period for pre-existing diseases.
  4. Renewal age – While choosing a plan, look for a plan which you can renew even at the age of 75 or 80 years.
  5. An insurer with High Claim-settlement Ratio – Opt for a health plan from an insurer that has a high claim settlement ratio, which will ensure that your claim will not be rejected without a valid excuse.
  6. Look carefully at the Network Hospitals – While buying a health plan, always consider choosing a plan, which has a wide network of hospitals.

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