While most believe that diabetes is primarily a self-managed disease, it is important to have adequate and affordable health insurance.
While India continues to battle several serious health issues, a disease that has quickly taken top position is diabetes – a condition wherein the patient’s body is either incapable of producing insulin or the body is not able to utilise the insulin present within.
With over 70 million people suffering from the disease, India has become the diabetes capital of the world. As per a recent WHO report, our country tops the list of countries with the highest number of diabetes. Currently, over 5% of the population suffers from this disease.
The report further states that nearly 98 million people in India are expected to suffer from diabetes by 2030. The numbers indeed convey a sad state of affairs. Another sad part of the story is that most people in India consider diabetes as an ailment with genetic predisposition and they rather fail to accept that over the years it has become a leading lifestyle disease. People with uncontrolled diabetes are more prone to a wide range of health issues including serious cardiovascular diseases.
Affordable health cover
While most believe that diabetes is primarily a self-managed disease, it is important to have adequate and affordable health insurance. This significantly helps in gaining required access to supplies and medications necessary to manage diabetes and prevent or treat further complications. Another important reason to have an adequate cover is that the probability of having to pay large hospital bills due to diabetes is very high. As per a recent report by the Association of Physicians of India, the poor urban population spends around 34% of their income on diabetes treatment while the rural population spends around 27% on the same.
Obtaining health insurance for patients with diabetes was a difficult task earlier but it is now easy to gain access to adequate health coverage. For an individual with diabetes, having a specific health cover with adequate sum insured could be enough to meet the hospitalisation costs arising out of a diabetic situation.
Another important reason why diabetes-specific insurance plan is very important for people suffering from diabetes is that most regular health insurance plans treat diabetes as a pre-existing disease and place a waiting period on the treatment of the disease. The waiting period generally varies from 12 months to 2 years; however, it can sometimes even go up to 4 years. Hence, it is always sensible to buy a diabetes-specific plan which provides more adequate and comprehensive coverage than regular health insurance plans. Health insurance companies such as Star Health Insurance, Apollo Munich Health Insurance and Religare Health Insurance offer diabetes-specific plans.
The writer is business Head, Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com