Health insurance: Six steps for managing healthcare costs

Published: July 12, 2019 12:11:57 AM

Your biggest weapon against rising healthcare costs is the various insurance plans created to cover them

Healthcare needs come in a huge variety. (Illustration: Shyam Kumar Prasad)Healthcare needs come in a huge variety. (Illustration: Shyam Kumar Prasad)

By Eswaranatarajan N

The ever-rising cost of healthcare is a huge concern for all. This is more worrying for retired employees as their age brings many health-related issues that need regular care. Proper health insurance plans can surely help you with your treatment. Here are six ways you can manage the cost effectively.

Create a realistic plan
Creating a financial plan after retirement requires some serious thinking. From your mortgage to healthcare, every aspect of it should be planned perfectly so you can have better control over your finance. To do so, you need to consider a few important factors. You need to take into account the high inflation rate when planning your finance for the future.

Again, you never know how your health condition might change in the future. So, you should always imagine different healthcare-related scenarios and plan accordingly. Healthcare needs come in a huge variety. Depending on the level of care you need, the cost will change greatly.

Invest in right insurance plan
Your biggest weapon against healthcare costs is the various insurance plans created to cover them. You can use an online health insurance calculator in order to determine the premium amount you need to pay for particular health insurance covers. Retired people can avail of different types of insurance covers such as individual insurance, family floater, and more.

Determine how much healthcare insurance you need
It is challenging to decide how much cover you may need in case you get hospitalised or diagnosed with a serious illness. So, there are a few things to consider before you can come up with a final decision. Firstly, you need to find out the cost of hospitalisation in your area. If you have a family history of illnesses, then it is very important that you find out the cost of treating those specific health issues. Statistically, a health cover of `5 lakh should be your minimum insured amount. The 15% inflation rate in the healthcare industry should be considered too.

Plan for long-term care
Healthcare issues start to get more serious after the age of 60. You may need special care for a long period of time. This not only includes a prolonged hospital stay but also means nursing care later. A critical illness insurance policy can be helpful in that case as it covers health issues, which require long-term care.

Review your health insurance policy yearly
Health care costs and insurance policies change from time to time. So, it is very important that you review your insurance cover every year and make sure that you always have the best one possible. Always buy health insurance depending on your changing needs so that your premiums do not go to waste.

Stay healthy
This is a very effective way to manage healthcare expenses. If you are physically and mentally healthy, then there is no need to buy too many health insurance plans. As you get older, maintain a good eating habit and exercise regularly.

The writer is senior EVP, COO (Distribution, Underwriting & Operations), Kotak General Insurance

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