National Insurance Awareness Day 2021: Why is health insurance essential at every stage of life?

June 28, 2021 10:57 AM

In today’s fast-paced world, having an adequate health cover is one of the best ways to be financially prepared against uncertain health risks.

health insuranceHealth insurance policies have always come to the people's rescue and they serve as a handy financial tool that allows you to heave a sigh of relief in the hour of extreme necessity.

If there is anything COVID has taught us, it’s that ‘Health’ is our greatest asset and investing in our health spares us and our family from a lot of financial problems and future worries. As we continue to progress with these uncertain COVID times, we have seen that there has been tectonic shift in people’s mindset, and has driven a sudden realization that health insurance is a necessity for every individual.

Earlier, health insurance was an option that people used to purchase as a choice. It wasn’t felt like a compulsion by all. But due to the rise of uncertainties, different funguses and viruses, and mainly with the COVID pandemic, the importance of health insurance has been realized by people and it has become more of an inevitability than a choice.

Further, after the devastating second wave of infections in our country, customers’ thoughts toward health insurance have subsequently changed. Today, the question is not really around ‘Why do I need health insurance’ but rather ‘how much sum insured and health cover do I need’. Keeping in mind the rapidly-escalating healthcare expenses, we all should look for an adequate no compromise comprehensive health insurance policy to secure the health and wellness needs that may arise at different stages of lifetime. In today’s fast-paced world, there are numerous issues that affect an individual’s health and having an adequate health cover is one of the best ways to be financially prepared against uncertain health risks.

Hospitalisation is a testing time for all, and the rising medical expenses and the medical emergencies might cost a fortune for people who are underinsured or uninsured and can jeopardize family’s long-term financial goals. Thus, having a good no comprehensive health insurance policy ensures that you get proper quality medical treatment when you need it, without facing any financial crunch.

Being financially prepared to tackle any kind of situation is necessary. Medical procedures can be extremely costly and they can take away the financial comfort of your family. Health insurance policies have always come to the people’s rescue and they serve as a handy financial tool that allows you to heave a sigh of relief in the hour of extreme necessity.

Health insurance is a living benefit product and provides people with a much-needed financial backup at times of medical emergencies. So, you don’t need to empty your bank account, or borrow money from your relatives or think of taking up a loan. A health insurance policy will cover you at all times and will ensure that quality healthcare remains accessible and affordable in the long term. When buying a health insurance plan, it is imperative to assess the size of the cover.

For instance, the cost of treatment is higher in metro cities than non-metros; coverage part for e.g. what is covered, not covered – exclusions, specific waiting period, PED condition; Inflation adjusted sum insured; Disease wise sub limits; Room rent and ICU sub limits; Restoration benefits; Ease of claim process both cashless and reimbursement. It’s also important to look for additional benefits such as cumulative bonus booster, rewards for healthy lifestyle amongst several others.

As we are all aware, unfortunate events can come into our life without any warning; a mild fever can lead to serious disease. It is imperative to avail a health insurance plan that gives you extensive protection against all kinds of illnesses. There are plenty of health insurance plans available in the market but, you have to choose the one that can secure you and your family’s domestic and global healthcare needs at every stage of life.

# Single and Young: This is the stage of fewer responsibilities. Hence, young individuals should invest in a proper health insurance policy plan, as this can act as a hedge against pre-existing conditions later on. One of the top reasons to get health insurance at an early age is that you pay a very low premium and can reap higher benefits. Also, there is something known as ‘No Claim Bonus’ (NCB). NCB in health insurance is like bonus money which gets added to the sum insured for every claim-free year.

# Married with Children: You need complete coverage of risk at this stage of your life. You have a family, your children to look after. Any kind of medical expense might cost you a hell of a lot of money and might even have an impact on your children’s future expense and education. One may choose between a multi-individual – which offers individual cover for all the insured under a single policy or family floater policies, instead of multiple individual policies, depending upon the need, medical history and the number of members in the family. In case of floater cover people should ensure that sum insured is at least Rs 1 crore and above to access quality healthcare in India or abroad and cater to the problems of every increasing medical inflation.

# Elderly Couples/ Retiring Couples/ Retirees: Your source of income mostly reduces to mere pensions or retirement corpus. The flow of income reduces as you grow older but as people age, many elders may need to cope with some or the other health conditions and would need protection against any untoward hospitalization expenses on account of large number of diseases including critical illnesses. Here’s where, a comprehensive health insurance becomes a necessity for senior citizens, to ensure that they don’t need to face a financial crisis if there are any medical emergencies during their golden years.

It is no secret that health is instrumental to an individual’s education, income and overall development. Thus, a comprehensive health insurance coverage with a higher sum insured is a must have today to face any medical eventuality. It’s important to buy a health insurance plan at a young age. Nonetheless, when one buys a health insurance plan for senior citizens, make sure it provides coverage for the broadest range of ailments with limited exclusions. The old-age may run a higher risk of contracting major ailments that are expensive to treat due to ever-increasing medical inflation.

We believe COVID has been the biggest advertiser to reinforce the fact that Health Insurance Zaroori Hai, but today on National Insurance Awareness Day again I would like to reiterate the need and importance of health insurance to enjoy healthier life with complete peace of mind. Because, “Jaan hai to jahaan hai” and “Health hai toh life hai!”

(By Prasun Sikdar, MD & CEO, ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company Limited)

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