The cost of diabetes care has gone up manifold in recent years putting financial burden on families whose members suffer from the ailment.
By Sanjay Datta
In today’s fast-paced life, it’s not uncommon to consume unhealthy food, skip exercise and lead a sedentary lifestyle. The culmination of all of these has given rise to several ailments, with diabetes being one of them.
As this ailment is straining finances of the common man, here’s how health insurance can prevent out-of-pocket expenditure during its treatment.
Diabetes proving fatal
As per statistics from the International Diabetes Federation, someone is estimated to die from diabetes or its complications in every seven seconds, with 50% of such deaths occurring under the age of 60. In India, there were estimated 72 million cases of diabetes in 2017, and the number is expected to touch a whopping 123 million by 2040.
An alarming scenario for one of the rapidly growing economies of the world, a study by Lady Hardinge Medical College found 33% of diabetic patients spending more than 5% of their family income on diabetes care. The study also found an underprivileged spending around Rs. 8,958 annually on treatment of the disease in a government healthcare facility.
Spiralling cost of diabetes care
The cost of diabetes care has gone up manifold in recent years putting financial burden on families whose members suffer from the ailment. Since diabetes needs prolonged care, the chances of expenses going up further can’t be ruled out. Diabetes increases the chances of critical ailments such as stroke and kidney disease. Treatment of these ailments can cost a fortune and wipe out savings in no time.
Tackling high costs of treatment
In the battle against diabetes, a comprehensive health insurance policy can come to your aid. Not only it prevents out-of-pocket expenses but also provides you with the opportunity to get treatment at your preferred hospital, without worrying about funds.
In case you get treated at a non-network hospital, the expenses are reimbursed. Additionally, most health insurance plans cover pre- and- post- hospitalisation expenses, which ensure you don’t have to dip into your savings, impinging crucial financial goals in the process.
There are tailor-made health insurance plans for diabetes that you can avail. If you are opting for customised diabetes plan, do check out the claim settlement ratio. Opting for an insurer with a high ratio entails better chances of your claim being settled.
Regular health plans cover the ailment after a certain time. If you have diabetes and want instant coverage, find out if you can add it in a regular plan by paying an extra premium.
Essential things to note
While buying a health insurance plan, compare different policies on insurance aggregator portals. Whether you buy a health insurance policy offline or online, make sure to fill up the proposal form correctly. Give accurate details of your present health conditions as concealing information can lead to claim rejection.
Read the policy terms and conditions thoroughly and make sure you opt for a high sum insured. It’s also important to find out if there are any co-pay and sub-limit clauses in the policy. While a co-pay clause means you need to pay a certain portion of the claim amount of your pocket, sub-limit puts a cap on expenses incurred on room rent and doctor’s consultation fee, among others. A health insurance plan with no co-pay and sub-limit clauses attract a higher premium than a plan with them.
(The writer is chief , Underwriting, Claims, Reinsurance & Actuary, ICICI Lombard General Insurance)