We were coasting along the chores of life, namely – success, failures, goals, ambitions, family, discoveries, and so on, and the most unexpected of events happened to us. Covid-19 did not strike a few but targeted the entire human race and challenged our conviction for “being prepared” as the most advanced race.
Equipping the “Missing Middle”
Taking the case of India alone, Covid-19 taught us the need for expansion in healthcare with superior health infrastructure, better medical facilities, and adequate health insurance for each person to safeguard especially the “Missing Middle” population (as per NITI Aayog report) of the country. As per the report, nearly 30% of the population, named the Missing Middle, which accounts for over 40 crores of Indians, lack any form of financial protection for health.
Presuming this scenario, an individual with health insurance would consider himself to be well safeguarded and prepared for such medical calamities. This is only partially correct! Being equipped with any Health Insurance that is bought randomly without considering the relevance as per one’s needs might not serve sufficiently at the time of a medical emergency. For example, a heart patient would need a critical illness cover that can bear the expensive medical treatment and has the needed features. As each one of us is unique in terms of age, family size, medical history, health condition, genes, etc., health insurance selection has to be done accordingly.
Reviewing the Most Needed
A Complete Health Insurance Portfolio Review is a pressing priority before you consider buying or renewing your Health Insurance Cover. A thorough analysis and review are essential to counterbalance several Personal, Societal, and Lifestyle factors.
Action Plan for Non-Communicable Diseases
As per a recent press release from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, there has been a steep rise in the number of deaths from 37.9% in 1990 to 61.8% in 2016 in India due to non-communicable diseases. The figures elucidate the impact of lifestyle diseases -cardiovascular, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes, affecting a major chunk of the population, especially 35+ years. A proper analysis of the medical history and prevailing condition through a health insurance review can ascertain the right plan and sum insured required.
Countering the mar of Medical Inflation
As per a study, medical inflation in India saw the highest rate in 2021 in comparison to other Asian counterparts. India’s medical inflation was noted as 14%, China at 12%, Indonesia at 10%, Vietnam at 10%, and the Philippines at 9%.
The rise in the costs of medical services and the cost of those services can destabilize the finances of a family even after having a health insurance plan, and therefore a timely review of the existing policy will suggest the needed balance and prevent the draining of savings.
Sufficing for inadequate Insurance Cover
Most of us are corporate employees and are covered under the corporate health insurance cover, which is not more than 2-3 lakhs for most individuals. A small sum insured in the face of a pandemic such as Covid-19 or any other major ailment will turn out to be insufficient. Moreover, even in personal health insurance, there are several other factors, such as sub-limits, co-payment, etc., which can put a limit to full utilization of one’s sum insured.
Safeguarding family and building on Savings
Safeguarding each member of the family is important to prevent wealth drain during the time of medical emergencies. The rising age of your partner, medical inflation, increased number of medical treatments required post-60, unforeseen environmental circumstances, etc., all require a periodic Health Insurance Portfolio Review to shield yourself and your family’s health and ensure savings are built and not spent.
A Complete Health Insurance Portfolio Review is the need of the hour amidst the uncertainties we continuously experience. A thorough analysis by an expert can equip you to have the right action plan for being prepared in unexpected and unwanted times of health.
(By Sanjiv Bajaj, Jt. Chairman & MD, Bajaj Capital Ltd)