An effective solution to the problem of an increase in the cost of treatment of Diabetes is securing yourself with a comprehensive Diabetes-specific health insurance policy.
India – a nation undergoing swift socio-economic progress and urbanisation – carries along a significant share of numerous serious health issues, the most important being Diabetes. The country currently accounts for 49 per cent of the world’s diabetes burden, with an estimated 72 million cases of Diabetes – a condition caused due to the body’s inability to regulate insulin levels. With the current speed of rise in the number of Diabetes cases in India, the figure is expected to reach up to 98 million by the end of 2030. Various studies across different parts of the county have demonstrated a rising prevalence of the disease not only among the urban populations but equally in the rural populations as well. It is even learned that Indians develop Diabetes at much younger ages than other races of the world. Results from numerous studies indicate that the prevalence of Diabetes is 10 times more amongst people above the age of 50 years in comparison with those aged between 18 and 35 years.
Though there is a strong genetic predisposition to Diabetes among the Indians, over the last two decades the disease has turned into a leading lifestyle ailment. Various global studies indicate that the high incidence of Diabetes is mainly because of the sedentary lifestyle followed by limited physical activity, obesity, stress and consumption of unhealthy diets. Also, the considerable disparity in the availability and affordability of Diabetes care, as well as low awareness of the disease, has led to an increase in the number of people suffering from the disease. We all must realise that Diabetes is posing a serious lifestyle challenge and needs immediate attention. It needs building awareness for Diabetes prevention and management.
Various reports even suggest that there is a substantial escalation in the overall cost of treating Diabetes in India. The increase in the sale of high-cost medications depicts a worrisome scenario as most Indians pay out of their pocket for treatment of the disease and over 10 per cent people experience catastrophic expenditure for treatment of Diabetes. In general, for an Indian family with an adult with Diabetes, as much as 10 per cent of family income may be devoted to diabetes care. While for families with a Diabetic child, up to 20 per cent of the income is spent on Diabetes care. An individual suffering from Diabetes for five years end up spending approximately Rs 1,50,000 on the treatment. The costs of Diabetes affect everyone, everywhere, and are a major financial problem.
An effective solution to the problem of an increase in the cost of treatment of Diabetes is securing yourself with a comprehensive Diabetes-specific health insurance policy. Earlier, getting health insurance for people suffering from the disease was a daunting task but now it is quite easy for people suffering from Diabetes or those who are at a high risk of developing the ailment to buy a Diabetes-specific health insurance policy. A comprehensive Diabetes-specific health insurance plan with an adequate sum insured is enough for an individual to meet all the hospitalisation expenses arising out of a Diabetic situation. A great advantage of all such plans is that they come without any waiting period and provide coverage from the very first day.
Prominent health insurer Religare’s Diabetes-specific health insurance plan named ‘Care Freedom’ offers coverage to Diabetics of all ages who are dependent on insulin. The plan can be bought for a sum insured ranging between Rs. 3 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs. Apart from regular coverage, the customers even get a comprehensive health check-up at the time of buying the policy that monitors certain vitals/parameters related to the disease. Yet another prominent Diabetes-specific insurance plan is Apollo Munich Health Insurance’s ‘Energy. A wellness management program, the plan covers people suffering from Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG), Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) and/or Hypertension. Energy is a package that provides coverage for inpatient hospitalisation expenses and offers coverage up to the sum insured.
Star Health Insurance’s ‘Diabetes Safe’ plan is available in two variants – Plan A and Plan B. While there is no waiting period for Plan A, Plan B comes with a 12 months waiting period. One may buy any plan with a sum insured ranging between Rs. 3 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs. Before buying any plan, the customer needs to undergo a medical screening as a part of the eligibility criteria. Diabetes Safe plan can be bought by any diabetic between 18 and 65 years.
(By Amit Chabbra, Head-Health Insurance, Policybazaar.com)